digital marketing
By Carrie-ann | Jan 25, 2015 | Internet Marketing

Is Your Ad Copy Lifeless?

There is no doubt in my mind Google’s Adwords is now far more complex than they used to be.  There’s been a steep learning curve on Devices, Bidding and Targeting. From my point of view it’s easy to see how ad copy can come second best to new Adwords’ features. However, creating the perfect message for your customers and then crafting that into an Adwords ad, is still the foundation for a profitable Adwords campaign. When’s the last time you changed ad copy or split tested ads? If your campaigns are performing OK, chances are you’ve not looked at optimising ad copy for 3 months or more. I call it leaving money on the table. There’s always room for improvement.

Reasons for Lacklustre Ad Copy

Google adwordsMostly, under-performing copy comes down to taking your eye off the ball. But there’s is a technical reason too, why copy might not be generating above average conversions.


I am surprised by the number of businesses running copycat ads. In my experience, the paradox is that typically the more competitive the market, the more likely businesses are to copy an ad. Usually they’ll copy an advertiser they respect. But this is so much the wrong approach.  In competitive advertising environments ads need to be distinctive. This is especially true if you’re a small business you can’t (yet) hope to attract clicks on the basis of brand recognition.
It’s important then to keep checking your ads are unique as well as on message. You may find another advertiser copies you!  If you do decide to change copy be careful not to break any Adwords’ rules on what’s permissible to be included.

Being Out of Touch

You also need to consider the dynamic nature of markets, especially consumer markets. Your tone and vocabulary needs to mirror that used by your customers. Customer research, even done in house and over the phone, is a great way to uncover phrases and words that can be included in your ads.

Inventory Issues

Search, display and product listing ads can all run into their own problems because advertisers don’t always update their product catalogue. Anyone searching for an iPod Classic after it was discontinued would have been annoyed to see several advertisers continue to advertise this product both on the display and search network. The other side of this is staying updated on what trends your market is subject to, and listing products accordingly, especially for Product Listing ads.

Missing Out On Retargeting

Another missed opportunity is the lack of uptake in using the Retargeting tool for display advertising.  A knowledgeable professional would be onto it, but if you’re running campaigns in house you may have missed this. I have written about this several times but I will just mention it’s possible to build up remarketing lists to expose specific groups of searchers to specific ads. For example, people who added a product to a cart but didn’t buy can be advertised to when they are searching on a specific web property that allows Google’s display adverts to be shown. Amazon is probably the best known example of such a web property.  Remarketing lists for display ads are far more focused than ordinary search ads because they capture people who have already shown an interest in the product or service you’re offering.