20 Questions to Ask When Crafting PPC Ad Copy


Whether you are an agency providing Pay Per Click (PPC) services, or an in-house PPC manager, there are a number of questions you can ask that will lead to some great ad copy ideas.

Here are some questions that you can ask when preparing to write PPC ad copy:

(and, thank you Joe for your ideas!)

General Questions

AwardsHas your company or any of your products received awards?  Google AdWords allows you to mention that you have an “award-winning” product if there is supporting copy on the landing page.

Trust & LongevityHow many years has the company been in business? Sometimes it is beneficial to separate yourself from the competition with a quick mention of how long you have been in business.

Customer BaseHow many customers do you have? Or, how many people have purchased your product/service? This may be a source of competitive intelligence, so you would likely only mention this if it is somewhere else in your marketing messaging.

DiscountsDo you offer discounts, and are there discount codes that can be used in the purchase process (online or offline)? You might try putting a discount code or special offer code directly in the ad copy.  Of course, if the code can only be used for a limited time, this might not be advisable.  However, if you can keep the discount code live indefinitely, this is a fantastic way to track the success of the ad (in addition to conversion tracking tools).

Value StatementsWhat are the top 3 benefits that customers see when they do business with you or purchase your products? Try testing ad copy versions that play off of what the customer will see in terms of benefits.  This is an excellent way to see which benefits are resonating with your audience.  Remember, you cannot use superlatives in ad copy (e.g. cheapest, best, etc.).

ComparisonsDo you have data that will show how your products are superior? Create a landing page that lists information about how your products/services stacks up vs. the competition (and you can support your claims), create a product comparison grid on your landing page and point your ad there, along with something like “View our competition comparisons.” (33 characters)

B2B General Questions

ObjectionsWhat objections do sales people hear frequently from prospects? If you anticipate the most-common objections that sales people hear in the field, you can address these both in the ad copy and on the landing page.  For this purpose, make sure to ask for any objections that are made, outside of “price”!

DifferentiationWhat separates you from the rest of the market? Tell searchers what makes you better than the competition.  Because you cannot use superlatives, you will have to craft messaging carefully to indicate what makes you special.

Full ServiceDo you offer services to help with implementation, installation, support, etc.? Sometimes people just want to know that you can take care of everything for them.  You can try incorporating something like “Full service provider.” into one of your ad copy lines.  Or, “Install, support & consulting.” (30 characters)

LeadsDo you support your customers with a partner program or lead generation offering? Everyone wants leads!  If you have a program that provides leads to partners/customers, try something like “Partner lead program available.” (31 characters)

FinancingDo you offer financing? Leasing or rent-to-own? Do you have lenders that already know your products and will work with your customers? Whether it’s a terrible economic climate or not, telling searchers that you have a way for them to finance their purchase is always a winner!

Stay AwayAre there people out there that might be looking for something similar to what you offer, but they are not the right fit for you? You can save some of your PPC budget by saying something in your ad copy that will only appeal to your target audience.  For example, if you want to keep bargain-hunters away, you might try words like “High-end”, “Commercial”, “Commercial-grade”, “Enterprise”, etc.  Or, put your pricing right in the ad – that will keep away the faint-of-heart for sure.

PedigreeDo you work with a significant portion of the leading companies in your market space? You can show your standing in the market with copy like Line 1: “30 of the Fortune 50 trust usLine 2: “every day to grow their business.” Or, “20 years serving market leaders.” (32 characters)

For Software & Technology Marketers

CustomizationCan your product/s be customized?  How easy is customization? Telling technology buyers that they are not locked into out-of-box functionality can often be a nice selling point.

Applications & PlatformsHow many applications/platforms are supported by the product? Telling potential buyers that your product supports “50+ applications & 10 platforms” can be a compelling story to tell in just that little bit of ad text. (31 characters)

Daily HeadachesWhat headaches does the product solve for IT people? If you can connect with someone who will be a frequent user of the product by telling them their life will be easier, you will catch their attention.  Even if the searcher is not the purchasing decision-maker, they can certainly influence the purchasing decision.

Fast Roll OutHow long does it take to get the solution in place and running? Speak to their need-for-speed.

BenchmarksDo you have benchmarking data that will show prospects that your product is superior? Create a landing page that lists product benchmarks, and then tell the searcher “View benchmark data.”  Even better, if you can benchmark your product against the competition (and you can support your claims), create a product comparison grid on your landing page and point your ad there, along with something like “View competitive benchmarks.” (28 characters), or on two lines – Line 1: “See how our benchmarksLine 2:  “stack up against the competition.

SLA’sDo you offer any Service Level Agreements?  Any performance guarantees? If you do have SLA language/terms associated with your product, try something like “SLA terms available.

TrialsDo you offer trial versions of your software, or a free testing period for your products? For the most part I have kept away from the concept of “free” in this article.  But, “free” almost always works in getting visitors.  You just want to make sure that you are getting enough value from “free.”  As a technology company, you may offer trial versions of your software or free trial periods with the technology installed.  If you offer this, and you know that you generate high-quality leads, go ahead and say it.

If you can think of additional questions to ask, just add them to the comment section below!

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