Ad Copy Relevancy
Describing The Relevance and Value of Your Offer in Your Ad Copy
In our last post on writing effective ad copy, we discussed the first component of an ad: the headline. The purpose of the headline is to grab a user’s attention. As Hunter Boyle put it in a Marketing Experiments article that we mentioned in our last post: “The objective of your headline is not to sell, but to connect with your reader. That split-second connection only has to compel readers to continue — not necessarily to buy right away.” If you make that connection and compel your readers to continue, they’ll read your description line. The purpose of the description line is to demonstrate the relevance and unique value of your offering. The trick is to demonstrate both in 35 characters or less.
If you followed our advice when you wrote your ad’s headline, you’ve already done a lot of the work necessary to demonstrating the relevance of your offer. Remember: the goal of a headline isn’t to grab everybody’s attention; the goal is to grab your potential customers’ attention. A headline written for your potential customers will grab their attention by, among other things, suggesting relevance. In your description line, you should clearly demonstrate relevance.
Let’s stick with the examples we used in the previous post.
1) Keywords: “chicago mexican restaurant” / Headline: “Chicago’s Top Mexican”
2) Keywords: “banjo lessons” / Headline: “Learn To Play The Banjo”
3) Keywords: “red roses” / Headline: “Want Roses Delivered Now?”
(Keywords included in ad copy appear in bold, as they do on Google Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs.)
The hypothetical advertiser in our first example was Rick Bayles’ Chicago Mexican restaurant Frontera Grill. (Full disclosure: Rick Bayles isn’t a Clickable customer yet. I’m just a fan of his cookbook and happy to help pro bono.) What does Frontera Grill offer? Meals at a high-end Mexican restaurant in Chicago. The headline already covers “Chicago” and “Mexican,” so our description line should provide details about the restaurant. Note this down; we’ll need to remember it when we add the “value” element and actually write the line.
The next example is even more straightforward: our advertiser gives banjo lessons, exactly what the searcher is looking for. “Lessons” should be mentioned in the description line.
A florist who delivers roses, among other varieties, would write our final ad. This information is already very clearly indicated by the headline, so the focus in the description line should be on demonstrating value.
Demonstrating relevance turns out to be quite easy: just state what you have to offer, clearly and with as much detail as the 35-character limit allows. If particular searchers are actually looking for restaurant reviews, online music lessons or pictures of flowers, they won’t click on your ad, because your offer isn’t relevant to them. If searchers are looking for what you have to give them — if what you have to offer is relevant to them — they’ll recognize it right away.
Of course, more than one ad on a page may be relevant to a searcher. The next thing you need to do is demonstrate the unique value of what you have to offer, and set yourself apart.
What makes your product or service better than the rest? This may seem like the first question any marketer has to answer, and it may be surprising to find it popping up this late in the game. But now is the time to answer it. Now is the time to state your (old school term) “value proposition.”
Part of your offer’s value is already disclosed in a straight description: a meal, a lesson, a flower delivery. But why a meal at Frontera Grill? A personal banjo lesson from you? Roses delivered from your flower shop? This, finally, is the place to answer that question.
There are no generic answers here. Every business has a different value proposition. Nobody will understand your business’ value proposition better than you, but I’ll continue with our examples to make it clear what I mean.
When discussing relevance above, we decided that we’d need to include more information about the restaurant in our ad. We also want to set it apart: it’s “award-winning,” “authentic,” “gourmet.” We can try working those things in. (And, of course, we can write other ads for other keywords that highlight other details — specific dishes, the chef’s credentials, anything else that might be important.) For now, let’s try “Authentic, Gourmet Mexican Cuisine.”
Our second advertiser is competing with other offers for personal banjo lessons. What makes its offer unique? A free lesson, perhaps. We noted above the need to include a mention of “lessons” in our description to indicate relevance. Now, we also need to mention the free offer to indicate value. “Personal Lessons. First Lesson Free” is clear, relevant to searchers looking for personal lessons, and highlights the uniqueness of the offer.
Finally, what are some things that may be important to customers of a delivery service? Speed? Dependability? Cost? “Free, Dependable, Same-Day Delivery” covers all these bases. The straight description of the service — flower delivery, including roses — is already contained in the headline.
So far, we’ve written two thirds of our ads, giving us:
Chicago’s Top Mexican
Authentic, Gourmet Mexican Cuisine
Learn To Play The Banjo
Personal Lessons. First Lesson Free
Want Roses Delivered Now?
Free, Dependable, Same-Day Delivery
Users should now know what it is that our three advertisers have to offer, how that offering meets their needs (relevance), and what makes that offering better than others on the page (value). The next question to answer is, “What do I need to do now?” This is the question you will answer in the final line of your ad —the “call to action.” It’s also the subject of our next tutorial.