How to Write PPC Ads That Convert

In the world of paid search, only one thing is worse than spending time and energy on a campaign that doesn’t get clicks: running ads that get clicks, but no conversions. While the first step in either instance is to check in on your keyword strategy, you might find yourself stumped if your keyword strategy is sound. What should you do in that case? Refine your ad copy.

A little wordsmithing can make the difference between a searcher who glances at your ad and never thinks about it again, and a searcher who becomes a life-long customer. Here’s how to write ads that motivate and connect so well, your high-converting customers will have to click.

1. Use Attention-Grabbing Headlines

Most people won’t make it past the headline before they decide whether they’re intrigued enough to read more, so your headline is a critical place to grab your customer’s attention—fast. Use compelling, action-oriented language that differentiates your product or offer from everyone else’s. Consider adding an exclamation mark to project a tone of excitement, but keep yourself limited to one; multiple exclamation marks can look spammy.

2. State the Benefits Immediately

Most often, the solutions and benefits you can offer your customers—in price, quality, or expertise—create the entire incentive to click. Don’t waste any time getting there, and be as specific and concrete as possible.  For example, instead of saying, “Great discounts! Save lots of money!” you might try something like, “50% off all running shoes. Save up to $125 on top brands!”

Similarly, if you’re providing a solution for a particular problem, make sure your language is specific and action-oriented. A question like, “Are you worried about premature hair loss?” can be quite compelling, but it doesn’t have the clarity of copy like, “Prevent hair loss today!” Get there fast, and keep it strong.

3. Appeal to Emotions

Humans are emotional creatures, and our decisions are driven by our feelings—even when we think they’re not. When you write your ad copy, the benefits you think your customers care about might not be the ones they really value the most. Think about the products you sell and the “higher motivations” your customers have for buying the product—feeling beautiful or healthy, protecting a loved one, being admired or accepted, etc.—and target those. Don’t sell the fishing lure; sell the experience of a father and son bonding on a fishing trip.

4. Use Calls to Action

“Buy…!” “Shop…!” “Order…!”

Powerful verbs like these are the backbone of your ad copy, giving your customers a decisive action to take so there’s no ambiguity about where they should move next. A Call to Action combines action with urgency (“Shop now!”) to move customers forward in their journey. You may also consider giving your customers a deadline and incentive (“Order by Friday for 20% off!”) to motivate them to act fast.

Test out different CTAs against each other so you can see which ones resonate with your customers and use those moving forward. Think of your winning CTAs as the new “controls” against which you’ll test new ideas on an ongoing basis.


Consumers need to feel motivated to click through to your landing page, and the best way to get them there is to show them respect: get right to the point, be specific, and appeal to the things they care about most. Add a touch of creativity and some decisive action, and you’ll be well on your way to running captivating ads that convert more customers.