PPCHow To Write the Best PPC Ad Copy & Beat Your Competitors

How To Write the Best PPC Ad Copy & Beat Your Competitors

While you can to design systems that allow you to create the best ad copy by constantly split testing, it's much easier to shortcut the process and "steal" from your competitors. Identify the elements your competitors are using three simple steps.

Understanding what motivates people and attracts their attention is extremely important. Therefore, it’s important to create systems that allow you to create the best ad copy. While you can do this yourself by constantly split testing ad copy, it’s much easier to shortcut the process and “steal” from your competitors.

This post will explain:

  1. How to write the best ad copy, and beat your competitors.
  2. Identify your “real” top competitors.
  3. The psychology of “Perceived Value” – hint: You can make more money, and people will still feel like they are getting a great “deal”.

A Quick Review

Previously, we’ve outlined the 5 different elements of a PPC Ad (or any ad copy, for that matter):

  1. Perceived Value
  2. Risk Reduction
  3. Credibility
  4. Call To Action
  5. Qualifiers

One last thing is making your ad stand out, such as using uppercase letters (e.g., DUI), or using exclamation points.

Now let’s look at simple three step process to identify the elements your competitors are using.

Step 1: Pick A Broad Keyword

We will use “Internet Marketing Company” as a keyword example.


Step 2: Put Your Competitors Ad Copy into the Template

Using the spreadsheet template below, we will just break down the elements of everyone’s ads. We now have a cheat sheet of what our successful competitors are doing. We know what works in the current market, and can now work on beating the standard, and taking it one level up.


In this case, the top competitors are very heavy on the credibility. We can choose to either copy them, and clutter the page, or to focus on some of the other elements.

Step 3: Write Your Own Kick-Ass Ad Copy

So perhaps we would focus on increasing the perceived value (e.g., “Lower CPA w/More Sales!”-Ed). We could also put the customer credibility in one line (e.g., “I got more cost at lower CPA”).

Focus on risk reduction, use Free Audit, which is also a call to action. We could also use the display URL to be our call to action.

Ready for the new ad? Here it is:


How to Identify Who Your Top Competitors Really Are

For the most part, picking your broad keywords and seeing who is showing up in the top 3 is a good way of identifying your competition and their ad copy.

However, it doesn’t hurt to double check and see what Google says are your top competitors for a vertical.

With the newly released AdWords Auction Insights tool, you can go to any specific keyword, and see who is on top of you on a consistent basis, and make sure you aren’t missing anything.

Go to the keyword tab, select the keyword you want to see your competition for, and select the Auction Insights option.


Clicking on Auction Insights reveals your competitors, and who is really up above you all of the time. This is useful, as those people up on top are not necessarily paying more than you, but most probably have good historical ad copy as well.


The Psychology of Perceived Value

When asked about value many people think “discount!!” What type of “deal” are you giving me? The truth is, as humans, the need for getting a “deal”, is actually a social need to feel smart about our purchase.

Our inner voice is asking us when we buy “am I going to be smart when I buy this?”, “will this take care of all of my needs?”, “is this the best answer to my problems?”, “will everyone compliment me when I buy it?” (Notice, that credibility also overlaps with perceived value. Many of the different elements supplement each other.)

As marketers, we have the chance to avoid the whole conscious concerns of the customer, and simply talk to their emotion. Now, I wouldn’t do that too blatantly, or you are risking walking into “used car sales person” or “self-help guru” mode. (Some people like that, and you’re welcome to do that.)

Now that we’ve covered the psychological needs element in perceived value, how does that translate into practice?

With this in mind – it’s important to understand that you can increase price and increase perceived value.

  • Retail Market: If you are the best price in the market, then by all means tout it. If you aren’t, you can tout free shipping, what the customer is saving when they buy from you (save 35 percent off).
  • B2B/Local: In B2B and local, you want to really focus on just how you solve the clients problems. Some of the examples we gave above were specific benefits (lower costs & increase sales), “Easy to use” etc.

One more thing – is you can also be a bit more subtle. Many people say they are “#1” or the “Best” in their class. Frankly, that’s all corporate speak most of the time.

Corporate speak generally doesn’t resonate with the customer anywhere near as well as the “customer speak”. Talk the customer language:

  • What are their pain points?
  • How do you solve their problems?
  • What can they do easy, fast, and simple?

Perceived value overlaps with both credibility and risk reduction. Having a better brand will create both value and credibility. Additionally, some risk reduction factors also (can) increase perceived value.


  • Build a spreadsheet to analyze your ad copy and your competitors ad copy.
  • Check Auction insights to make sure you aren’t missing any competitors, and to identify who the real winners are.
  • Make lots more money!


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