3 Steps to Kill Your PPC Ad Writer’s Block Right Now

PPC ad writing got you down? It’s true that when we have to come up with ad creative day in and day out, PPC professionals sometimes face the same dilemma writers do: writer’s block. And it’s not just coming up with clever, useful and compelling text for the headline and description lines. As if that weren’t enough, we also have to worry about sitelinks, callouts, and more. A lot goes into ads behind-the-scenes to create that final, clickable product. The next time you’re feeling uninspired, instead of just going through the motions as we sometimes do, check out these three tips to help you push through the lull:

1. Dive into User Reviews and Client Testimonials

What better way to get a sense of how the company and its products or services make a difference to customers than going to the website, and reading user reviews and client testimonials? Scour through all of them and find out if you see a common theme. Document the “trends,” or the most common attributes mentioned about the company, its products or its services. For example, one of our clients has garnered more than 500 reviews and some of the attributes that were mentioned again and again included:

  • “Arrived on time”
  • “Great customer service”
  • “Actually responded and helped”
  • “Quick turnaround”
  • “Best price”

Going right to the source – the customer – couldn’t be an easier solution to writer’s block. As a sanity check, make sure that you are only using descriptive words in the ad that are delivering on the promise of the company as it stands today. For example, if someone said “best price” three years ago, make sure it’s still true now. As a PPC manager, you should know the competitive landscape and if it is, in fact, the best price. Then, decide which elements will be featured in the headline, description lines or the callout extensions. Remember that callouts are a perfect place to highlight the company’s differentiators.

2. Get Reacquainted with the Company

At my company, we always use a questionnaire to get to know our clients from the outset. We file this away after the initial engagement period, but we do look back on it from time to time if we’ve been working with the client for a long time. The reason being is, sometimes it’s natural to stray from some of the things you initially learned about a company as time goes by.

This document can be a great refresher on the client’s foundational needs, even though they can change over time. I often use it as a conversation starter with in-house folks to revisit those initial desires to see if there’s something we’ve been overlooking that we can retarget, or if something has morphed that we can highlight. And when you’re listening to the client, listen to what’s not being said. Sometimes it’s easier for the client to talk about products or services in terms of features, but it’s up to us to transform those into solution-focused statements: what do those features allow customers to do? Here’s an example of two ads, one that just talks features and one that discusses solutions. Which one stands out most to you?


3. Check out the Competition

It’s always a best practice to put your finger on the pulse of the competition and see what sort of features, solutions and differentiators they are touting these days. Looking at the competition can be inspiring and remind you of the ways a company differs from its competition, or even how to frame up a product, service or something else. But don’t be a copycat; there’s nothing worse than launching a carefully crafted ad one day and seeing your competition with the exact same ideas the next. 

Don’t be afraid to poke around their sites for more information as well. As PPC professionals, we have a big job. Not only do we have to be technical, detailed and methodical, but we are also tasked with being creative, idea-driven people. So the next time you feel like you couldn’t possibly have one more idea to put in one more ad, try some of the steps I outlined today. You may be surprised at what you can squeeze out.

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