How story makes your google ads headlines stand out

Kevin Mullins

Last week we began rolling out paid Google text ads, otherwise known as PPC ads, for one of our clients. Our customers follow a carefully crafted plan, so buying ads on Google to promote their services is a good sign. Usually, this means we’ve entered a new phase and that our approach is paying off. The website is performing well, and lead generation is climbing. Now is the time to pour marketing fuel on the fire. 

Good times!

Everything (including ads) Starts With Story

For us, as a creative studio, this is where the fun is. Most of the technical work is done. Now it is time to get creative with the marketing funnel, including search lead generation with well-written Google ads. We take this for granted at Atomivox, but as we sat down last week to prepare ads, it struck me, how important the brand story is to the whole process. 

Knowing the customer’s story jumpstarts your PPC ad headline writing.

At Atomivox, we begin every customer engagement by developing a narrative, or brandscript. A “brandscript” is a carefully written guide about you, your customers, and your position in the market. The story we create together keeps every phase of a project in check: planning, development, and launch. And it is crucial to writing great search ads.

For most of us, though, Google Ads involve search sorcery performed by dungeon-dwelling SEO wizards. Search engine voodoo and secret formulas to coerce unsuspecting searchers to click on a paid ad. The truth is, however, that Google Ads aren’t magic at all. Yes, you have to consider highly technical elements like keyword density, mobile ad variables, UTMs, tags, analytics, and tracking. But, at the end of the day, Google wants to make it easy for people to discover what they’re looking for.

If you’re struggling to write that perfect Google Ad, keep reading. 👇Here are three ways we use story to help us write great headlines for Google pay-per-click ads.

Three Tips For Writing Better Google Ad Headlines

1) Clarity about who’s who.

It is tough to write an ad if you don’t know who you are, how you fit in your customer’s story, why they are struggling, and how you can help them. A brandscript keeps you centered on all of this. Story enables you to master that all-important first question: who. Understanding who the searcher is and what they need empowers you to write compelling headlines.

“Imagine your customer is a hitchhiker. You pull over to give him a ride, and the one burning question on his mind is simply Where are you going? But as he approaches, you roll down the window and start talking about your mission statement, or how your grandfather built this car with his bare hands, or how your road-trip playlist is all 1980s alternative. This person doesn’t care.”

― Donald Miller, Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen 

2) Keeping focused on the customer’s problem.

Imagine how much money is wasted writing ads people don’t care about. If I had to guess, millions. It’s a shame too because search ads are prime real estate to share vital answers to urgent problems when the searcher needs it most. Many companies are failing when it comes to writing great ads. Transmitting info instead of communicating their ability to solve problems. For example, look at these two headlines: 

  • Our New Fall Catalog Is Here
  • New Fall Catalog, New Fall You

The difference is subtle, but the second one does a better job of revealing why the new catalog is relevant: To reach the person that wants to like what they see in the mirror! A brandscript keeps you focused on writing headlines that address your customer problems, not just share information.

3) Matching the search phrase with intent.

Everyone knows that Google is the best place to find answers. And as we have already established above, a brandscript gives you precise insight into a customer’s pain. When we combine these two ingredients, we gain a considerable advantage in writing compelling, clickable PPC ads.

For example, how might we make PPC ads more compelling for a construction company’s B2B recruitment campaign? If we were in the midst of a booming housing market and construction work was plentiful, we might attract potential employees with “Signing Bonus!” in the headline. If, however, the construction market was in a slump, jobs were scarce, and we only wanted top talent to apply, a headline with Job Security” or “Excellent Benefits” might convert better. 

Discerning a customer’s internal motivations and intent gives us tremendous insight into a searcher’s mindset.

Writing great Google ad headlines may be tricky at first but they are not strange or mysterious once you understand what you’re trying to achieve. All it takes is cultivating an understanding of your target audience. Once you know who you’re writing to, you can then match their intention with the relevant keywords and lead them to your content. 

Give these three tips a go when writing better search ad headlines. Let us know how things go. If you are eager for an expert to help accelerate your digital success, give us a shout. We love helping disruptor brands turn heads and grow business.

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