Creating Better Ad Copy: PPC Problem-Solving for B2B & B2C

This is a report from SMX East 2016. Search Marketing Expo (SMX) features speakers from industry-leading digital marketers and search engine representatives. Subscribe to the BCI Blog to get coverage of key sessions sent to your inbox.

ad copy break dancer

There are more than 1.2 million advertisers in the Google Search Network. With so many business and brands competing to show up in paid search ads, how can you stand out?

Standing out is something search engine marketing leaders Pauline Jakober, Virginia Tonning, and Marty Weintraub spend a lot of time thinking about.

From tips to crafting headlines to the results of testing ad copy to the effect of ad extensions, these three shared their insights and tips at SMX East 2016 through case studies and experience. Here’s what they had to say.

marty weintraub pauline jakober virginia tonning
From left to right, Marty Weintraub, Pauline Jakober and Virginia Tonning on the SMX East 2016 stage.

Testing B2C Ads with Pauline Jakober

Are you tired of seeing the same ads? So is Pauline Jakober, the CEO of Group Twenty Seven. She asks the audience, how can we be different? Will being different increase our bottom line?

Here are the things that Jakober starts with when creating ads. First, there’s an initial client interview and questionnaire. She talks to many people, including customer service reps, the sales teams and the product team. She looks at customer testimonials and customer complaints, and looks at competitor ads. She also learns the customer pain points and works to understand her audience

One of her clients is a B2C business that sells all types of dance shoes. Jakober learned the following things about her audience of dancers:

  • They replace shoes often.
  • They break in a few pairs at a time.
  • They want shoes that mold to their feet, are lightweight and flexible.
  • Their feet hurt.
  • They are brand conscious, and once they trust a brand, they stick with it.

In an effort to see the difference being different can make, Jakober set about testing whether or not a message really matters and what exactly can be achieved in the 80 characters available in a search ad.

For the dance shoe retailer, Jakober came up with this industry standard ad:

From Hip Hop to Jazz, Shop Our Shoe Brands For Your Favorite Style of Dance.

As well as ads that addressed the pain points she discovered during her research.

  • Always Replacing Your Dance Shoes? Buy a Few Pairs Instead. Buy More, Save More.
  • Sore Feet and Toes? Protect Them By Wearing Top Quality Dance Shoes. Shop Now.
  • Buy Shoes Or Slippers That Are Lightweight And Will Mold To Your Foot’s Shape.

Update 7/19: Presentation has now been marked private by the author.


B2B Ads: Leverage Everything and Think Smarter with Virginia Tonning

Virginia Tonning, the global manager of paid search at Schneider Electric, is interested in finding out how to take advantage of the precious space of characters in an ad – space is especially critical to her as the name Schneider Electric takes up so much space.

  • Use Ad Extensions: a callout, a structured snippet, a review, sitelinks, link to an app, call, location, etc.
  • When Tonning added more ad extensions to her clients’ ads, she saw a 23% higher CTR.
  • Sitelinks give you an opportunity to highlight other services people might not know you offer. Think of the space as a digital bill board.
  • We all think we know who our customer is. But that’s not enough. Test to find out what they’re interested in. When using the buzz word “Arc Flash,” there was a 43% higher CTR.
  • Consolidate similar messages/offerings. Don’t confuse your customer by having three competing ads come up from your company.
  • Help your national or international brand compete locally where it makes sense. Target by zip code and offer free shipping or same-day shipping; local rebate offers; and messages based on local events.
  • When we look so closely at our brand, we can forget what the customer is looking for. Do your research. Search for terms you are bidding on as well as known competitors.
  • Test your headlines. Tonning saw non-branded ads (i.e. brand name removed) perform significantly higher than branded ads for Schneider Electric, to the tune of a 96% higher CTR. The takeaway? Test.

Update 7/19: Presentation has now been marked private by the author.

Stand Out In a Sea of Search By Virginia Tonning from Search Marketing Expo – SMX


Marty Weintraub: Building Fantastic Ads in a Variable-based & Human Driven Creative Framework

The founder of aimClear Marty Weintraub asserts that there is a waning need for marketers when it comes to ad copy and targeting. Analysts are taking over tasks that were once the marketers’. Furthermore, in five to eight years, artificial intelligence will be at the point where AI will be able to write the most high-performance ad creative.

Ad creative is still a mostly human endeavor, so he’ll take a look at the tools available to you. With expanded ads, you can take advantage of so much more SERP real estate and have more opportunity to be creative. He’s particularly excited about mobile ads because they take up so much space.

Crafting Headline Theories: Nimble Brainstorming

The most natural thing to do is think of the finished product headline. But don’t do that. Instead, theorize and come up with every possible way to talk about something. Rather than think of the finished headline, Weintraub advises marketers to think terms of theories.

Get Approval for Creative Elements, NOT Finished Ads

Get approval for creative elements, not complete ads. It allows you more flexibility. Lock down the two keywords that are most important and key to the ad and go from there. It looks like this:

keyword creative by marty weintraub at smx

In addition to looking at synonyms, look at definitions. Use the Google Dictionary; at the bottom of every entry, there is a graph that shows a word’s use over time. This can be helpful in choosing the right word.

use over time of "intentional"
Google Dictionary’s use over time graph for the word “intentional.”

His final tip is to make every part of the purchase path cohesive. Every part of the funnel should work together. The person who designs the ad should design the landing page, and the pages that follow. They shouldn’t be disparate experiences.

Update 7/19: Presentation has now been marked private by the author.

Bruce Clay, Inc. is a global digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, SEM PPC services, content development and social media marketing. Looking for a partner to grow your online business presence? Let’s talk.

Kristi Kellogg is a journalist, news hound, professional copywriter, and social (media) butterfly. Currently, she is a senior SEO content writer for Conde Nast. Her articles appear in newspapers, magazines, across the Internet and in books such as "Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals" and "The Media Relations Guidebook." Formerly, she was the social media editor at Bruce Clay Inc.

See Kristi's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (10)
Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent PPC/Pay-Per-Click posts is better than the last!

10 Replies to “Creating Better Ad Copy: PPC Problem-Solving for B2B & B2C”

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Here are some of tips that my agency usually uses when it comes to write stand-out copywriting PPC ads:

1. Focus on the end results that the customers expect
2. Write super specific
3. Add your company
4. Use word of “our” to made it more groub
5. Make it feel local, especially if the money operates in more than one tanjung pandan(city)

bidang yang kami tangani adalah divisi wisata di pulau belitung negri laskar pelangi dimana disini anda akam menemukan keindahan alam yang unik. para pakar kesehatan telah mengumumkan dengan berwisata anda akan meghasilkan endrokin yang bermanfaat untuk keshatan tubuh dan mempertajam pikiran anda.

Now the price of PPC on Google is no longer relevant to the benefits of advertising. click price is so expensive. I once spent a million rupiah on a campaign and it did not result in anything

Very informative article on B2B and B2C online marketing of PPC Kristi you have done very good research on it. Thanks for post. keep it up…

I agree with your solutions that share for B2C & B2B business. This strategy helps for my PPC Clients

Here are some of tips that my agency usually uses when it comes to write stand-out copywriting PPC ads:

1. Focus on the end results that the customers expect
2. Write super specific
3. Add your brand
4. Use word of “you” to make it more personal
5. Make it feel local, especially if the business operates in more than one location (city)

These are some great concepts regarding ppc and advertising campaigns. Ads helps to reach the targeted customers and increase the chance of getting that audience converted into leads.

I totally agree with the concept of being different when it comes to advertising, and so as PPC. The main idea of every ad should be helping customers to solve a problem. This was an absolutely helpful post.

I got to agree with this blog post where SEO and Google PPC should be combined with greater success. Let the long-term effect of SEO mature while not missing the short-term results you can get with PPC. Thanks for the great content.


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