Maximizing Your PPC Results: A Checklist for High-Performing Ads

Best practice recommendations and lesser-utilised techniques to optimise your PPC ads.

Anita T is an award-winning marketing consultant with 15+ years of experience.

Business owners know: PPC ads are a powerful tool to drive traffic to your website and increase sales, but they must be well-written and targeted to be effective. This checklist will help you create high-performing PPC ads that convert better and give you more bang for your buck.

1. Are you Tapping Into Pain Points?

The first step in writing effective PPC ads is to understand your target audience and their challenges. This info' can help you can tailor your ads to resonate with your audience.

For example, if you are selling a weight loss product, write a headline based on the problem rather than the product. Such as, "Transform Your Body in 30-Days." The copy is focused on the problem, rather than the product. Weight Loss company ap promises you can 'Hit Your Goal in 16 Weeks'

Example PPC Ad
Weight-loss app Noom highlights pain points in its ads.

2. are you using clear and concise language?

In PPC advertising, you have a limited amount of space to convey your message, so it's important to be clear. People are barely reading ads, they are scanning them. Check your copy is easy to understand.

For example, instead of, "Our weight loss program is the best in the market," you could say "Lose 4kgs this month with our proven weight loss program." This is a much more specific and compelling message that can be understood quickly and resonate with the target audience.

3. Are you emphaising your unique selling proposition (USP)

What sets your product or service apart from the competition? This is your unique selling proposition (USP). Including it in your ad copy will help differentiate you from competitors.

4. are you leveraging emotion?

People are more likely to make a purchase based on emotions rather than logic, so including emotional triggers in ad copy can help improve performance. For example, if you are selling a luxury watch, you might use emotional triggers such as "Treat yourself to the ultimate luxury" or "Make a statement with our exclusive pieces." These emotional triggers are likely to resonate with people who are looking for a unique and high-end product.

5. do you have a clear call to action?

It's obvious but needs to be said, your PPC ads should always include a clear call to action (CTA) that tells people what to do next. For example, 'buy now', 'request details', 'view exclusive content.' This prompts the reader to take action and 'click through' on your ad.

6. are you Maximising Ad Extensions?

Ad extensions basically extend your ads - increasing your ad's visibility and typically, performance as a result. They've even been found to improve your ad rank. Make sure a variety are set-up for your business - your phone number, reviews and business address are helpful extensions that provide more info for potential customers.

For example, a venue may use ad extensions to encourage people to book for Mother's Day, like the Rocks Restaurant ad below:

Example of an ad extension for a venue
Example of ad extensions.

Some of the most powerful Google ad extensions include:

  • Promotion extensions - you can highlight a sale or offer, like in the ad above.
  • Lead form extensions - if you've a really compelling offer, lead form extension can eliminate the need for users to 'click through' to your website, allowing users to fill out a form directly on the ad.
  • Video and image extensions can be underutilised by businesses, giving an edge to brands that set theirs up.

If you're looking for an easy way to increase clicks on your ads, ad extensions can help you maximise your ad spend and increase your campaign performance.

7. are you (carefully) Using Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords are damn import in PPC advertising and need to be carefully added. Setting these up strategically will help ensure your ads are only shown to people who are genuinely seeking out a service or product like yours. Adding negative keywords to your campaigns can help reduce your Cost Per Click (CPC) and increase your Click-Through-Rate (CTR).

8. have you Considered Ad Scheduling?

Ad scheduling allows you to control when your ads are shown. You can schedule your ads to appear during certain hours of the day, or certain days of the week. This can help ensure that your ads are shown when your target audience is searching for your product or service and you may find it helps you maximise your spend and reduce your Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).

9. how about Dynamic Keyword Insertion?

Dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) is a feature that allows you to insert the user's search query directly into your ad copy, automatically! When utilised correctly, it can make your ads more relevant and increase performance. However, it's important to set this up right, as sometimes it can result in some pretty dodgy ad copy and incongruent landing page experiences. An ad should match what's on the landing page.

An example of a company this works well for is Airbnb. If the user searches for 'hotel Brisbane', the headline ad may read, 'Brisbane Holiday? Find Your Perfect Stay'. The dynamic keyword utilised was the location.

10. are you leveraging Location Targeting?

Make sure your ads are only shown to people in the locations you service or post to. You can set up location targeting to ensure your ads are only shown to people in your area.

11. are you a/b testing?

Finally, test and optimize your PPC ads to ensure they are performing at their best. Don't rely on Google doing it for you. Try different headlines, ad copy, and CTAs to see what works best for your business.

Crafting high-performance PPC ads requires a deep understanding of your target audience, clear and concise language, a strong USP, emotional triggers, a clear CTA, and ongoing testing and optimization. Use this checklist to help you create PPC ads that drive traffic and increase sales for your business.

Need a hand? You may be interested in PPC management services.


Don’t just grow—grow smarter.

Let's Grow Your Business
Arrow up