sem ad copyYuza Taddeo

6 minute read

5 Creative Tips For Effective SEM Ad Copy

Published 2022-12-19T06:00:00 by Yuza Taddeo

When you’re creating marketing materials for an upcoming campaign, keep in mind that the channel you’re marketing on requires different types of ads and ad copy. If you’re working on a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign, creating ad copy that’s effective at getting users to click on the ad can be a challenging task.

Regardless of the type of campaign you’re working with, ad creation requires artistic and technical skills. Many creative individuals are drawn to ad development because of the ability to innovate with creative ideas. The primary goal for ad campaigns is to make the ad visible to the target audience.

Placing the right content onto your SEM ads is necessary to appeal to members of your audience. Writing content for ads can be done by professional content writers who have ample experience with developing appealing ad copy. These professionals know how to use the best keywords in the ideal locations. Because of the limited space available in ad copy, the words a content writer puts into the ad must deliver a message in a concise manner. Here are some tips on how to create effective SEM ad copy.

google ads

What is a Search Ad?

A search ad shows up when an individual searches for a specific product or service on a search engine like Google or Bing. When displayed, the user can click on this ad, after which they will be taken to a landing page for the product or service you offer. Search ads typically look like text snippets around the uppermost portion of the screen in search results. Search ads always include a short description, a title, and a hyperlink.

When it comes to the headline or title, this piece of written content is only meant to describe the product or service with a few keywords. Visitors tend to look at headlines for an ad before anything else. The character limit for an SEM ad headline is around 25 characters.

The link that you place in the ad allows users to click on the ad to reach a landing page. This page should always provide users with the information or product details that caused them to click on the ad in the first place.

As for ad copy, this is the description that tells users about your product or brand. It should also come with an offer that pushes users to click on the ad. Each line of ad copy should contain 35 characters or less.

5. Understand the Competitive Landscape

Before writing ad copy, you should get to know more about the competitive landscape around you. The information you uncover should inform the copy you implement into your ads. Some A/B testing can also help you arrive at the most effective ad copy.

4. Writing to the Search Query

It’s highly recommended that you focus on writing ad copy that’s directly related to the query the user placed into the search engine. Instead of focusing intently on putting essential keywords into the ad body or headline, consider defining your product or answering questions about a service you offer.

3. Qualifying Website Searchers

When you perform keyword research, try to center your efforts around specific phrases that your target audience will likely enter into search engines like Google. Your ads should obtain clicks from qualified and relevant traffic. Even though click-through rates will drop with this approach, the cost per conversion will also reduce.

2. Knowing How to Fail

Anyone who writes ad copy will eventually fail. Even if your ad succeeds at first, it will invariably begin to draw in less clicks over time. It’s possible that your title isn’t strong enough or that the call-to-action isn’t as compelling to your target audience as it should be. Perform A/B testing to try out new variations of the ad. By accepting failure, you could turn mediocre results into eventual success.

1. Create an Offer

Likely the most important aspect of your ad copy is the ability to create a good offer. This offer should surprise the audience enough for them to click on the ad. Since all search engine ads should include an offer, the focus should be on providing an offer that’s appealing to your target audience.

Two of the most effective offers that can be placed into search engine ads include “free shipping” and “discount”. You could even place “special offer” into the ad copy to draw users in and make them more interested in what offer they’ll receive by clicking on the ad.

Guide to Writing SEM Ad Copy

There are three distinct phases that are needed for effective search ad implementation, which include planning, writing, and testing.

writing sem copy


The planning stage of the ad copy creation process involves:

  • What are users searching for?
  • Know your products and target audience
  • Select an editorial policy
  • What is your brand’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
  • Perform competitive research

Before you decide what messages you’d like to communicate, you should learn more about the needs that your customers have. Consider analyzing keywords and search trends with tools like, Google Keyword Planner, and

Once you’ve determined which terms are most used by your target audience, you should group them into separate categories in a Word document, which should help you gain a better understanding of your main audience. It’s then possible to link these ads to different keyword categories that your customers search for.

You should also identify which of your products perform better than others online. With Google Analytics, you can learn more about your products as well as your target audience. Some of the questions that can be answered with Google Analytics include:

  • Which products of yours sells the most?
  • What are the most-viewed pages on your website?
  • What are the most relevant audience demographics?
  • Which devices are customers using to enter your website?
  • What are the best-performing channels?

During the initial planning stage of your SEM campaign, try to select an editorial line, which should make it easier for your content to be consistent. The editorial line used by Arctic Gardens is “Help families adopt healthy daily eating habits.”.

You should also know what your Unique Selling Proposition is. If you can highlight the features or aspects of your product that make it unique, it’s more likely that users will click on your ad.

As touched upon earlier, you should perform extensive competitor research with tools like SemRush, SpyFu, and Serpstat. With these tools in hand, you can review your competitors’ ads and determine which ones have performed the best.

keyword planning


During the writing phase of ad copy creation, you can:

  • Respond to your audience’s needs in headline one
  • Place differentiators and CTAs in headline two
  • Focus on additional information in the description
  • Provide extra info in the URL path fields

Now that you’ve performed ample amounts of research, you can get into the writing stage of the ad copy process. In this stage, your goal should be to create a standard SEM ad, which means that the headline should have two lines with 30 characters apiece and an 80-character description.

The initial headline should respond to the needs your target audience has. It’s also the very first thing that users will see, which is why it should be direct and concise to capture your audience’s attention. Always keep your target audience in mind when writing this aspect of the copy.

If the first headline is about capturing the user’s attention, the second headline should focus on engaging these users, which is why you should state what action you want the user to take. This headline can include clear CTAs like “Buy Now” or “Contact Us”. Try to differentiate your brand as well.

Once you reach the description, it’s time to provide information that’s complementary to the details listed in the two headlines. Make sure, however, that you don’t repeat yourself. When you get to the URL path fields, you could choose to extend the URL for the destination page with a hierarchy for the products or an indication of what the page is. An example of an URL hierarchy is “tires/ford”.



Now that you’ve written the copy, the hard part of this process is over. During testing, your focus should be on identifying how your ads can be placed online. There’s no specific method that guarantees future success. If you want to maximize your potential for success, it’s essential that you:

  • Test your ads
  • Analyze the results you receive
  • Perform additional testing

When testing the efficacy of your ads, create small variations that change just one aspect of your ad each time, which gives you two versions to test against each other. The version that performs best with conversions or click-through rates should be the one you select. You can then perform additional tests to determine if further improvements can be made.

Likely the easiest way to start testing is by changing the first two headlines. Along with containing very few words, headlines have the largest impact on the performance of your ads.

Creating effective and successful SEM ads that are able to bring traffic to your website is performed by understanding the competitive landscape, writing to the search query, qualifying website searchers, knowing how to fail, and creating an offer. With this guide in hand, you have the tools you need to create SEM ad copy that helps you reach your goals.

Conducting A/B tests
Yuza Taddeo

Yuza Taddeo

Bryt Designs

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