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5 tricks of the trade for high performing SEM copywriting

SEM Copywriting

It’s common practice for agency and in-house marketers to view SEM copywriting as a quick and easy task, to be handed to an intern with little guidance or consideration. In order to create copy that grabs user attention and entices clicks – it takes a strategic framework, expertise and a degree of finesse.

Wherever you choose to broadcast your message online, every digital platform serves a unique purpose and interacts with its audiences in a different way. For marketers, this means that the copy must be written to the specifications of each channel in order to generate the most traction. SEM in particular requires a very specific structure in order to drive the best engagement and return on investment.

At Pure.amplify, we make it our mission to educate our clients on the insider tricks they need to develop campaign creative that brings in business.

Here are our top 5 tricks of the trade for creating SEM copy that delivers results:

Tip #1: Keep it relevant

Every SEM ad that you run on Google is given a quality score based on a number of algorithms, so that it can determine which ad in the auction is most likely to match to what the user is searching for. The higher your score, the more likely your ad is to win bids and appear on the first page of Google. And remember, appearing on the first page should be your ultimate goal – as 75% of people never click through to the second page.

There are several factors that contribute to the quality score, one of which is the relevance of the ad copy to the keywords and the landing page. As an example, if you’re bidding on the keywords “Fitzroy dog groomer” you want to ensure these terms are also in your ad copy, as well as within the heading of your landing page. It’s important to note that your landing page heading is the best place for your chosen keywords, as it has the highest impact on the quality score. Be careful not to be too repetitive, as this can negatively impact your ranking.

Tip #2: Why guess when you can test?

If you’re undecided on which version of your ad copy will have the biggest impact, why not try both? A/B testing is key to ensuring that you’re utilising your ad spend as effectively and efficiently as possible. Start your campaign with multiple variations of the same ad. Once you have gathered enough data to determine which ad is achieving the best results, you can retire the underperforming version. This method also enables you to gain insight into the kinds of messaging that best resonates with your target audience and will help you refine and develop your creative into the future.

Tip #3: Get granular with ad groups

It’s likely that your business sells a range of products that you want to showcase, so it’s important to organise your campaigns into separate groups that share a theme. From there, you can write 2 or 3 hyper-specific ads within each group. For example – a local bike shop that sells new bikes, used bikes, accessories and repairs services – should separate these into 4 distinct groups. By keeping your groups and copy focused to a theme, you can maximise the effectiveness of your ads as each category speaks directly to the needs of separate audience segments.

Tip #4: Stand out with ad extensions

To help increase your ad’s visibility, utilise Google’s available ad extensions such as sitelinks, callouts and structured snippets. Not only are these completely free to use, but they also help boost your quality score.

  1. Sitelinks are additional buttons you can add into your ad that provides a type of “menu” for users to navigate to different parts of your website. Using the bike shop as an example, within your ‘New bikes’ ad group you might include links to different pages of your site such as ‘Just arrived’, ‘Best sellers’, ‘Top rated’, etc.
  2. Callouts allow you to highlight special features or offers that your customers may find valuable, such as ‘Free shipping’ or ‘24hr customer service’.
  3. Structured snippets allow you to showcase a variety of products or services that you offer, such as a list of different bicycle brands that you have in stock.

Search Engine Marketing Copywriting
Tip #5: Leverage dynamic creative

Let Google do the heavy lifting for you by setting up dynamic creative. Dynamic ads crawl the content of your website to fill in keyword gaps and ensure you don’t miss any relevant searches. Headlines and landing pages are automatically generated based on which web page and product best matches the user’s search terms. This can be especially useful for brands that have a large inventory that is continually changing, as it keeps your SEM campaign up to date without having to constantly edit each individual ad. Not only will you be saving time, but you can also better refine your keyword list and strategy for future activity.

There are endless tips, tricks and hacks to help you perfect your SEM copy strategy. This simple guide has been designed to give you a strong foundation – especially if you’re new to the Google game.

If you want to reach your advertising goals and maximise your campaign potential – feel free to reach out to one of our media experts today.


This is the first article in our new ‘Back to basics’ series. Stay tuned to learn more insider tricks on all things digital advertising, media and programmatic.