Ad copy is the lan­guage of SEM. Writ­ing it is a del­i­cate and art­ful process. SEM mar­keters need to choose the right words to make their points and send searchers down the pur­chase fun­nel. Ad copy is the haiku of SEM—simple, con­cise, and to the point. Here are the ABCs of ad copy; if you fol­low these guide­lines you will be able to con­sis­tently cre­ate great ad copy.

A. Adjust­ments

The best search mar­keters can adapt to the dynamic require­ments of the search world. If you want to con­sis­tently cre­ate the best search ads you can, you need to con­sis­tently adjust and improve. Keep your ad copy fresh and you will stay rel­e­vant across your search campaigns.

Search mar­keters often for­get to change their ad copy once they cre­ate it. They move onto cre­at­ing new ad copy and ignore the improve­ments they can make on their old copy. But if you don’t adjust to search query reports, chang­ing prices, and searchers’ trends, your search ads might become obso­lete sooner than you think.

As for adjust­ing your ad copy, you have two choices. You can set a sched­ule and man­u­ally adjust the copy every so often; then you test the adjust­ments, and imple­ment the top per­form­ers. Or, you can use an auto­mated tool that will adjust your ad copy for you. Adobe Media Opti­mizer offers one such tool that auto­mates ad copy accord­ing to cho­sen key­words and even tests dif­fer­ent ver­sions of copy to prod­uct opti­mal results.

B. Basics

If you don’t know the basics, then you will cer­tainly not be able to write effec­tive ad copy. Before you start writ­ing ad copy, you first need to under­stand your char­ac­ter limit. Ninety per­cent of the time, peo­ple who are new to the SEM world use too many char­ac­ters in SEM ad copy.

If you’re using a lan­guage other than Eng­lish, then you are even more lim­ited with your char­ac­ter limit. Cer­tain non-English char­ac­ters take up more space than basic Eng­lish characters.

A call to action sus­tains the health of your SEM ad. With­out a call to action, you haven’t given cus­tomers a rea­son to click. Addi­tion­ally, you are not send­ing cus­tomers down the sales pipeline, halt­ing their progress at the SEM phase. To make the most out of ad copy, cre­ate clear and con­cise calls to action.

A basic rule for SEM is to take up as much real estate and be as eye-catching as you can. It’s more eye-catching to have cap­i­tal let­ters, but it seems like yelling when you use all-caps. That is why copy­writ­ers use title caps—or a variation—by cap­i­tal­iz­ing the first let­ters all words except arti­cles and prepositions.

Some search engines have the options of ad exten­sions and site links. If you have the opportunity—use them. They will allow you to use up more SEM real estate, and thus grasp more of your searcher’s attention.

C. Con­nec­tions

Ad copy is just one part of the mar­ket­ing machine. To gen­er­ate the great­est mar­ket­ing effect, you need to inte­grate your ad copy into the rest of your mar­ket­ing cam­paign. Draw a con­nec­tion between the copy in your SEM ads with rel­e­vant land­ing pages. Pay atten­tion to the rela­tion­ship of SEM ads and SEO results. Make sure there is a coher­ent and com­pelling call to action that leads to a coher­ent and com­pelling land­ing page. Use key­words that relate to your prod­uct, and reuse these key­words in your land­ing pages.

With such lim­ited space, it might be dif­fi­cult to con­nect ad copy with the rest of your SEM and mar­ket­ing cam­paign. But if you pay atten­tion to key­words and mar­ket­ing rela­tion­ships, you will be able to cre­ate a coher­ent mes­sage for customers.

Pro­duc­ing effec­tive ad copy is a process that requires skill and cre­ativ­ity. Opti­miz­ing your ad copy will cre­ate more rel­e­vant ads for your cus­tomers and will increase the effi­cacy of your search cam­paigns. Remem­ber to stick to the basics, under­stand mar­ket­ing con­nec­tions, and always adjust.