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Help me write ad variations

Come up with new ad copy for your ad groups. Here's how to nail it in 5 minutes.

Sidra Condron avatar
Written by Sidra Condron
Updated over a week ago

Testing ad copy is one of those “must haves” if you’re going to be successful in PPC advertising.  It demands version after version of new ad variations, so the set-up can be tedious.  Since few of us have the tireless, creative thesaurus-like brain required for such a task, we turn to ad optimizers for help.

Fortunately, using SpyFu will help you fast-track this practice.

First, get inspiration

Enter keyword from your campaign into the SpyFu search bar. When you get a results page, scroll down to the Ad History section (or open the tab for Advertiser History under Keyword Research).

The results show you the domains that have advertised on this term in the past 12 months, complete with the ad copy that each one used.

You see a chart full of rectangles–each one representing an ad for the month.  We search the ads every month, and any time we would see changes to ad copy, we’d update the chart with a new number for the new version of ad copy. Or, if they reverted back to an old version, we’d list that number so that you could see patterns emerge.

You easily spot where an advertiser shifted gears from one variation (V1, V1, V1, V2, V3) and where they stuck with ad copy that brought them the results they wanted. (V1, V2, V3, V4, V3, V3, V3, V3).

Spotting good and bad copy

We expect to see advertisers testing their copy. It might be a V1, V2, V3, V4 string of variations, and occasionally they try something again (V1, V2, V3, V1, V1) or keep trying to improve. (V1, V2, V3, V4, V5, V6…)

However, if they test previously-run versions and never return to an earlier ad, you can take that as a good sign that the ad they stopped running just didn’t work for them.

In the image above, V11 is a workhorse ad. Sure, they might find a better variation in the future, and when they do, keep an eye on it. Because here, version 11 is their trusted copy that works better than 19 other tries. Even without seeing their conversion rate or CTR (truer marks of success), we can make careful assumptions that this ad copy performs well for them.

We suggest: Delete the copy where previous advertisers cut bait, and keep the versions that look strong.

Save your ideas (spreadsheet, Google doc, Evernote…), and repeat this exercise with a new keyword.

Create hundreds of ad copy variations.

With the ad copy variations you select, you can break apart headlines from other ad components like body lines #1 and #2.  Now you are ready to put your ad optimizer to work.  (We like for its streamlined technique.)

Load in variations of the ad elements, and the ad optimizer will soon build combinations that help you test Headline A against Headline B in your campaign in as few steps as possible.

Soon, you will have amassed ad copy that you can test for your niche that still comes across engaging enough to convert.  Good luck!

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