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4 min read

BrightonSEO: Sophie Turton – The Psychology of Language for PPC

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

In this talk, Sophie (a content manager and communications expert by trade) spoke about how to get your ad noticed in the ever-more competitive SERP.

Language is Your Most Powerful Asset

Tap into the psyche of your audience. Sophie believes we should be focussed on the ‘why’.

  • Why should they care?
  • Why should they buy from you / why should be loyal to your brand?
  • People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
  • Why does your product or service mean something to them?

Psychology Of Language 101

“The time has come to break the habit of generic PPC copy forever.”

The psychology of language, and more specifically the language of advertising, suggests we recall the first and last pieces of information we see. Solve your customer’s problem in your headline and then use a clear and concise call to action at the end of your description that explains why it is important that they let you help them solve this problem.

Secondly, appeal to your customer’s end-game by using the triggering keyword in the ad copy. This will obviously have an additional Quality Score benefit too. When Sophie mentioned this in her talk, I couldn’t help remembering a report which stated that ads with questions in the headline receive a lower clickthrough rate; so while you need to play to your keywords, avoid just asking the user’s question back to them, answer it instead.

(This keyword-specific problem-solving format got me thinking about how we utilise SKAGs [or single-keyword-ad-groups] with exact match keywords based solely on question-based search queries, then use the ad headline to explicitly answer the question. But maybe that’s a blog for another day).

Now use the art of repetition. Users have a tendency to believe information to be correct after repeated exposure. Create a catchy call to action and use it across your campaigns (both other online channels & offline too).

Next, put your customer at the centre of what you do. Customers have a sense of entitlement; they’re paying for your product or service. So think about what they think they deserve and what they believe they need.

Remember, as much as you may think of your users as ‘clicks’ or ‘conversions’, they’re actually human beings. Be a little sassy, or use some humour (where appropriate of course).

Lastly, use social proof. 70% of users place peer recommendations over professionally written content (go figure – who wouldn’t be suspicious of advertisers after just a few episodes of Mad Men?). Add reviews to your ad copy and use ad extensions to attach real review scores to your ads.

FOMO Is Real

That’s Fear Of Missing Out, in case this very real and quite recently discovered social phenomena has passed you by.

“Most people would rather avoid loss than acquire gain.”

Use your ad copy to tell users why they can’t afford to miss out on your product. Or moreover, why they can’t afford to miss out on what they can gain from your product, be it a service or a product that is going to make their life easier, happier or more fulfilling.

Sophie has noted that ads including some form of urgency have a 32% increased clickthrough rate. This could be in the ad copy “sale ends soon” or by including a countdown clock. FOMO means customers are more likely to convert there and then if they think they will miss out next time round.

Getting The Click Is Just The Start

Competition is high, but getting the clicks is only the first part of the battle. Once you’ve got the perfect ad copy you need to use the landing page to continue the story. Not only will this improve Quality Score, your customers will have found what they needed, which will make them happy. Happy customers convert, and they’re loyal.

In Summary…

So, now that we know repeating ourselves and telling our user what they need to know is important (plus, you’ll remember the last thing you read), let’s end with some key takeaways;

Start with why

Prioritise headlines

FOMO is your friend

Use your keywords

Use reviews to support your offering

Carry on the story with your landing page

Play to emotion and the love of the self

Always go back to the why