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How to use a call-to-action in your PPC ads

A call-to-action (CTA) is a way of engaging a potential customer and linking them directly towards your digital marketing goal. They can be used to draw attention to different types of conversions – which might be signing up to a mailing list, completing a purchase or getting in touch. 

What is a call-to-action, and why do you need one? 

It is the point at which you lead your customer to complete the intended outcome – making it a crucial part of your PPC campaign. It might feel easy to come up with a CTA, but it takes some time to create one that will stand out.

The reason why your CTA is so important is because it is a chance to tell your audience what you want them to do. It’s also a chance to explain why they should click on your ad – and what they will achieve from doing so. There are plenty to choose from, but we’ve listed a few examples of a CTA you might use:

  • Watch More
  • Request A Call-Back
  • Subscribe Now
  • Buy Now

The CTA you choose will depend on your goals and your audience. We’ve listed our top tips when it comes to creating the best one for your PPC campaigns.

Match your CTA to your audience 

If you find an approach that works for one digital marketing campaign, you might be tempted to use that CTA again. While it’s good to keep track of what works and what doesn’t – it’s essential that you adjust your CTA depending on your audience and your messaging. For example, you might be targeting a slightly different type of person in one campaign to another – so you should alter your ad copy, including your CTA, too. 

Responses will vary for different people when it comes to a CTA, so it’s good to make your message more personal. For example, a parent might react differently to a teenager – being more drawn in by words such as ‘Save’.

Have a specific goal in mind for each campaign

Your CTA is your end goal – so, if you have multiple goals for your PPC campaign, then you might be tempted to include more than one call-to-action. While this might seem like a quick route to meeting your aims – it will likely benefit you more to stick to one per campaign.

Provide a quick solution 

A search such as “locksmith near me” implies that the user wants a quick and easy solution. We suggest using a CTA that is concise and provides them with a fast solution – for example; “Find a nearby locksmith now”. When somebody is looking for a local service, it’s also likely they will be searching on their mobile – so, you should consider optimising your ads for mobile. If applicable to your business, you can also benefit highly from using a call-only campaign for these searches.  

Reiterate your CTA in the rest of your ad copy

Your text should re-enforce why a user will benefit from completing the action. For example, if you’re aiming to generate more leads through quotes – your CTA will likely be something simple, such as “get quote.” Your messaging in your ad should encourage the user to do this, for example; “See How Much You Can Save. Get A Free Quote Today”

Another method is offering a reward for clicking – which is often used by app advertisers. So, perhaps you’ll provide credit or a discount for installing an app; “Earn extra credit. Install the app today”.

Use a time-frame

Sometimes, creating a sense of urgency is a way of encouraging users to click instantly, rather than browsing other options. We suggest thinking about what would make your target customer click now. We’ve listed two examples below:       

  • Time-limited discounts or offers – A promotion will appeal to a wide range of users – particularly those who show intent to purchase. A search like “men’s grey suit ” shows high intent – but if you want a user to choose your product, an incentive will encourage them to do so. For example, “Get £20% off suits now” or “Free delivery when you buy today”. 
  • The fear of missing out – A time-limited promotion is the ideal way to create a sense of missing out – because nobody will want to miss the chance to save money. There are other ways to create that sense of urgency, though. A similar method is referring to your other customers. For example, “Join our members and save money today”

PPC Ads allow you to add extensions for price, promotions and you can now even add countdown ads to support this.

 Don’t be afraid to use negative terms

When writing PPC ad copy, it’s not a bad thing to trigger emotion in your ad – even if they are negative. We highlighted the benefits of this in our blog on how to create great ad copy. 

For example, if somebody is browsing an issue they’ve been having, it implies they’re looking for a solution. Your ad copy, in particular your CTA, could provide a quick answer for search engine users. An example of a search and CTA might be: 

–       A search – “neck pain”

 –       Your CTA – “Stop living in pain today. Click for free online consultation now.”

Check default settings

Often, you’ll find that the ad type you’re creating will have an automated call-to-action button. It’s important to check this to make sure you’re getting the most out of your ad, sharing consistent messaging and following the tips we’ve mentioned. For example: 

  • Google Ads, Responsive Display Ads – Once you’ve created your headline, description, etc., you’ll find a ‘more options’ button. Here, you can choose an appropriate CTA for your ad. The default would be “learn more” which might not correlate with your ad copy.
  • Facebook Ads, Dynamic Ads – The default for Facebook ads is also ‘learn more’ which often doesn’t quite link to the ad. For example, if your ad copy says “Speak to one of our professional plumbers today” but your default button says “learn more’ it doesn’t provide a direct link. You’d benefit more from changing it to or “Call now” or “Contact us”.

Your next steps

It’s essential to have a strong and well-crafted CTA to ensure you’re getting the best results from your PPC ads. The main things to take from this blog are:

  • Organise your CTA’s into similar campaigns.
  • Audit any default settings to create consistent messaging.
  • Match to your audience, keywords and user searches.
  • Always consider user intent.

If you have any questions on how to include an effective call-to-action in your PPC ads or any of your digital marketing campaigns – please get in touch.

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