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In SEO there's a saying: write for humans, not search engines. But it's a little different in PPC. 

In PPC, write for the limbic system, not humans. 

The limbic system is the region of the brain responsible for motivation, behavior, attention and most importantly, emotion.

We don't care about the rational human in PPC. He gets overridden by his emotional counterpart. 


Appealing to emotions requires understanding desires, being explicit, stating tangible benefits, using power words, using urgency and building trust. 

We'll take you through some examples of each. 

So let's talk about how to execute on it and actually improve your CTR.

Use Compelling Numbers and Stats 

Numbers alone mean nothing.

Choosing the most compelling numbers makes the difference. Compare the two ads below.


Notice how compelling the first ad is. It provides the limbic system with something people desire. It may not be an exciting consumer product, but this ad offers professional audiences the success they aspire for.

Who says B2B can't be intriguing? 

When writing a headline, ask this question: can I provide a benefit my target audience aspires to? Can I use numbers to make it tangible and specific?

Use A Recognizable Name Brand 

A tactic for describing something, or someone, quickly is to compare them to a recognizable person. Like so: he was as lanky as Abe Lincoln.

This captures more attention than saying, he was tall. 

In PPC you can use a recognizeable name brand to capture attention, too. See below. 


Notice how the second ad is much more click worthy because it uses both compelling numbers and brand name attachment. 

Here's another example for business intelligence software. 


This ad provides third party content and useful information for b2b researchers using the recognizable Gartner name brand.

For companies who do not have the notoriety of big name brands, using name brands offers a strong set of benefits. It can evoke trust, acclaim and prominence.

These are emotion based senses, so always remember the limbic system. 

Use Prestige  

In a competitive landscape you need to use your prestige to evoke a sense of awe, respect and admiration.

Ok, that sounds like a large order for a PPC ad, but compare the following higher education examples.


The top example uses accolades and prestige. 

For PPC copywriting, power words work well, e.g. Ranked, Globally, Top, and Highly. 

And the use of numbers positions the institution as globally competitive. 

If you had to choose...

Which copywriter would you hire? 

Gain Trust In Your PPC Copywriting

In B2B where products and services are more expensive and involve multiple stakeholders, there is one stakeholder you should write for: the researcher comparing your product, studying costs and requirements.

This stakeholder needs trustworthy information.

Take a look at how marketing automation platform, Marketo, does it. They speak directly to the researcher, providing the content researchers want. 

Notice how this PPC ad is about marketing automation and not about feature/benefits or the brand itself. Notice the action words "learn" "download" and "compare." These are actions that will resonate with researchers. 


The researcher is an important stakeholder responsible for discovering and recommending your product, and millenials now make up the major majority of researchers

Here's another example of business intelligence software. Notice the powerful word choice in "Top Ranked" and "Top Expert."


While this doesn't automatically lend you credibility -- your content will -- it matches the information your researcher is looking for.  

FAQ's, product comparisons and product reviews are content researchers want. So make it sound enticing in your adwords copywriting. 

That's All

All the above examples create an emotional effect.

Approach your PPC copywriting with the goal of creating a sense of trust, renown, and excitement. Start by understanding what your audience wants, then develop the respective content. 

If you're thinking you can just outbid or improve your quality score, consider this: increasing your CTR means you'll pay less for clicks, or pay the same amount and get more clicks (everything else held constant).

So why not nail your headline writing?

Guess what you do with the cost savings? Invest more than your competition can afford to.