Best practices for managing paid search campaigns are full of commonly held assumptions, many of which are more myth than fact—especially when it comes to SEM ad copy. This Myth Busters series tackles these misconceptions one blog post at a time. In this installment, we dispel the myth that ad copy is a ‘set it and forget it’ item on a marketer’s to-do list.

The myth

Ad copy doesn’t need to be updated frequently.

The reality

Thinking that ad copy doesn’t need to be updated often is detrimental to achieving successful SEM campaign performance. Much like keywords, SEM ads need attention regularly. Refreshing creative and testing frequently are required to extract the highest performance from your campaigns. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Consumer behavior changes. “Free shipping” might have differentiated your brand before Amazon Prime came into the picture. But today, it’s worth re-testing whether or not that messaging is still compelling.
  • Ad rotation settings won’t fix under-performing copy. Networks like Google and Bing base ad serving decisions on CTR, which isn’t necessarily correlated to revenue. This can be problematic for direct response advertisers who want to drive conversion rate improvements.
  • Outdated offerings make a bad first impression. As a consumer, it’s frustrating to see a “30% off” ad only to land on a page that touts 20% off. Failing to keep SEM ads up-to-date is not just a bad user experience, it leads to lower conversion rates and eats away at brand credibility.

The opportunity

Continually testing and updating SEM ad copy helps advertisers to optimize to the KPIs that matter, deliver a superior customer experience, and improve performance. Each time new, winning copy is identified, it not only creates a lift between the old and new ads, it increases the entire baseline.

Where to go from here

Maintain a promotional calendar and schedule regular copy updates and audits for outdated messaging. Prioritize testing in high-volume ad groups with under-performing ads. Remember to pause the losing ads. When writing new ads, consider going out on a limb occasionally to test radically new ways of messaging.

You wouldn’t build a list of keywords and then stop optimizing and expanding it. Why would you write ads and then stop improving them?


 About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.

The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.