By Syed Balkhi, founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site that helps small businesses start their websites.

Advertising copy that appears at the top of search results has the disadvantage of being quickly scanned and ignored by much of your potential audience. Most people know that the top results from a search include paid ads, and they give it only the briefest attention before moving on. 

Let's look at a few ways to make your ad copy stand out. Use the following as checkpoints to get the best out of your ad campaigns. 

1. Understand your audience and why they're using a keyword.

Adding a relevant keyword in your ad copy mirrors your audience's intention and will catch their eye. Doing your audience research is also important to understand the context in which people are using a keyword. 

Google's free Keyword Planner is great for you to understand how many people are searching for a keyword. It's also good if you want suggestions for related terms. 

It's possible to figure out context by using search engine optimization (SEO) tools. You'll get data on questions people ask, top-ranking pages for keywords, and competitor analysis that will give you an edge. 

Knowing whether your audience wants to buy a camera or learn how to use one will shape your ad copy and the success of your campaign. 

2. Heighten emotions.

The use of emotions is a key ingredient in ad copy today. When you trigger emotions in people, you catch their eye and keep them engaged long enough to consider what you have to offer. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Offer a limited-time discount to create fear of missing out (FOMO).
  • Use power words for different situations. An organization that wants to spread awareness about climate change could work with words like "urgent," "love," or other terms that have a proven impact on people.
  • Numbers in the form of statistics, plus the number of clients you have and other details, create trust--another emotion that will lead to faster conversions.

Work these strategies into your ad headline, and support them with information about the benefits your audience gets from using your product. In this way, you'll leverage emotions to make your ads effective. 

3. Test your copy.

You can create a seemingly perfect ad but still have it give you low click-through rates. It's always important to create several ads so that you can test them. 

Keep track of your ad performance on your advertising dashboard, and try to replicate your ad with minor tweaks to see if you can improve conversion or click-through rates even further.

For example, if you find that an ad beginning with a statistic is giving you good results, then see what happens if you use another statistic or rephrase the same statistic in your copy. Then you'll know whether it's the emotions that the statistic creates, or the specific data you're using that's having an impact.

4. Leverage your competition's ads.

Smart marketing always involves a competitor analysis. And in advertising, it's always a good idea to do a search for the keywords you plan on using to see what competing ads look like. 

While other ads may focus on price, you can highlight security and the low-risk nature of working with your product or business in your ad. Support your experiments by tracking the data and making improvements on what you see. 

We've just covered some helpful ways to make your ad copy more impactful. Refer to this post as a guideline or checklist, and you should be able to craft ad copy that gives you positive results. Always remember to check your ad campaigns and monitor the data you get regularly, and don't be afraid to make tweaks to see how users respond. 

With some care and research, you'll get better click-through rates and conversions from your ads.