Writing ad copy for a Google Ads (AdWords) campaign can be tedious and expensive. How do you know what ads people click on? What are their titles, and how do you adjust them for seasonal trends?

In this video you’ll learn how to use SpyFu to find & emulate top ranking PPC ad copy for keywords in your industry. We'll go over the things that you should look for and be inspired by to help build your ads, so you don't have to deal with the painful trial and error period on your own.

Previous video about finding strong PPC keywords in your niche: https://youtu.be/Fj-suWr25Cw

Step 1:
Enter in your competitor into the main search box in SpyFu - https://www.spyfu.com/

Step 2:
Go to the Ad History section of PPC Research - https://www.spyfu.com/ppc/ad-history

Step 3:
Scroll through the different ads represented by the colored boxes. Observe what titles and base ad copy they're using and how they relate (or don't relate) to the corresponding keyword.

Note: You can even use the filtering in the keyword list if you already had some keywords in mind, and just wanted to find the best ads surrounding them.

Step 4:
Take a look at how they change their copy over time. Try and identify if the changes in copy were because of seasonal trends - if not, it's quite possible that they changed the ad because it wasn't returning the clicks they wanted.

Step 5:
Possibly check out additional competitors, compare and contrast techniques and figure out what works best for your site!

Video Script:

Hi this is Patrick with SpyFu.com, today we’re going to learn how to discover successful PPC  ad  copy in your niche using SpyFu.


Writing PPC ad copy can be a frustrating and expensive uphill battle. Even when you have good keywords, finding the right copy that will actually get your ad clicked can drain your budget real quick.

SpyFu allows you to circumvent this part by guiding you straight to the ads that your biggest competitors have already put to the test. I’m going to keep with the example we used from the last video about finding PPC keywords.

If you would like to watch that video first, the link is in the description below.

Let’s type in REI.com into this search field.

This will bring us to the domain overview which covers a top level view of their SEO and PPC campaigns. Since we’re wanting to check out PPC ads today, let’s hover over the PPC Research section, and click on Ad History.

Ad history has the complete record of every ad SpyFu has seen this domain advertise on. In REI’s case, you have the ability to scroll back for the full 13 plus years that we’ve been tracking them.

Odds are you’re going to want to want to filter out these ads, in order to focus on a specific group of keywords.

I’m going to type the word “camping” into the filter box right here and see what pops up.

REI has plenty of ads based around different kinds of camping keywords. At first all of these different boxes and colors might seem overwhelming and complicated but it’s really quite simple:

The boxes represent an actual ad that we saw REI run for the month that we show up here. The different colors don’t represent the quality of the ad - green doesn’t mean good, and red doesn’t mean badef

So when we click on the box representing the ad for “REI Camping Tents”, we can see at a glance that they rand the same ad from December until March, and then changed it in April.

Sometimes that change is dramatic, which usually means what they were originally going for wasn’t working for them and they went back to the drawing board to test something totally different.

Sometimes, like in this case it’s a very small subtle change.

This generally means that the core of the ad WAS effective, and they’re just making some small tweaks. They might even be simply adding some geo-targeting to the ad.

One of my favorites for REI is the top keyword, “Camping Trips.” Because even though a person might be typing that specific keyword into Google, what REI is learning is that what they really want is Glamping Trips,

Which is basically when you say your going camping and instead stay at some kind of cabin or hotel. So they are experimenting with different copy based around that title.

REI is getting a consistently good ad position when they bid on this keyword, and you can assume that it’s working because they’ve been sticking to their Glamping titles for a while.

These are the kinds of insights that you may not have considered. When you focus a keyword around camping trips, you might have a persona in mind of someone who might search for it.

(maybe use a picture of my dad wielding an ax)

When the actual majority of searchers are closer to this:

...that’s me. Glamping rules.

When looking at your competitors who have had the time and resources to play around with this, these unique perspectives become more clear.

This also is incredibly helpful when you’re looking at different seasonal trends. Do they consistently change ads for certain terms around Christmas or Father’s Day? Do they stop running certain ads during the winter, only to have them pop back up in the spring.

This ad timeline can help you find those patterns, and gaps.

Some people prefer not to look through the boxes, and for them we have this top ads section on the right side of the page. This information still matches up with the timeline on the left, as we can see if we choose to un-highlight everything, and then re-highlight just one certain ad copy.

We call these Top Ads, because REI’s most dominant messages float to the top of this list. It’s automatically default sorted from most frequently used at the top, down to least frequently used at the bottom.

It’s not just the copy for a single keyword, it’s the most they’ve used across this entire ad line up. When we erase the “camping” filter the top ad changes, covering their whole campaign.

But both the ad timeline and the Top Ads are based around the same idea and execution. You should look at what they’re writing in their ads, and check out how often they use and change them. Do this for multiple competitors and see which copy works best for your site.

The goal isn’t to necessarily copy and paste these ads, though you can totally do that if you wanted to. But instead to find the ads that work best and adapt them for your site. Basically to quickly jump past the expensive and aggravating trial and error period and have the best of the best at your fingertips before you even spend a dime on an adwords campaign.

As always, thank you for watching.