Have you ever considered ‘ad relevance’ first before you published an ad? If not, you should. You want to increase the relevance of your ads if you dread a lack of engagement and mediocre conversions. Allow me to explain.

For business owners, ads are like a double-edged sword. Why? Because entrepreneurs like us publish ads regularly, but we’re also oftentimes at the receiving end of advertisements. There’s just one problem. People and business owners alike lack the core understanding of what makes ads work. They don’t know which ads are blunt and won’t affect people and which are sharp enough to penetrate people’s interests.

Enter: Ad relevance. Relevance is the key factor in determining whether or not your ad will captivate its audience and ultimately drive conversions. The question is, what exactly is ad relevance and how do we increase it in our advertising? You’ll discover the answer here today. Keep on reading.

What Makes an Ad Relevant?

Before clarifying what makes an ad relevant, it would be best to first answer ‘what does relevant mean?’

Google says it’s the quality or state of being closely connectedappropriate or pertinent. Ad relevance combines advertising and relevance into a single idea, converging their definitions. That means ad relevance is the appropriateness and pertinence of ads to the needs of the audience they are targeting.

Simply put, the higher the ad relevance, the more likely it is to capture the attention and interest of users. Results-wise, this translates to better click-through rates, higher engagements and increased conversions.

Now, what makes an ad relevant? All advertisements are an explicit proclamation of a company’s products and services. But ad relevance goes beyond that. It is not enough to simply advertise what you have to offer. Relevant ads answer the implicit and often unspoken questions that customers have when seeing your ads: “Will this product help me?” “Why should I buy it?” “Will it make me happier?” “Will it make a difference or will it simply waste my time?”

All of these are unspoken questions we ask every single day, and they all point to one thing: relevance. The same questions extend to your advertising endeavors. Expect your audience to ask the same thing every time they encounter your ads.

Let’s take a look at Google and how it ranks ads and organic search results. Relevance is a key factor that determines an ad’s Google ranking, along with ad quality. Your ad or webpage is considered relevant when it matches the search intent of a user. In other words, when your results hit the bullseye of a query. In this case, your ads respond directly to a person’s underlying felt needs. Unless your ads are relevant to customers’ needs and interests, they will not take the time to engage with them.

Writing advertisements that ooze with ad relevance is not that simple. It takes a mixture of expertise, experience, research and a little bit of magic to come up with relevant ads.

No. 23 Station in a City of 23 Stations

Among all thought leaders in advertising, no one has ever come close to Roy H. Williams in advocating ad relevance more. In one of his Monday Morning Memos, he explained the tale of how his concept of ad relevance was birthed.

Being a college dropout with no financial safety net, he worked two jobs to survive. Roy installed gutters during the day and was an advertising salesman at night. According to him, they were the number 23 station in a city with 23 radio stations. That’s not exactly the ideal position in the rankings. In a city with 1.3 million people, Roy’s radio station had a share of voice of 18 thousand people. They garnered only a measly 1.3 percent but in his mind, that was a lot of people.

It all changed when one day, no ads were played on the station. This concern prompted Roy to ask his boss why that was the case.“You think you could sell some ads?” That’s what his boss asked him in response. Roy didn’t know that this magical question became the tipping point of his successful advertising career.

The first thing he learned as a rookie advertiser? Advertising bores people out of their minds for the same reason we find everything else boring: lack of relevance. When ads gush in ad relevance, customers respond. Otherwise, you may be answering questions that no one in your market really asks.

In practicing the art and science of producing relevant ads, Roy made as much as doctors did at the time. From $3.50 an hour to around $6 thousand a month, all because he found the secret behind ad relevance. It’s not just his earnings that grew, rather, businesses he wrote ads for blew up and made fortunes. As people heard more about his feats, businesses went to the station seeking his wisdom. Not to inquire how many listeners they had.

Entrepreneurs knew Roy’s ads worked, so they came bearing one question in mind: “How much does an ad space cost?” Right now, you’re reading this article and I’m guessing one curiosity permeates your existence. “What is the secret behind a relevant ad?” That’s what we’ll tackle next.

The Secret To an Effectively Working Ad

First, you should know by now that you are a business because there’s a problem you’re trying to solve. For HVAC contractors, they intend to solve the need for cooling or heating in a household. Plumbers, on the other hand, will turn your leaky pipes and clogged drains into perfectly working water fixtures.

There is always a problem. People encounter these problems every now and then. When they experience this problem and your relevant ad is playing on the radio or TV, you win the sale. So, always craft your ads from that perspective. Also bear in mind that there are layers on top of these immediate problems they’re experiencing.

For one, customers also have underlying felt needs that fall into either moneyenergy, and time. Your customer’s pain points and pleasure points will often be latched onto these three aspects. One common mistake I noticed that businesses use is rampant discounting of prices to win the public’s interest. A noble gesture but a dumb approach. Thoughtless discounting is dangerous because it doesn’t make your solution any better than others. If anything, it shows insecurity, unless you do it with a strategy in mind.

In the words of Roy H. Williams: “A turd at 50% off is still a turd.” To soothe customer pain points and satisfy their pleasure points, look into how you can meet their underlying felt needs. For instance:

  • Money – demonstrate how much more value they will be getting from choosing your solutions
  • Energy – articulate how much less of a hassle it is to work with your business
  • Time – explain how you’ll complete the service or deliver the product in the least time possible

When you hit the right notes, your ad relevance abounds and it becomes your sale to lose. Finally, great ad writers do not operate on the inside of your business. The only way they can leverage ad relevance is when they are external. Great ad writers co-exist with the people outside of your business. They have lived experiences of the same pain and are looking into what your business can offer as a remedy. Great ad writers don’t advocate for your business, they advocate for people through your business.

Hiring these ad writers gives your company the advantage it needs. Because when you know the word on the street, ad relevance becomes second nature.

Ad Relevance and the Current Business Climate

The current business climate is more competitive and aggressive than ever before. People are far keener on businesses they work with. Furthermore, businesses are stepping their game up when it comes to marketing and advertising. In other words, you don’t exactly have your work cut out for you.

Here’s the thing. Ad relevance can ensure that your advertising endeavors stand out in a Sea of Sameness. We all know that, but there’s just one problem.**World-class ads will never mask mediocre solutions.**In this current business climate, what you advertise should always coincide with what you actually have to offer. Otherwise, granted you may win the battle but ultimately lose the war. Why? Because even if your ad sells, you will produce an unsatisfied and angry mob that feels cheated by your services.

Ad relevance matters, but this comes secondary to having relevant solutions in the first place. Roy H. Williams was once belligerently approached by an entrepreneur to write magic words to sell some bullshit offer. In response, per Roy’s story, he hocked a loogie and spat the wad of saliva on the man’s shoes. Hypothetical or not, the man was rude so he returned the favor.

But if we look closely, underneath the tense exchange, you can’t just sell crap with good advertising. It will ruin your business and breed an angry mob. Again, relevant ad + relevant solution = gold.

If you’re looking for an expert to write advertisements gushing in ad relevance, I can help you out. Book a call with Ryan Chute from Wizard of Ads® and we’ll get you hooked up.