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3 Ways to Reduce Cognitive Loading for Paid Search Marketing

Jeremy Frazier  |  March 27, 2017

As more people use their smartphones to find information on the go, paid search marketers know that to be successful they must create ad copy that is quick, straightforward, and easy to understand. But how can you convey the ad message to your targeted audience clearly and make it memorable? Easy! Help improve your message delivery by reducing cognitive loading for your readers.

What is cognitive loading?

Cognitive loading refers to the total amount of mental effort used in working memory. When ad copy is created, the information presented should be essential to the advertiser's product, and the message should resonate with the user.

Read on to learn three ways to reduce cognitive loading throughout your digital marketing efforts that can help improve user experience and increase the chances for higher ROI.

1. Reduce overstimulation

When working with advertisers, we always recommend having a mobile - friendly website with a clear sense of purpose, concise messaging and easy navigation. According to Ruby Spencer at Instructional Design, "The goal of eLearning is to educate the audience, not entertain them." This philosophy of removing non-relevant items can be applied both to creating an effective website and crafting ad copy. When creating the messaging for your product, be sure that the call-to-action is something the consumer will remember about the product. Our CRO team can also help provide expert recommendations to improve user experience and reduce overstimulation.  

2. Keep ad copy simple

When Google rolled out expandable text ads last year, it was met with mixed reactions. We encourage our clients to take advantage of the real estate on the search engine results page, but we also want to ensure our client's ad copy is memorable and effective.  

Tip: Avoid cluttering your ad copy just for the sake of using available character limits. Here is an example below:

3. Use existing mental models

Andrew Goodman from Search Engine Land writes, "UX experts tell us to build on existing mental models" to help avoid being punished by Google's quality score system. Be clear and concise with what your product is and how you guide users from the call-to-action on the ad copy through the checkout or contact us process.

Simpler for your customer, better for your brand success

Reducing excessive thinking can create an overall better experience for the user while improving chances of a higher ROI. The ad copy you create is in many instances the first contact you have with some of your customers online. And with competition continuing to rise, shouldn't making the most of your brand's first impression with improved ad copy be one of your top goals?


Jeremy Frazier

Jeremy Frazier

Search Engine Marketing Specialist

Born and raised in Louisiana, Jeremy comes to Vertical Nerve with over five-plus years in paid search advertising.When he's not pondering and/or flabbergasted by what he sees in the search query reports, Jeremy enjoys trance music, cupcakes and working out -- sometimes all at the same time.

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