5 Tips to Writing Killer Ad Copy on Google AdWords

The keys to writing the best ads on Google come down to a few basics. In order to drive more clicks on Google, you want to be able to: 1) grab someone’s attention, 2) give them a reason to click through to your site, and 3) incite them to perform some action (such as buying a product). Writing ad copy is part science, part artistry. You can pick out all the right elements, but putting them all together in one ad is a challenge. I’ve boiled this down to the foundation-level of best practices for writing ads which will be sure to help you improve your click-through rates on Google.

Call To Action (CTAs)

How will people know what you want of them if you do not tell them? Whatever action you want of people reading your ads, ask for it! If you want someone to sign up for a free trial, get 10% off today only, or even as simple as asking customers to “buy now” then you should ask for it. I break CTAs down into 2 parts: the action you want and the call to do it (or timing).

Actions should use strong, active language to prompt a response from customers.

Examples: Sign Up, Subscribe, Order, Buy, Get, Receive, Purchase, Start

The call is related to timing, the when for the action customers should take. Putting a time to an action, not even an immediate one, helps motivate customers to take the plunge.

Examples: Today, Now, Before [insert date], While Supplies Last, Limited Time Only

At any and every point of an ad, you should be talking to your potential customers and let them know what you want them to do.

Unique Selling Advantage

What is it that separates you from other businesses? If your product is truly unique and new then you are ahead of the game. Most likely you are one of many competitors with similar products/services and you need to stand out. Think about the ways in which you offer customers something different or more than others, and then include that in your ads.

Examples: Speed, shipping options, lower cost, and higher quality (has to be proven)

Ad Examples: 24/7 support, Free shipping, 1st month free, 2-day shipping

Even a business with the same product as other companies can stand out if they position their selling points in their ads. Let’s say 2 companies offer free quotes as a selling point for the same service. Company A guarantees delivering a quote within an hour while Company B makes no mention of timing. At this point, you know nothing else about the companies except this selling advantage. Wouldn’t you click on the ad for Company A?

Reviews, Ratings, Accolades

As recently as August 2015, a study on consumer behavior indicated 67% of users are impacted by online reviews when making a purchase (https://moz.com/blog/new-data-reveals-67-of-consumers-are-influenced-by-online-reviews). Any time you garner positive reviews or other accolades it is free fodder for your advertising. The best part about reviews is that Google has a direct way to incorporate these into your ads without taking up any headline or description line space! These are called Review Extensions, and if you have a verifiable review you can include a tidbit from the review and link to it.

In Google AdWords click on ‘Ad Extensions’ and select ‘Review Extensions’ from the drop-down. Then, click on the red +Extension button to add a review/rating. Read through the review and select the best one-liner about your business/offerings. This can be an exact quote from the article or a paraphrased quote. Note that if you choose to paraphrase, you can only use text directly from the article and you cannot actually paraphrase by summarizing it yourself. Choose part of a sentence that is most flattering and use that if an entire sentence from the review does not offer the most bang.

Symbols and Punctuation!

Make sure that any full sentence in your ad ends with the proper punctuation, a period or exclamation mark. Ending a sentence with a period sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many ads look like run-on gobbledygook. In addition, something as simple as including an exclamation mark ‘!’ can help your ad stand out above the blandness surrounding you. My best practice is to end one of you two description lines with an exclamation mark. Note that you cannot do this within your headline as Google will disapprove it, and you cannot use these marks on 2 description lines without being disapproved as well.

The use of symbols, where appropriate, can also increase your chances of standing out. My #1 best practice is to make use of the ® symbol if it applies to your business. This adds authority and credibility to your ads and business. If it makes sense with the content of your ad, look to include other symbols: @, &, #1, $, etc. Just including one of these breaks up the block of text and makes your ad stand out!

Strength in Numbers

My last tip continues with the theme of doing anything we can to break up the wall of text people see when searching on Google. To that end, if you have numbers you should use them! Whether it’s a sale price, % off discount, or important dates they should have a place in your ads. Choose the most impactful numbers(s) you have and set aside one of your description lines specifically for the purposes of incorporating it into the ad.

Examples: 10% off, only $9.99, 2-day shipping, or even numbers of years you’ve been in business

Killer Ad Copy

Using any of these 5 tips for writing ad copy can put you ahead of the competition. Even better, try incorporating a couple of these together in the same ad. You can mention your discount of $20 off and close the ad with ‘Order Now!’ to include THREE different tips with little space taken up in your ad. The goal here is not to be gimmicky, but to simply put your best foot forward. Customers want to know if a sale is happening or why what you have to offer is better than someone else. The key is to put the best information out there upfront in your ads because it is the first opportunity you have to grab their attention. Think of the ad as your elevator pitch. Give your best shot on the 1st impression.

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Chris LaFay

Chris's goal in life is to conduct connection and bring heart to every interaction in life. He puts humans above to-dos. He consistently brings the band back together, leveraging long-term relationships across a swathe of experience to empower career transitions, life event pivots, and, ultimately, an incredibly versatile, flexible, and creative team for his clients.