by Garry Viner on May 31, 2018 | Google Ads

  1. Don’t Be A Sheep

Be creative with your AdWords campaigns. Here's an example from a search for "best medical negligence lawyers Sydney". The first three ads feature the same bland copy that you might expect to see- nothing that really differentiates each business from its competitors. Words like 'Experienced' or 'Leading' and a list of features or benefits. But the fourth really stands out. It gets straight to the point by addressing the key needs of the target persona.

paid search examples

  1. Engage With Prospective Users From The Get-Go

How often do we see ad copy that is little more than the brand name of a business and then a few features or benefits? It's quick and easy to write this kind of ad and allows the writer to simply say what their product or service does that their competitors do not. But the best ads are those that result in an emotional response, and this approach is not likely to achieve this.

  1. Focus On Transformative Effect, Not Features

Generally, the best way to create an ad that works emotionally is to focus less on Unique Selling Propositions (USPs), and more on the transformative effect of the product or service that you are offering. By understanding the persona that you are looking to target, what their emotional state may be before they use you, and what it may be after using you, you can craft ad copy that appeals to key emotional drivers such as fear, status or affirmation.

  1. Use Pronouns

Another tip for writing copy that connects with your audience is to use pronouns, which forces you to write for your audience. Compare the different click-through-rates (CTR)s on the two ads below.

search pronoun examples

As impressive as the example above is, the second-person pronouns “You” and “Your” are even more effective. It’s important that your ad copy speaks to your customer.

  1. Use Punctuation. It increases CTR.

Ads that include punctuation such as exclamation marks, numbers and Call-to-Actions (CTAs) such as Get/Buy/Discover have also been shown to have positive effects on CTRs.

  1. Consider the Relationship between CTR and QS

If you are able to increase the CTR of an ad, you will increase the ad's Quality Score (QS),  all things being equal. This is a number out of 10 that measures "how good" a keyword is, and for a healthy account you would want the majority of your keywords to have a QS of 8 or over.  The reason a high QS is important is that it has a direct effect on how much you need to bid for clicks on your ad. If your QS improves by 20%, then you can reduce your maximum bid by the same 20% and your ad rank will be unchanged. Thus the more people click on your ad, the cheaper those clicks end up being. Alternatively, you can leave your bids unchanged and see your average ad position increase.  If you spend time creating ads, you want them to be seen as much as possible, right?

  1. Tie Ads To The Search Term

Another contributing factor to QS is Ad Relevance, which measures how closely your ad matches the intent of the searcher. When they search for "cheap blue shoes", those ads that are most attractive are those that specifically refer to cheap blue shoes. If your ads refer to "shoes", or "blue shoes", and are competing with ads that mention "cheap blue shoes", your ad will appear less relevant. Ideally, to ensure that your ad is considered relevant by Google, you should try to include in your ad copy the keywords that you are targeting in that ad group. If there are too many keywords to fit in an ad, perhaps you should consider breaking up your ad group into smaller ads with more related keywords.

The good news in this is that you are not limited to simply the headlines and description. The URL is also a good place to add keywords. In AdWords, you are allowed to include two words as part of the display URL, and these should be used for keywords to increase your ad relevancy. You can also use extensions to get your message across.

It's amazing how often I see the same ads copied across multiple ad groups with no variation. The whole point of ad groups is to separate keywords that are thematically different and write highly specialized copy for those particular keywords. If you are not doing this, you might as well just have one big ad group in your campaigns.

  1. Dominate SERP Real Estate  

Another good tip is to try to take up as much screen real estate as possible. The more of the screen you are able to take-up, the less is available to your competitors, and this is even more so on mobile devices. You can make your ad as big as possible by doing the following:

  • Use as many characters as you are allowed. This means that if a headline offers you 30 characters, try to take up that space.
  • Use as many extensions as you can. Site Links, in particular, allow you to take up space, but a word of warning. Don't put in site links that take the user to a page that is not optimized. If this is the situation you find yourself in, a better solution is to create site links that use the same landing pages as the ads themselves. There is no limit on how many times you link back to the same landing page. The advantage of site links is that first of all, they appear in a different colour and so stand out, and also that they can be accompanied by descriptions, thus taking up further space. Ideally, you would create a mixture of site links with and without descriptions, so that in any auction, Google can determine which ones to show based on how much space is available.
  • As well as Site Links, Structured Snippets and Callouts are common extensions that can be used to ensure your ad is as prominent as possible.

Here are some ads for "insurance sydney". You can see that the ad in position 1 takes advantage of the space taken by site links with associated descriptions. But they could be doing a better job with their other extensions. The ad in position 2 uses callouts, structured snippets and site links to take up space. If ad number 1 had included these as well, they would really dominate the page.

extended search ad example

Note that ads 3 and 4 above have barely any extensions at all. This may not be because these have not been created, but because Google determines in any auction which site links to display and ads that have low ad rank do not often get their extensions shown. Make sure that your bids and QS are sufficient to get your ads in position 1 or 2 for high-value keywords, or you might as well not bother creating any extensions at all.

  1. Write Different Ads Depending On Your Targeting

In some cases, there are other factors you might want to take into account when writing your ad copy, including

Is this a branded campaign? If so, your ads will be displayed in front of people that are actively seeking out your services. These users already know about you, and you should expect a high click-through rate. However more than likely, your competitors will also be bidding on your brand, and so you will want to reinforce your searchers' interest in you by adding exclusive differentiators like a trademark sign (™)  or the words "Offical Site". Additional trust signals are also useful in this context, such as "The Name You Trust", "Trusted By ###", "Served Over ### Clients/Customers", "### Happy Customers", "### Years Of Experience"

Is this a remarketing campaign? In this case, you have created ads to appear in front of users who have already visited your website. Rather than simply showing the same ads as you show to less-qualified searchers, let them know that you recognize them, with copy such as "Still Looking For ###?". If you a running an ecommerce campaign, this is also a good time to feature discounts and promotions in your ad copy.


In summary, writing good ad copy for your AdWords account can be challenging.  Like all ad copy, it needs to be engaging and grab the attention of searchers. And when you have to do this using only a limited number of characters, the challenge can become overwhelming. However, the above tips should hopefully get you on the way towards writing ads that stand out from the competition.

Are YOU struggling to see results with your AdWords campaigns? Don't hesitate, get in contact with us today and one of our AdWords specialists will get back to you within 1 business day!

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