AdWords ad copy will impact how successful the AdWords campaign is. In the long term, good copy, coupled with other AdWords best practices, can lower cost-per-click metrics and help your ad rank above those of competitors. Most importantly, ad copy helps attract clicks on your ad and traffic to your website.
However, writing an effective ad can be challenging because of the strict character limits imposed by Google. Here are eight easy ways to help you along the way:
1- Choose a descriptive headline
It’s tempting to put the business name in the headline, but it’s far more effective to use a descriptive phrase that accurately describes your business. “Trusted Local Plumbers” is a better choice than “McCann’s plumbing” because it tells the reader more about the nature of the business; ultimately this is more important than the business name.
The key here is to think about the phrases your target customers would type into Google to find you. Google will bold the words in the ad that match the search phrase. With a strong headline, the customer can immediately decide this business is the one they are looking for and navigate to the website for more information.
2- Use ad extensions
Google offers a plethora of different ad extensions, all of which can add value to an ad. Sitelink extensions, for example, provide information about other complementary products/services that the business offers (example shown below). Phone extensions on the other hand can highlight the “local” aspect as well as making key information easy to find.
Set up all extensions which are applicable to your website and business. Ad extensions make the ad larger on the page in addition to providing additional information and giving viewers more reason to choose your website over a competitor’s.
3- Highlight promotions and offers
Including promotions in AdWords ads is another effective way to stand out. “70% Off this Xmas” or “- Now 50% Off” for example, not only highlight a sale, but the special characters (numbers and symbols) catch the eye and set an ad apart from other text-only ads.
If you aren’t running a site-wide sale but wish to insert a sales code, something like “Use Code XMAS to get ½ Off Now!” can be effective to bring traffic to your website. Keep in mind that there is a character limit and therefore the sales code should be short and memorable.
4- Insert a call to action
Inserting calls to action isn’t a new concept, but it’s an important one. Let potential customers know what action you want them to take with phrases like “Call Now”, “Order Today!”, or “Get a Quote”. Again, because of the character limit, you want to keep these brief and to the point. The call to action is important in setting the expectation for potential customers coming to your website, so make sure you choose the right one!
5- Choose the best landing page
The landing page is where customers will arrive on your website when they click on the ad. This can be controlled and changed by updating the “Destination URL” parameter in the ad. If someone has clicked on an ad, they are looking for the specific service mentioned in that ad. If a potential customer has to navigate around a website to find what they want, it delays the process of completing the transaction.
Therefore, always link to the most relevant page of your website. If you are a cleaning company and the ad is for office cleaning, don’t link to your homepage, instead link to the specific office cleaning page within you website.
6- Take advantage of the Display URL
Users often forget that the display URL is another opportunity to reassure viewers that they will find what they are looking for on your site. This is especially important if the website URL is generic and doesn’t indicate what the business does.
For example, if the ad is for designer necklaces, example.com/necklaces is more effective than simply using example.com. Remember that any words inside your ad that match the search term will be bolded and are more likely to catch potential customers’ eyes.
7- Keep it Simple
Because of the character limit, you need to get straight to the point. Avoid unnecessary words and don’t worry about writing in full sentences. Choose a few select points you wish to make and rank them in importance, because chances are, you’ll run out of characters.
Replace the word “and” with “&” or “+” to help cut down the number of character. You’ll likely have to play around with the ad a bit before you get your words in the right order. Once you think you’ve got it finalised, read through it a few more times to ensure it gets the right message across and has a good flow to it.
8- Test your ad copy
Write three different ads for the same product or service and run them at the same time. After a few days/weeks (depending on how busy your campaign is) you will be able to compare the performance statistics to help decide which phrasing or information is performing well for your business. It is best practice to continually monitor ad copy performance and improve upon existing campaigns.