Writing Effective Google Ads

So, you have a Google AdWords account. You’ve created your first advertising campaign, put in your keywords and negatives, and you just have to write your ads.

Now what?

Google only gives you two lines, at 35 characters per line, plus a 25-character headline. That’s 95 characters… not much! The sentence you’re reading right now is made up of 77 characters, by itself. Yep, spaces between words count.

With such limited space, you can’t write an essay. You can hardly even write two full sentences, so pick your words carefully, and follow this advice.

  • DO use a call to action; it’s a great way to grab the potential customer’s subconscious. If your ad says ‘buy now’, ‘call today’, ‘email us’, ‘visit our site’ or something similar, people are more likely to follow the instruction. An ad simply describing your product has no draw for its readers – in 95 characters, you won’t be able to make it interesting enough. Just as a quick warning, though: Google doesn’t allow you to use the word ‘click’, so ‘click here’ won’t work. Don’t ask us why Google won’t allow it. They just don’t…
  • DON’T use text-speak or misspell any words. That might be okay for texting your friends, tweeting on Twitter or chatting on instant messenger, but here, it will generate a negative impression. Remember, there’ll be other ads on the same page – and if they’re easier to read, they’ll get the clicks instead of you.
  • DO make use of the humble ampersand. That’s the & symbol, if you didn’t know. It’ll save you a whole two characters in your ad – the word ‘and’ is three characters, and the ampersand only takes up one. That might not seem like a lot, but if you’re trying to fit a six-character word into a four-character space, it makes life easier!
  • DON’T be surprised if certain ads containing brand names get disapproved by Google. Some companies don’t allow their trademarks to be used in ads. You can still put them in your keywords… you just might have to be a little bit less specific in your ad text. Some examples of trademarks that Google doesn’t allow are: iPod, iPad, iPhone, Land Rover, Photoshop, Epson, Burberry, Ralph Lauren… and there are many more. Don’t worry, though – there are a lot of brands that are allowed. Try yours and see!
  • DO capitalise each word of your ad. It’ll be more eye-catching that way.
  • DO write more than one ad per ad group. We recommend using three, all written in different styles. If you have one cheesy ad, one dry and factual one, and one descriptive one, you can gauge which style is likely to draw the most clicks, and rewrite your ads accordingly. See what works for your product or service.
  • DO go short and snappy. Describe what you’re selling using evocative words – ‘stunning’ and ‘stylish’ work well for fashion; ‘mouth-watering’ and ‘delicious’ are good for food; and ‘discreet’ and ‘efficient’ hit the right spot for private investigators, for example. Incorporate words like this into snappy ad format – for example, “Relax With A Cup Of Organic Earl Grey Tea – Buy Online At Our Site!” Here, the evocative words would be ‘relax’ and ‘organic’, which imply that the tea is good for you and also relaxing. Who wouldn’t want that after a stressful day? Click!
  • DO make sure that when people click on your ad, the page they land on is relevant to the ad’s wording. There’s no point in advertising alarm clocks when potential customers will click the ad and end up on a page for grandfather clocks. If you want to advertise both alarm clocks and grandfather clocks, create a different ad group for your grandfather clock keywords, and make sure your ads direct clicks to the right place.
  • DO use Dynamic Keyword Insertion – DKI for short. If you format your ad headers {KeyWord:Insert Product-Relevant Header Here}, when someone views your ads they’ll see their search term in bold at the top of your ad. This increases the likelihood that they’ll click, since it makes your ad more relevant to them.

Trial and error is the key to a successful AdWords campaign. See which of these tactics work the best for you, and adapt your ads accordingly. Good luck!