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10 Ad Writing Best Practices You Can't Ignore for AdWords Success

August 29, 2012 by Lucy Leiva Ad Optimization

 
 
 
 

Ad-Copywriting-Best-PracticesYou have your campaign settings, ad groups and keywords ready, and now it’s time to start working on your ads. Writing effective ad copy is one of the most important practices you can undertake as a paid search advertiser.

We must remember that our ads help sell our products or services out in the world of PPC, so it’s important to know what best practices to follow in order to best succeed.

With this in mind, here are some top tips for ad writing:

1) Include the Main Keyword in the Ad’s Headline:

This is a very great point to remember when writing ads. It’s important to have your ad group’s main keyword in the headline in order to increase relevance.

When your main keyword is in the ad and it matches the search query, you will see your keyword in bold confirming the perceived relevance to the original query. The example below best illustrates this point.

As we can see, our search for “vintage sofas”, gives us some ads. Among these, we have a couple that mention our exact search query within the headline:

The more relevant your ad is to the query, the more likely you will attract the right searchers and increase your click-through-rate (CTR).

2) Know Your Audience

Different people have different ways of getting across to others. There are those that respond better to a more formal tone while others will give you their full attention when approaching them in a more colloquial manner.

This is why it’s important to know who your audience is and how they would like to be best addressed. For example, if I know my audience are high school students, my verbiage then has to be very current and “hip” in order to match their way of speaking.

Advertising works best when the audience can really relate to the ad. Just remember to also take into consideration what product/service you’re selling. If you sell something that requires a certain degree of professionalism to carry out, then don’t try to be too funny or colloquial.

3) Make Good Use of your Description Lines

After having won over the audience with a great headline, it’s important to best make use of the description line to showcase what specifically sets you apart from the crowd.

Do you have excellent service, a fast delivery time, a price matching guarantee? If so, be sure to include these great selling points and be creative about it!

As you can see in the examples below, some offer Free Shipping on orders over a certain number of units, overnight shipping, and others describe the actual features of the products they carry.

4) Choose a Relevant Call-to-Action

Our calls-to-action are mostly used at the end of the ads and are used to entice whoever is looking at them in order to trigger a desirable action.

If you are an e-commerce-based company, you will obviously want people to purchase your product online. So, you will choose the classic CTA of Buy Now! However, there are other calls-to-action that you can consider using such as:

    • Request a Free Quote!
    • Call Today!
    • Register Now!
    • Find Out More!
    • Browse our Huge Selection!
Aim to align your calls-to-action with where your prospects find themselves in within the buying funnel. If they’re not ready to buy now, then avoid using this CTA and focus on subtler CTAs such as “Read”, “Get More Info” and “Find Out More”.

5.   Use Exclamation Marks

The exclamation mark has long been used as our grammatical symbol to express alarm, surprise, loud volume or to express urgency.

In the case of AdWords ads however, it’s one of the only visual symbol that we can use to increase the perceived “volume” of our ads’ “voice”. Google seems to know how effective this little symbol is in capturing attention, which is why we are limited to using it just once within the description lines and never within the headline or display URL.

Once this has been taken into consideration, you should choose wisely what part of your ad you want to highlight with the exclamation symbol. Our best recommendation is to utilize this more with the call-to-action in order to incite immediate response.

6.   Squeeze More Text Using Numbers and Abbreviations

PPC copywriters have to learn to be frugal with their wording considering the character limitations they are forced to work with. Learn to use the “and” symbol (&) when appropriate and you will save yourself two full character spaces, which in AdWords… is gold!

Also make use of proper commonplace abbreviations such as SVC for services or Co. for company. I emphasize proper since you will get nowhere if you decide to generate abbreviations for words that only you yourself understand and leaves your audience dazed and confused.

 7. Instead of Writing Out a Number, Use the Number Itself

I’ve never really understood the need to write out a number alphabetically since everyone regardless of the language they speak, understands numeric values.

I apply this same principal to ads as well. Taking into account my imposed character limitations and instead of writing “Fifty Percent Off”, I can easily save character spaces by simply writing “50% Off”.

Writing the numerical value also draws immediate attention to the number and will save your readers valuable time when reading your ad.

The faster your ad can prove interesting the bigger your chances are of getting the final click.

8. Add Dynamic Keyword Insertion When Appropriate

Dynamic keyword insertion is a very helpful tool in increasing ad relevance for ad groups where we have a sort of miscellaneous/random selection of search terms.

The ad group Pink Shoes – Sizes, can have keywords such as:

  • pink shoes size 7
  • pink shoes size 6
By having an ad with the dynamic headline {KeyWord:Pink Shoe Sale}, a searcher that uses the keyword “pink shoes size 6”, will see their search query in the headline of the ad.

However, if the search query does not exactly match any of the precise keywords within our ad groups, we will still see our ad trigger for a “pink shoe” search query, and the ad will be seen as follows:

9. Impeccable Spelling & Grammar

This is a point that’s pretty self-explanatory. However, we still bump into ads with terrible spelling errors and grammar. That being said, let’s always double and triple-check if need be to make sure our ads haven’t got these types of mistakes that just make the ad and the company appear unprofessional.

10. Capitalize Every-Word with the Exception of Articles

This is more for visual purposes, but inter-capitalization has actually proven to be very effective in making ads standout and seem larger in appearance. This can be done except when using the articles “a”, “and” & “the”. Take a look at the following ads and note the differences:

Non-Capitalized Example:


Capitalized:


Best Practices Should Always be Tested

Best practices are great for having quick wins, or making sure that your newly created AdWords campaign isn’t going to flunk immediately after launch due to poor ad creation.

After some time will however need to divert from the regular best practices and find out how they work best for your campaign. Vigorous ad testing every week to find the best ad composition is key to big gains in Google AdWords.

You can have success with AdWords even if you don’t know the details of Quality Score, bid management or even how to pick the perfect keywords. But you will rarely have success with AdWords if you don’t know how to write a good ad.



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