Composing text ads in AdWords is easy.

Composing good text ads in AdWords is not. 


Creating compelling text ads means cramming psychology, copywriting, and advertising into 3 lines with character limits, context guidelines, and relevancy scores and pairing it with a winning bid strategy in hopes of a click.  

So what makes a good text ad…good?

Recently I talked about the extensions that AdWords provides to help encourage potential customers to interact with advertiser’s ads.  In this post, I’ll look at a handful of psychological motivators and copywriting strategies which I’ve observed as helpful to increase our clients CTR’s and conversion rates.

The Bases

Three fundamental bases I try to cover when composing text ads could be broken down as follows:

Specificity: How specifically your ad refers to a product, service, or function of your business designated by the keyword or keywords the ads represent.   

Relevance: – How relevant is your ad is to the keywords that they are intended to represent?  

Timeliness/Recency: – Does your ad communicate urgency? Does it represent the latest pricing/promotion/activity of your business? Or is it dead bait?

Google rewards AdWords users who make an effort to publish specific, relevant, and timely ads with a higher quality score and a subsequently lower CPA.  Along with this, here’s 7 other ways to ensure that your text ads are designed to inspire action.


1) Emphasize the Benefits

Consider this ad that appeared when I searched “Acne Treatment”

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 3.18.11 PM

 Notice the ad mirrors the searcher’s end goal as well emphasizing the benefit of their acne-specific product offering.


2) Be Specific

Specificity implies transparency.  The more specific your ads are, the more believable they are to the potential customer. Notice this ad for carpet cleaning, which was in the #1 position:


Notice how the ad includes the exact cost of the service and advertises that closets are included. Potential customers know what to expect up front.  Speaking of price..


3) Sell On Value, Not Price.

Let’s be honest – who is really going to believe something offered at 80% off?  Besides, if a potential customer doesn’t know the actual cost of something they are buying, what good does it do to offer an 80% discount?

Consider these two ads:


Notice how the ad in the #1 position emphasizes value with “100% natural bamboo” with  “polarized lenses” and free shipping over $99.  The second ad offers a huge discount, but that doesn’t actually help me understand the value of what I might be buying.


4) The Visual Aspect

Including symbols like @, #, ™, and helps ads to stand out.  Additionally, adding punctuation into the second line of the ad places it alongside the headline:


5) Make It About Them

Everyone has a “me” bias, and potential buyers want to know what’s in it for them.  Focusing on how your product or service fulfills their needs or wants will help mitigate the decision-making process.

The copy in this Arm & Hammer ad is more about the benefits of cleaning teeth than it is about selling toothpaste



6) Be Timely

Having timely ad copy inspires both confidence and action in potential customers.  Having a end-dated promotion, for example,  communicates to potential customers that your company is actively offering sales and staying current with both promotions and ads.  


7) Use Ad Extensions

As mentioned in last week’s blog, Google allows AdWords users to add extensions which can help to serve all of the previous items on this list.  Extensions, for example, can be used for ratings, contact information, deals, product details, and more.  Many of these extensions enable users to include additional keyword placements.


Linen Ad


This is a great example of a well-written text ad. Notice the keywords (linen sheets) in the headline.  Notice the specific pricing and sizes, as well as the sitelinks extensions and telephone number.


Utilizing specific, timely, and relevant ad copy and a focused bidding strategy will ensure that ads will be consistently well placed and well received.


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