20 Ad Copy Tips | Search Scientists

Day 17 of 100 Day of AdWords Help: 20 Ad Copy Tips

Last time, I wrote about three general ways to create better AdWords ad copy by A/B testing for conversions, standing out from the crowd with your USP, and focusing on features and benefits.

Today, I’m going to deliver technical, rapid-fire tips to improve your ad copy, curated over the past few years of my PPC Career. Let’s jump in.

20 Ad Copy Tips

1. Put a period at the end of your first description line 1. This improves your top 3 position esthetics. Consider this ad…

period at end of description line 1
This ad has a period at the end of description line one.

…vs. this ad:

no period at end of description line one
This doesn’t have a period at the end of line one.

2. Include price in your ad to prevent searchers not willing to buy at your selling price.

3. Don’t use DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion) unless you have 1,000’s of products.

4. Always be Testing. Never launch an ad group with just one ad. Even a change in something as simple a display URL can lead to changes in performance. In larger ad groups with 1,000’s of impressions a week, run A/B/C tests.

5. When A/B Testing, you can go iterative or evolutionary. Iterative means a small tiny change. Evolutionary is creating a brand new ad that is entirely different. When I start writing ads, I try to create several  very different evolutionary versions until I find one that sticks, and then go down the iterative route.

6. When possible, evoke emotion. Make people feel beautiful, as well as look beautiful. There are a few core human desires. More money, more time, more power, more beauty, more attention and more health are a few of them. Touch on these – Welcome to copywriting.

7. Make sure your ads reflect not only the keywords you are bidding on, but also the search queries you appear for. There is a difference.

8. Follow editorial guidelines set forth by Google.

  • Be clear in your ad copy.
  • Relevant to the search being made.
  • Relevant to the landing page the user will be taken to.
  • You can’t make claims without backing them up (best, #1, etc) should be verified on your landing page. If you’re selling a supplement, there are only a few Google Approved places that will allow you to make claims.
  • Create a landing page that is useful without the user needing to take any action. The days of one headline and one opt-in box are long gone for AdWords.
  • Don’t have typos or grammar errors.
  • No excessive punctuation. Exclamation marks can only go in the second description line.

 9. Using special symbols can help you stand out. Things like TM, numbers, or registered trademark symbols can be helpful.

10. Are you the official site? Words like “official” or “home page” go a long way in building trust even before they visit your site.

11. Include a CTA (Call to Action). Let people know that by clicking on your ad, they’ll be one step closer to their desired outcome if they take the next step.

12. Having trouble? Get formulaic. Try this:

  • Engaging Headline (For example, the search query, benefit, or something relatable to the searcher)
  • Benefit or Feature
  • Feature or Benefit
  • Display URL

13. Speaking of, optimize your Display URL. Take a look at these two ads below. The Display URL in the bottom ad lets us slide in a sale without taking up any room from our description lines or headlines.

optimize display url
The Display URL is a chance to boost your performance.

14. Include testimonials. Be sure to include them on the landing page for consistency.

15. Highlight troubles or hesitations in your customer’s words.

16. Specify mobile ads by checking device preference. Including terms like “call” is a surefire way to increase CTR on mobile.

how to create mobile preferred ads
Since 2013, you can specify mobile ads with enhanced campaigns.

17. Pay attention to the quality score. Make sure your ads look relevant to the keywords in your ad group.

18. Use an A/B tester to determine if your results from your A/B tests are statistically significant. One of my favorites is from KissMetrics

A/B Testing results
When you test, aim for significance.

19. Ad Settings: If you have time to optimize, rotate evenly. This will allow you to make human-based decisions. If you have less time, optimize for clicks or conversions. If you get over 15 conversions per month per ad group, then optimize for conversions. Otherwise, optimize for clicks.

Adwords ad rotation settings
Ad Rotation Settings in AdWords

20. When in doubt, test it out. If you are unhappy with your results – whether it be CTR, or Conversion Rate, or Quality Scores – the only way to improve is to take the time and test. Inside our Asana Board, we’ll schedule times to optimize ad copy. For higher volume (impressions) clients, we may optimize ad copy on a weekly basis. For lower volume accounts, we’ll optimize ad copy every month or so.

What are some of your favorite AdWords Ad Copy tips? Add them in the comments below.

This post is part of a series: ‘100 Days of AdWords Help

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Michael Erickson

Emailing my clients and telling them I helped increase their return on ad spend by 300% never gets old. I love rising above the technical jargon and providing your business with online marketing momentum to reach new heights. Enthusiast for all things science, surfing, and Search Scientists.

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