So you’ve done your keyword research, organized the keywords into relevant ad groups, and have chosen your Campaign’s bidding strategy. Only thing left to do is write your ad copy.
There are many factors that go into a successful ad campaign - ad copy being one of the most important.
If you’re new to Google/Bing Ads, figuring out what to write in your ad copy that’d convince someone to choose your offer over a competitor’s can feel overwhelming.
No matter how much research you do, you’ll never be able to find the perfect formula - but there are some methods you can test to make your ad more irresistible than your competitor’s ads.
Here are different tips and strategies you can use to find the formula that works for you:
1. Write 3 Ads Per AdGroup
Google recommends each ad group to have 3-5 ads running. Depending on how many ad groups you have (for example, if you’re using the SKAG structure, this would mean A LOT of different ads if you write 5 per adgroup) we recommend starting with 3, and add more as you decide what tests to run.
To keep all this ad copy organized and in one place, consider using a Google Sheet or Excel document (Formatted this way, all the information you need is right in front of you. The formula in Column D, =len(“selected cell”), returns the character count of the selected cell, and Column E shows the max character count per Google ad copy guidelines.)
2. Use Keywords Where Possible
Search anything into Google and you’ll see your search terms reflected in either the first or second headline of the ads. Users expect to see their query mirrored in their search results because if they don’t see their search terms there’s no way of knowing whether the page they’ll land on will have any relevance to their search. Parrot back phrases that are similar to their search.
Be as specific to their query as possible. If you’re targeting more broad, short-tailed keywords you can be a bit more general. The more specific and long-tailed your keywords are, the more directly related your ad copy should be.
It’s not only important for the search term to be in the headline, but incorporating it into either Description 1 or 2 is beneficial as well. However, don’t forget that it has to make sense, it’s more important to properly articulate what you’re offering than to place keywords in random places they don’t belong.
It’s also just as important for the keywords to appear on landing page.
3. Put the Most Important Messaging in the Headline
Headline 1 is more important than Headline 2 which is more important than Headline 3. Headlines are the most influential in improving your CTR (remember this when testing new ad copy).
Prioritize your best ad copy by front loading it in Headlines 1 & 2 and in Description 1.
Headline 3 and Description 2 are not guaranteed to be shown and in the case of Mobile Ads, they’re rarely shown.
4. Always Include a Creative CTA
Your ad needs to tell them or give them a clue as to what you want them to do.
There are so many different ways to phrase a Call to Action based on the product or service your ad offers. Find the right one for you and get creative with it.
Don’t be afraid to use the cliche’s if that’s what works for you. Yes, it’s definitely better to stand apart from the crowd and be different, but don’t forget the purpose of the ad itself - to get clicks and conversions.
The CTA can also be used as a way to weed out unqualified leads. If you’re looking for people to join a waitlist you’re saving money on the CPC coming from people looking to purchase right now.
5. Use Numbers in Your Headlines
Highlight your better offers or weed out unqualified leads by naming your service/products price or advertising a sale in your headlines.
Figures and stats have been proven to increase CTR because you’re getting to the point of their search. People already have an idea of how much they want to pay for something they’re searching for.
People tend to trust exact numbers more than rounded numbers.
This is another way to weed out unqualified leads, saving you the CPC. For example, if your offer is for a high-end, expensive product you don’t want to be spending money on clicks from users unable to afford it.
6. Psychological Approaches
Use emotional triggers
The worst thing you can do is write a boring ad. Who wants to click on something boring? Make the user feel something. This is what makes clickbait so effective - people will read something and feel a very strong emotion towards it and click through it. Either write something to provoke a positive emotion, or better yet, make them feel something negative.
Negative emotions create a sense of urgency and that they need your product or service. People are motivated to avoid pain, anxiety, or FOMO. It can be a challenge to balance this reaction with the rest of your messaging because you don’t want their negative emotions to carry over and be associated with your brand. Don’t forget, you don’t want to make people feel manipulated by playing with their emotions.
Positive emotions include hope, happiness, and humor. However, when it comes to humor what you may find funny, might not be another’s cup of tea.
7. Make Things Personal
Make it seem like the user can’t live without your product/service. That their life would be so much easier with it, that they can’t pass up this offer, or that they would be dumb to pass up this offer.
8. Appeal to a User’s Sense of Entitlement
Make the user thinks they’re owed or they deserve your product/service. Play off of the selfishness of your prospects.
9. Emphasize What Makes Your Company Stand Out From Competitors
After your initial offer has been addressed, don’t be repetitive. Use the additional space provided after your offer to enhance it.
Use all the space provided to do so. Make sure you’re taking up as much ad real estate as possible. Increase the power of your ad by packing as much information in it as you can.
10. Don’t Mislead The User
Nobody likes to get tricked!
Make sure the users journey from query, to ad copy, to landing page is consistent. Does the Ad make sense based on a users search query? Does the landing page answer the promise set in the ad copy?
Don’t sell a false bill of goods. A user is likely to hit the back button if they think they’re in the wrong place.
This is important for Quality Score. Higher QS results in lower CPC and higher Ad Rank.
11. Use Ad Extensions
Include as many ad extensions as you can within what makes sense for each campaign. Avoid just using account-wide extensions, write individualized extensions for specific campaigns.
Don’t sacrifice performance for ad real estate. Ad Extension overload can hurt performance. Is Ad Extension Overload Hurting Performance?
Don’t forget the main reason for the ad. Don’t rely on extensions to carry the message of your ad.
12. Create Unique, Keyword Rich Display URLs
Could contain keywords your targeting or you can find a way they can reinforce the messaging of your ads.
13. Dynamic Ad Features
Be careful using DKI - since many competitors are probably bidding on the same keywords and may also using DKI, your ad may be lost in a sea of ads that say exactly the same thing. It’s best used if your campaign structure isn’t strongly segmented (which is not recommended).
Use countdown timers to trigger loss aversion - inject a little FOMO. Pay attention to time zones to be sure the offer isn’t ending too early or running too late.
IF Function - this text is triggered in 2 different ways which must be specified.
Specified by Device - text changes based on the device being used (mobile vs desktop - Free Shipping on Mobile Orders vs Buy Now)
Specified by Audience - text changes based on the audience the user belongs to (ie. cart abandoners - offering discount)
14. Address The Audience - Don’t Forget You’re Talking to People
Use “Power Words” in your ad copy (ex. “You”). Create a friendly and helpful relationship with customers right off the bat.
20 Power Words That Will Electrify Your Online Advertising
Do a gut check: Ask yourself if this is something you’d click on. Does it sound appealing?
Each time someone searches something, they are telling you what they want, your job is to give them the answers they’re looking for. Show users that you understand their problems and that you can fix them.
15. Know what your target audience wants and provide a solution to their problem or answer the question they’re asking.
Don’t waste precious headline space for something you and the visitor already know - be the solution.
16. Focus On The Benefits
Nobody cares about how great your company is. Focus on how you will be helping them.
Remove Objections by responding to them in your ad copy. Brainstorm what kind of objections someone would have about click your ad address it.
Two of the most common objections are how much it’ll cost and how much of a hassle it would be. These questions are the factor that could influence someone’s decision between you and a competitor.
17. Go Local
Create Geographic specific ads with the location in the ad copy. Users naturally trust their surroundings more, so if they see an offer that is speaking directly to them and it’s local, they’re going to trust your offer more.
18. Keep Your Ads Current
I.e. How many customers you’ve serviced this month or this year
If you’re listing statistics they need to be up to date.
19. Don’t Pause Old Ads Right Away
After you’ve written your new ads using some of these tips, don’t pause your old ads right away!
20. Frequently Split Test
Split testing is a cornerstone of optimizing your ads. Make a schedule and stick to it!
21-30. Different Ways to Split Test:
1. Write a new Headline
2. Change the wording of your CTA
3. Different numbers or statistics. Different ways of saying stats (ie. using symbols or not, numerical abbreviations vs. full numerical values)
4. Different display URLs
5. Different Benefits your product/services offer
7. Different Landing pages
8. Swapping H1 and H2 or D1 and D2
9. Writing a new headline or description with a different intent (emotional trigger). Try out that clever headline you’ve been wanting to test.
31. A/B Test Your Ads Using the Scientific Method
1. Pose a question - always only change one aspect of your ad so you know exactly which part of the ad did or didn’t get better results
2. Create a hypothesis - Write a summary of the change you made and why you think this will result in a better performing ad (due to one or more of ad copywriting tips above). Create a goal for the experiment based on your business goals (better CTR, more clicks, more conversions, etc.)
3. Experiment - Set a specific amount of time, stick to it, and run your test. The amount of time should depend on the amount of traffic you get. The more traffic the less time you need, the less traffic the more time you need. Give yourself enough time to gather enough data that is statistically significant.
4. Data Analysis - At the end of the time you’ve specified analyze the data you received. This should be based on what your goal was.
5. Draw Conclusions - Based on your analysis did Ad A or Ad B do better? Use a split test calculator to see if the test was statistically significant to draw conclusions from. Free Split A/B Test Calculator
6. Report Results - If there is enough statistical significance to determine which did better, run another A/B split test with the better performing Ad and pause the lesser performing ad. If there is not enough statistical significance to determine a winner, decide if you’d like to continue testing with these variations, or to start an all new A/B test altogether.