Your Guide to Writing Successful Google Text Ads
If you work for a big brand, it’s likely that at some point you’ll be asked to write a bunch of Google text ads as part of a wider marketing strategy or advertising efforts. In the Wix marketing department, these ads are serious business so let’s first take a look at why they’re so important as a type of advertising. Next, I’ll walk you through some best practices for writing your own.
So, what is a Google text ad?
Basically, it’s a sponsored piece of text that appears on a Google search engine results page (SERP). The ad aims to answer a question or provide a relevant response to a search term that someone types into Google. We call these questions or search terms, “keywords.” If you're looking to understand more about how to advertise on Google, learning these words is a good place to start.
Here’s an example:
What’s the character limit for a Google text ad?
Recently, the number of characters allowed in a Google text ad was expanded. That’s why you might hear them referred to as ETAs - Expanded Text Ads. These ads are made up of 2 headlines and a description. The Google Expanded text ad character limit is 30 for each headline and 80 for the description.
Here’s an example of the new format:
Why are Google text ads important?
Google text ads appear above all other organic listings on a results page. Companies pay for this exposure since people tend to click on the first results they see. And of course, more clicks on a company’s ad means more traffic to their site. The trouble is, money alone can’t buy a top spot—and that’s why reaching the top is a fine art. In choosing which ads to show searchers, one of the biggest deciding factors for Google is relevance to the keywords.
How do we choose the keywords?
Before we start a Google adwords campaign here at Wix, our acquisition teams spend a lot of time and effort researching the most common search terms that are being typed into Google at any given time. They then create lists of keywords that Wix could realistically provide a relevant response to. Just to be crystal clear, let’s look at an example. Right now, loads of people are typing questions into Google like, What teams are playing in the World Cup? So this is definitely a trend, but it has zero relevance to Wix. On the other hand, as freelancers and self-made business owners become more and more common, lots of people might also be typing in phrases like, How to make a website or Best website builder—and that’s where Wix comes in! These searchers are definitely people we want to bring over to Wix.com. After all, we have a real chance of helping them achieve their goal of building a great website.
As a writer, how will a Google text ad task look?
So, as a professional content writer, you’ll be given a list of keywords and phrases that are relevant to your company. It’s then your job to write 2 headlines and a description for each. You’ll need to find a way to use the keywords in a logical, informative way that answers the search request. The aim is to promote your company in a really organic way, incorporating the keywords you’ve been given.
What are some tips for writing successful Google text ads?
The Wix writing team was recently invited to a workshop at Google about these ads. Here are a few takeaways that we found super useful:
Be clear and concise - The character limit is nonnegotiable, so make sure you stick to it.
Promote the brand - This is a great opportunity to bring visitors to your company. Highlight its unique selling points based on the keywords you’ve been given.
Be creative - Think about all the different ways you can turn your keywords into a really enticing advert for your company’s brand.
Spell check - Make sure all your grammar and spelling is tight so you look professional and Google can understand you.
Generate urgency - If the searcher looks like they’re interested in making a purchase, use phrases like “don’t wait” or “it’s time” to encourage clicks.
Be trustworthy - Google recommends you add a registered trademark to your brand name so people know you’re the real deal. (That’s one of these: ® )
Stay relevant - Match your language with the intention of the searcher. For example, if they’re typing in “how to…” - make your text informative and explanatory.
So… I hope this sheds a little light on the mystery of ETAs and you can tackle your next task with more confidence. Remember, relevance is key for bagging those top spots.
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Maria Hayday, Marketing Writer at Wix