How to Write Google Ads That Get Clicks (+ Examples)
You’ve spent hours trying to figure out exactly what content to squeeze into your Google ads. Which makes sense because advertising on the search engine’s platform is one of the most efficient ways to find your user base, generate leads, and ultimately, make more money, as part of your wider marketing strategies.
But, alas, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and your market is competitive. This makes it difficult to write content that stands out. On top of that, you only have around 150 characters to convince searchers to choose you. How to structure your ad? What are the words to select? Where should you place that one exclamation point? To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of proven strategies for creating effective ad copy in order to jumpstart your advertising campaigns. Our actionable approach is filled with real-life examples for this type advertising that can help you minimize stress and be closer to reaching your goals.
Here are eight proven techniques to writing Google ads that grab users’ attention and get more clicks:
01. Match your users’ needs
In 2020, every time we have a question, we turn to Google almighty. We expect that the organic results it provides will always be relevant to our intent as searchers. This expectation also holds true for paid ads. In other words, your ad copy must directly answer the users’ query. Otherwise, your ads will simply never show on the results page, no matter how high your bid is.
There are a couple of simple steps you can take to ensure that you reach this goal. One of the first things to do is to match your users’ exact search terms. There is comfort in knowing that the results we see meet exactly what we are looking for, and ads that provide this feeling are likely to get more clicks. Check out the example below:
On top of quoting the search term (“car insurance”), this online broker gave more context to it. Not only will you get the insurance that you’re looking for, but it will be affordable and you will receive the quote almost immediately. This applies to all ads: Identify and express the keyword, but make sure you do it in a way that is creative and adds value.
But how can you be certain to match the exact user’s query? First, look for relevant terms in Google Keyword Planner. On top of providing information on the search volume of any given keyword, the tool gives you an indication of how promising Google thinks they will be in your campaigns. Then, once you’ve identified your keywords, try out another key feature of Google Ads: Dynamic Keyword Insertion. Based on your keywords selection, DKI automatically adapts your ad copy to incorporate the exact term that is searched by each user, making your ad look like it was written specifically for them.
Finally, matching users’ needs also means being super clear about your product or service. It might be enticing to vamp up the value of your offer in your ads. While this may lead to more clicks, if users reach your page and do not find what they expect, they will likely turn back. Ultimately, this leaves you paying more for the clicks on your ads, without gaining any more leads or conversions.
02. Take up real-estate on Google
One of the best things you can do to drive your click-through rate (CTR) is simply making your ads noticeable. It’s quite logical: If you take up more space on the search engine results page (SERP), your ad is more likely to be clicked on. Start by writing your ads to the maximum allowed length:
Three headlines of 30 characters each.
Two descriptions of 90 characters each.
Google may not always use headline #3 and description #2 in the ad it shows. However, it will take those first two headlines and first description for all ads. It is therefore well worth your time to make sure that you get as close to 30 and 90 characters respectively.
Another way to effectively occupy space on the SERP is by utilizing extensions. As the name implies, these are elements that you can add to your ads to extend them. Check out this example:
Wix’s ad has extensions associated with it - those extra clickable parts beneath the main text. They take up space and make the copy more visible. Additionally, they allow the website builder to display more aspects of its offer, like the possibility to register a domain name or create a website for professional needs.
There are numerous extension types, each enabling you to stand out more in the SERP. Some of the most commonly used extensions are:
Sitelinks: These clickable links provide additional points of entry to your site. They can appear as bullets beneath the ad (as seen above) or as a list at the bottom.
Callouts: Seamlessly blending with your ad, these extensions essentially enable you to add another description to your copy. They provide the perfect opportunity to highlight various features of your product or service.
It is important to note that extensions are not guaranteed to appear with your ad. Ultimately, Google decides whether or not to show them based on every unique search. Money-wise, extensions themselves do not come at any extra charge. Keep in mind that they are likely to increase your CTR, and as Google Ads functions on a cost-per-click basis, you might end up paying more - but this cost is likely to be well worth it.
03. Point out your specific benefits
Competition is often quite stiff on Google Ads. You will not be the only one on the SERP for the product or service you offer. It is therefore essential that you show off what sets you apart. The example below highlights many features of New York City Accident Lawyers and provides clear information about their advantages:
Take note of how well this ad highlights the firm’s specific benefits:
It lists all of the cases they specialize in, giving them a better chance to provide different information than their competitors.
It expresses that they have free consultations. This is enticing not only because it’s free, but also because it could give them an edge over other ads.
It utilizes extensions - which you already know are super important.
It communicates that they have 40 years of experience and are award-winning, building trust in their services.
04. Create a sense of urgency
FOMO. We’ve all felt it. Playing on this innate anxiety is a key part of successful Google text ads. If users feel that they might miss an opportunity, they are more likely to purchase your product immediately. This is why it’s recommended to include clear calls-to-action (CTAs) in your ad copy. A CTA is a concise statement that directs users to take a specific action. Words like “create”, “start”, “read”, and “learn” are good examples of verbs that explain exactly what the user will do after clicking on your ad. They can be complemented by time-related words that install a sense of urgency, such as “now”, “today”, or “before it’s too late”.
We also suggest implementing promotion extensions. They let you advertise various sales at different periods of the year or on specific dates. This prompts a sense of urgency by presenting a deal for a limited time. With the ad example below, the user sees immediately that there is a sale going on that will be expiring. Not only is it updated to say “2020 Tickets”, but below the ad it explicitly points out the winter sale and that it is only valid through February 29. This makes it harder to resist buying those tickets before the time is up.
05. Show off your deals
Intimidated by discussing pricing so upfront? Don’t be. Seeing deals straight away helps users come to quick decisions. If you have static prices, you can add them directly in your ad text. Check out the example below to see what it looks like to showcase pricing front and center. In just a few words, this on-demand photography network lets you know that they are affordable and gives you a starting price, piquing your curiosity.
Another method to consider is Dynamic Pricing. Using the AdParams function in Google Ads, you can create ads that dynamically insert a price depending on the search term. This enables you to display different quotes depending on the intent of the user. By targeting your leads more specifically, you can ultimately make more money.
Finally, an important word to consider using in your ad copy is “free”. If you offer a certain product or service at no charge, or even if you offer a complimentary trial or freemium model, include that in your ad. People are more likely to try out your offer if they know that they have little to nothing to risk.
06. Make things personal
Everybody likes to feel special. Tailoring ads to the needs of specific users can do just that and can ultimately lead to more clicks. A simple tactic to help users feel this way is including the words “you” and “your” in your text. Say you’re selling running shoes. Instead of a generic “get a new pair of running shoes”, you could write something like “get the perfect running shoes for you”.
Localizing your ads also lets users know that you’re looking out for them specifically. First, you should ensure that your copy is set to appear in the language the user is searching in. On top of that, you can give your ads an edge by adding some geo-specific information. Things like addresses and phone numbers boost your business’ reliability as people often search for local services. They also encourage foot traffic by exposing your locations.
You can simply add this information to your Google ads using location and call extensions. These extensions enable you to advertise your details even if you have multiple stores or offices. Assuming you configured your extensions correctly, Google will automatically expose the relevant address and phone number according to the searchers’ location.
The ad below shows what these extensions look like. It’s also a great example of being super clear about where the business is located and how the user can get in touch with the barber shop.
07. Stand out with numbers and symbols
When reading text, our eyes tend to be drawn to things that look slightly different. We notice elements like numbers and symbols more than normal text. Including these elements in your ad copy is therefore a no-brainer. Such a simple change can help your text stand out.
Then comes the important decision: Where exactly should you place them? Symbols such as exclamation points are not allowed in Google Ad headlines. They should instead be utilized in descriptions and can be particularly useful directly after your CTA. Numbers, on the other hand, can (and should) be used in headlines, whether they indicate a price, a discount, or any other significant detail.
Check out the ad below. Here we see not one, but two numbers in a headline. This makes the text super digestible and draws your attention in. Using the year also helps this ad look current and up-to-date.
Another crucial symbol to consider is the registered trademark ®. On top of making your ad copy visually more diverse, this small addition gives your brand more credibility. Users always prefer to know that they are using an official product and want a stamp of guarantee that they are getting the highest quality.
08. Test, test, test - and test again
It’s impossible to be certain that you’ve nailed the perfect ad. Luckily, Google Ads provides a nifty platform for ad testing. For each campaign and within each ad group, you can run multiple ads. This means that a number of your own ads are running against each other allowing you to test which one performs best.
You might think that you have the perfect formula down for writing great ad copy, but the numbers may tell a different story. If people tend to click on one ad over another, this can tell you something important. Consider what makes that ad different and how you can potentially utilize some of those elements elsewhere.
When testing your ads, try to take note of a few metrics:
The click-through rate (CTR): It’s the amount of clicks on your ad per the number of impressions - or people that saw your ad. While the CTR is not merely a result of ad copy, a difference in click-through rate could indicate a difference in quality.
The cost-per-click (CPC): This indicates how much you are paying per click on your ad. Therefore, the more hits you get at the same CPC bid, the lower your CPC will be. Better copy should produce a lower CPC.
The cost-per-conversion: This metric shows you how much you are paying for your ads per user that ends up actually using your product. This will likely be higher than your CPC as not all searchers clicking your ad will ultimately convert, but is still a good indicator. This essentially tells you whether your ad is bringing in quality users or not, and can help your overall ROI (return on investment).
Another way to identify whether your ads have improved is by checking the quality score that Google provides. Quality score is a three-pronged metric consisting of historical CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience. While quality score is given on a keyword basis, looking at the ad relevance score can be an indicator of quality ad copy. Ad relevance is scored as below average, average or above average. Ad relevance is constantly changing based on ad copy, ad group structure, and competition so it is well worth it to continuously monitor this metric.
One last note: When it comes to Google ads, the most decisive factor is grit. Never lose faith, and keep on testing the tips above until you nail the perfect formula for your own campaigns. Sometimes, all it takes is a small change to your copy, and your business will be skyrocketing.
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Amanda Weiner, SEM Ad Manager at Wix
Hailing from New York, I have an innate love of fast-paced environments and bagels. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending my time cooking new recipes, swimming or reading historical fiction.