6 Copywriting Tips for Attention-Grabbing Adwords Ads

A few months ago, we put together a blog series that focused on developing an effective paid search advertising strategy. More specifically, the three-part series discussed how to use marketing automation to make smarter advertising decisions based on the data at your disposal.

But what if you’re just getting started with paid advertising, and you’re trying to focus on the basics? If that’s the case, then you’re probably more concerned with crafting some advertising copy that resonates. The rest can come later. (Heck, even if you’ve been experimenting with paid search for a while, you still may not be 100% happy with the copy you’ve put together).

Unfortunately, especially if one of your main search outlets is Google Adwords, copy is often all you’ve got (and only a few characters of copy, to boot). That’s why it’s so essential to take the time to get it right.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite Adwords copywriting tips to help you create ads that will stand out from your competitors’. Keep in mind, Adwords ads are limited to 130 characters (25 characters for your headline, 35 for your URL, 35 for the first line of your ad description, and 35 for the second line of your ad description) — so make it count!

1. Be Relevant

And what’s the best way to be relevant? Include your keywords in your ad copy. You know that your target audience is going to be searching for those exact terms, so you can achieve maximum relevancy by adding them into your ad copy. Not only will you be serving up ads that are exactly in line with your audience’s search terms, but Google will also bold the terms in your ads that match the search query (see the example below).

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Another clever way to do this is to use Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI), a more advanced Adwords function that allows you to insert a user’s search query into a specified area of your advertisement. To do this, you’ll enter a snippet of code with your advertisement that will dynamically change the specified elements of your ad copy to match your audience’s search query

2. Use “You”

If you want to be as relevant as possible, who should you appeal your ads to? Certainly not “me,” “us,” “I,” or “we.” Users will feel more drawn to advertising copy that is directed toward them, which means using “you” in your ad copy. For example, when I googled “lawn care service,” I was presented with the following ads:

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In this situation, my choice is pretty obvious. “Get the Lawn You Want” speaks to me a lot more than the following two ads, which just repeat the company names and don’t tell me what the end result of their service will be.

3. Focus on the End Result

Speaking of the end result, it’s important that you tell your audience what they’re going to get out of your product or service. Let’s say that your user googles “weight loss programs.” Serving up an ad that asks the question “Need to Lose Weight?” just restates what the user already knows. Instead, focus on the end result, i.e. what your audience wants to accomplish based on their search query. In this example, better ad copy might be something like: “Healthy Weight Loss — Get Your Best Body.”

4. Get Specific

A recent article by Copyblogger explores the power of specificity in copywriting. For example, instead of titling an article “How to Increase Your Social Following,” you could title it “How to Increase Your Social Followers by 132%.” The latter option would be more likely to pique your audience’s interest because of how specific it is. Keep in mind that according to the article, round numbers like 1000 are going to see less engagement than a number like 1147.

If you’re a B2B company, this might mean incorporating numbers from your case studies, benchmark data, the number of features you offer, or the number of customers you have (“trusted by more than 2,000 companies”). But don’t feel limited to your headline, you can also use the description text for this information. Check out the example below for a look at an ad served up in the Google sidebar when I searched for “b2b marketing programs.”

adwords ad

Of those two options, I’m a lot more likely to click on the one that promises me 26x ROI!

5. Highlight Discounts and Special Offers

This one seems pretty obvious, but not as many companies take advantage of it as you would think! When presented with a series of ads, you’re more likely to click on one that offers you a special deal, correct? Users are swayed by exclusivity and are more likely to act when they believe an offer is only available for a limited amount of time. For example, when I googled “dog food,” I was presented with the following ads:

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There are some good options here, but I’m a lot more likely to click on the one that’s offering me 25% off (Wag.com makes a similar offer, but it’s a bit buried in the description).

A cool trick you can use to increase this perception of limited availability is to take advantage of Adword’s Countdown Timer, which counts down to a specified time and adjusts based on the timezone of the person searching. If you’ve read any of our previous posts on the psychology that motivates buyer behavior, then you may recognize this as a principle called “loss aversion,” which refers to how a user is motivated to take action by a fear of loss (in this case, losing out on your limited-time only deal).

6. Use “CamelCase”

If you’re like me, you may have looked at the word “CamelCase” and thought, “is that actually a word?” It is indeed. CamelCase refers to the practice of writing compound words so that each word begins with a capital letter (for example, PowerPoint or SlideShare). While this isn’t particularly relevant to your ad copy, it is relevant to the URL that you include. If your company’s website URL is awesomecoolcompany.com, it’s a lot easier to read if you write it as AwesomeCoolCompany.com.

What other copywriting tips do you have for ad copy? Let us know in the comments!