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5 Tips for Writing Compelling Adwords Ads

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Nowadays, people are so obsessed with organic search engine optimization that they are keeping their budgets tight with their pay-per-click efforts. Many eCommerce owners will spend upfront, a decent amount of advertising dollars to drive traffic to the site, build their newsletter recipient lists, acquire customers and then go from there.

If ads are not performing and you are not seeing a return on your spending, then you may have a conversion issue on your hands. More often then not, when sales are down, advertising spending is usually the first to be cut from the marketing budget.

As a Mad Man myself, I urge fellow advertisers to sit back, take a deep breath, and dig deeper into your ads. Like A/B testing product and landing pages, Pay-Per-Click advertisements require ongoing maintenance and testing. The first thing you look at with under performing ad campaigns in Adwords is the Ad itself.

Here are 5 simple, yet effective tips for writing compelling ads that will drive up your CTR and Conversion (whether its sales or sign ups):

1. Targeted Keywords in Your Ads

I know I am being extremely obvious here but consider your ad score. Quality of an ad determines everything from ad position, overall cost per click and click through rate. You only have a maximum number of characters to work with, so make it keyword rich. I’ll share an example.

Let’s say you are a record shop selling vinyls. Keyword searched in “classic rock vinyls”

Ads with Description –> Headline: Classic Rock Vinyls

– Right off the bat you have an exact match. Organic search results displayed in the SERP’s are often ranked based on page title closest related to the search phrase. This match mimics what an organic listing would look like.

Description #1: Classic 70’s and 80’s Rock Vinyls

– The first description should outline exactly what it is that searcher can expect to find once they visit your site. This description includes the keyword phrase only from a broad search result including the words “classic”, “rock”, “vinyl”. Since this is a description of what the visitor can expect to find, it clearly outlines that the vinyls are from the 70’s and 80’s rock and roll era.

Description #2: 50% Clearance on All Vinyls

– This description is your offer (I already gave away tip #3, so I will revisit).

Display URL:

– When adding a keyword to the URL, it helps with your quality score. Keep in mind, your destination URL should contain the keyword in it as well.

2. Ask Questions

There are a surprising amount of searchers that include phrases such as “where to find…”, “how can I…”, “what is…”. Also, there are searches that are targeted towards finding some kind of a solution including “magento gold partner”. Questions make for intriguing ads and gives you a chance to catch the attention of the searcher.

Headline: Need a Magento Partner?

– This headline is qualifying traffic by identifying the need of that potential visitor.

3. Include your Offer

Search advertising is a little different then traditional advertising. Traditional Advertising hits many different forms of media, whether its print, television, radio and outdoor advertising at bus stations or on billboards. Search marketing engages leads through their search terms and what they are looking for. None the less, it is still advertising. Include your offer at one point in the ad, and this can be anywhere from the headline to the second description line.

Example: Search term “classic rock vinyls”


Offer: “Free Shipping”

There you have it, an ad offer. Other offers include “25% off Vinyls”, or even more specific “Free Shipping over $25”.

4. Include Location

Again, I am being completely obvious here, but if you are targeting your ads in specific areas, include the location. Searchers are looking for different services in the closest area to them as possible. Whether you are operations cover coast to coast, or you are an auto mechanic on The Danforth in Toronto, it will help your click through rate (CTR) immensely. Your location can be anywhere, from your headline, included in your offer and anywhere in your  description.


Headline: Canadian Pet Store

Offer: Free Shipping over $25 in Canada

Description: Accounting firm in the GTA

5. Be Honest, Be Specific

Ongoing criticism for advertising practices will never go away. Save yourself angry customers and be very honest and clear about what it is you have to offer. Google recognizes good, honest ads from the bad ones. Google will rank your ad based on keyword and landing page relevance. This final tip pretty much just sums up the previous four into one. Your ads will receive better rankings and clicks if you define exactly what visitors can expect when they land on your website. Don’t try to fool anyone, especially the search engines, who have the power to flag your ads and shut off your account for improper advertising methods.

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