Google AdWords ad copy best practices and policy, depending on whether they are followed correctly can be the difference between users not seeing your ads and driving fantastic results for your PPC efforts.

ad copy choices

When a user types a search in Google, your ad is the usually first interaction they have with your brand, so it’s important to make sure your ad is as good as can be! Through this article, I will talk through areas that are critical for making the most out of your ad copy.

The Rules Set By Google

Google is all about providing a quality user experience and to ensure that companies advertising through AdWords are up to Google’s standards they must abide by the advertising policies: AdWords Policies

Key points that Google address for their ad policy:

Unclear Content: Your ad copy should focus on your user’s needs, so try to avoid typing anything generic or vague. This is particularly important when your ads are highlighting unique selling points or specific promotions.

Limit Symbols: No unnecessary punctuation, so avoid using symbols such as “*” and “!” more than once. Avoid text talk as well, even if you’re running out of space with the 30 character limit, don’t be tempted to make any short cuts such as using the “@” symbol vs using the word “at”.

Capitalisation: Capitalisation can be beneficial, but don’t get caught out with trying to get your ad to stand out with ALL CAPS as Google won’t publish your ads. When you’re creating ads through AdWords Editor you can choose from 3 options for capitalisation.

  • Title Case – Capitalise The First Letter Of Each Word
  • Sentence Case – Capitalise the first letter on each line
  • Lower Case – no capitalisation

Repetition: This can be a tricky balance as you want to stay relevant though including the keywords you are bidding for in your ad copy and it can be tempting when you are in AdWords editor to include important keywords in Headline 1, Headline 2 and the Description section. But 9 times out of 10, this will be overkill.

Ad Copy Thoughts

Some disciplines of marketing theory can help when you are cultivating your message including the AIDA model, an acronym for 4 words:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

By following the AIDA model, your ad copy should grab your user’s attention in Headline 1. Imagine you are a market trader on the shop floor and want to catch a customer’s attention, keeping communication short and to the point is the goal. However, in Headline 2 your focus should shift to keeping the user’s interest through providing useful information, not repetition. For many marketers, empathy can be very important and a useful skill as it allows you to think about what information will benefit the user.

Examples to include:

  • Place where the user is located (particularly if you have location targeting in your campaign)
  • Specific promotion/ pricing
  • User-centred information or a question to keep engagement

There are countless examples of when companies talk about themselves but don’t actually talk either to the user or about what the user cares about. If you are unsure about what to include, something to think about is using the search terms report in AdWords to guide you in creating ad copy that is relevant to what users are actively searching for.

Writing Style: Although simple, when you are in a hurry and don’t have the time to check every one of your ads for spelling or grammar mistakes there’s an easy fix. Get AdWords Editor up, select the “Tools” tab at the top left of the screen, click “Settings” and then “Download and display”. There’s an option for “Spell check language” which highlights errors for you. In addition, there are helpful tools such as “Grammarly”, other free tools such as “After the Deadline” and “Spellchecker.net” can also be found online.

Free online grammar assists: Online Grammar Checker Tools

Helpful Points from Google: YouTube Helpful Points

Success at PPC

Written By Rob Young, PPC Analyst @ Circus PPC

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