Writing great Google ads can be an extremely tricky thing to master. As you’d expect from the largest search engine in the world, there is a huge amount of competition on Google, and making your copy stand out is tough. Added to which, Google ads are tiny snippets of content, which makes following classic advertising tactics and getting your message across even harder. All in all, crafting the perfect Google ad is a real art.

Thankfully, there are one or two things that you can do right away to make your ads stand out, and keep people hooked once they are looking.

To start with, it might be useful to know a bit more about what a search ad looks like, and how they are put together.

Headline

This is the first thing your customers will see, and the most important. You are limited to 25 characters, and it might well be the only thing anyone reads, so getting this element right is crucial.

Description lines

You get two lines of description, each limited to 35 characters. These are used for highlighting the benefits of your service or product, and the specific features on offer.

Display URL

The display URL can be up to 255 characters long, although only 35 will be seen by your customers. This can differ from the destination URL, and should really feature your homepage.

Phone number

You can add an extension which links to your mobile number and allows users to immediately get in touch by phone.

Sitelinks

Extensions which take your customers to other useful pages on your website. This can be really helpful for improving your Google ranking, and helping your audience.

We’ve pulled together some of the best, most effective and easiest tricks to help you make your Google ads more powerful, and to write truly attention-grabbing copy. Read on, and find the edge needed to get clicks from the customers you want.

Research your customers

All advertising and marketing starts with good research. It is almost impossible to accurately and effectively target your audience if you don’t know who they are and what they like. So get studying!

Use your research wisely, to find out who your audience is and what they respond to, and to identify how to appeal to other customers you might want to attract. Businesses often have loads of data to investigate, and you can get insights into your clients from a whole range of sources. Analytics are obviously great, but things like social media comments or even just personal experience can be incredibly useful too!

Being targeted with your offer, and appealing to the right people is the best strategy. Interested clicks are far more useful than speculative ones!

Your headline should speak to the user’s search query

Search ads are designed to grab people’s attention when they are looking for something in particular. As your headline is the first (and potentially the only) thing they are going to see, it has to be tailored to the things your prospective customers are searching for.

Make sure your ad is specific, and matches the search intention of your audience. Don’t be afraid of exploring your USP, and stay away from vague expressions or attempts to generalise.

If someone searches for ‘wireless speakers’ you need to make sure ‘wireless’ is in the headline, not just ‘speakers’. For example ‘Bose Wireless Speakers | 6month TIDAL HiFI subscription’ sets out clearly what’s on offer, and adds a little sweetener at the end to encourage click-throughs!

The more relevant your headlines are, the better your conversion and click-through rates will be.

Use power words and emotional triggers

Copywriters have found that some words just have that little extra ‘pop’ when it comes to attracting customers. Almost like a few secret pass codes, sprinkling your ad copy with a few of these can be a great yet subtle way of driving clicks. This blog gives a great rundown of 20 of the most powerful.

The most effective of these make emotional, personal connections with the customer. So using ‘you’ rather than ‘we’ or ‘I’ draws the eye, and subtly helps your audience identify better with what you are offering.

For example, this add for Carrot focuses on the benefits for your team, staying in sync and adds the personal note about your team working across timezones to make it relevant to your specific business needs.


Another important factor to consider about the vocabulary in your copy is the power of emotion. Search ads and marketing copy can be incredibly boring and functional, but it absolutely doesn’t have to be!

Things like the excitement of owning your ‘dream home’ when selling house insurance, or emphasizing ‘peace of mind’ when offering a legal service drafting wills, can connect really well with users.

Once you’ve identified your audience, and worked out how you want to engage with them, writing emotionally charged, compelling copy which plays on certain feelings can be a powerful tool.

Empathize with your clients

Demonstrating that you understand what people want and can help them is a classic advertiser’s technique. Think about your own behaviour online, and as a consumer, and what attracts you about ads. Then think about what your audience might be looking for, and what would help them most. Not all ads have to be cynical!

For example, an ad for medical treatment could emphasize the painlessness of the treatment, the fast recovery time and the previous success stories of other patients. This addresses the fears customers might be having and makes them more confident in your service.

If your product or service solves a problem, be clear, and be thoughtful about the problem itself. Empathizing with what people might be going for and addressing little barriers they might be encountering can go a long way in engaging with your customers.

Test your ads

As a follow-up to good research, testing a few versions of your ad copy to fine-tune it is a great tactic to find out what appeals to your customers.

A/B testing can really help to work out the variables, and drive conversions from your ads. You need to understand what element you are looking to improve, what your results are and what part of the ad you are testing.

You also need to know what you want to achieve, and what you are going to do with the results...particularly if they aren’t what you were expecting! If your A/B testing doesn’t come up with significant variances, are you just going to continue testing, use both ads or start an entirely new test? Having a strategy upfront can really help to make sure your money is invested wisely.

Ultimately however good your copy is, your audience will be the ones deciding whether to react to it, and testing helps you capture this most effectively.

The big takeaway for writing great search ad copy is that effective copy comes from knowing, thinking about and understanding your audience. Research and testing gives you insight into who you are targeting and how you should go about it, and allows you to really fine tune your offer.

Be creative, imaginative and as personal as you can be, and put yourself into your customers shoes. A little bit of effort will boost your business and send your click rates through the roof!