How to Write Powerful Google Ads Copy That Bend the Customers Mind

Brian Bojan Dordevic
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Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

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Some might say that crafting strong Google Ads copy is no rocket science, but given the small number of characters on the search engine results page, it is clear that we need to put our little gray cells into overdrive if we wish to stand out from the competition.

When writing Google Ads copy, the most important thing we need to think about is the experience our visitors are being engaged with all the way from the query, to ad copy, to the landing page. If there is a link missing in this chain, your visitors may feel like they are going down the wrong path and conduct another search to find a company ready to meet their needs. With that in mind, our PPC agency in Chicago decided to share our digital marketing agency experience and give you some tips and best practices for writing ads that turn heads. 🙂

how to write powerful google ads copy

Leverage keywords

One of the most important things you should do when writing ad copy is including keywords to mirror the searcher’s query. By using phrases similar to what they searched for, you are telling your visitors that they are in the right place.

  • Keywords in Google Ads copy – It is very important to make sure that you don’t just crowd your ad copy with keywords, but rather utilize some, but do it well. An ad that is saturated with keywords usually doesn’t convey any message and could even perform worse than an ad with no keywords. It is more important to accurately articulate your message so people would have no doubt about what you are selling. You should also test your keyword placement to see what works the best, whether you are putting it in Headline 1, Headline 2, or you are using it in a sentence in a description.
  • Keywords on landing pages – Using keywords in the headlines or at the top of a landing page reassures your visitor that they are where they want to be. While swapping text on landing pages is not as easy as doing it in ad copy, you still don’t need to create a different landing page for every keyword phrase you are targeting. Instead, you can use some common phrases such as the most highly searched variants of your keywords and put them in headlines. This should limit the number of your landing pages while you are also getting as close as possible to the initial search query.

Match the user’s query specificity in your Google Ads copy as close as possible

Every time a person conducts a search, their query holds a degree of specificity. If users are not specific, then there is no harm in keeping your Google Ads copy relatively broad and cover the basics. If they are, however, you should try and match whatever their query is.

This principle should be utilized on landing pages too. Since one of the keys to conversion rate optimization is giving your prospects what they are looking for, you need to listen to them and deliver the results with as much specificity as you can.

Include a call to action

To put it simply, you are running ads because you want the visitor to take a specific action, whether it’s making a purchase or filling out a lead form. This is why it is important to give your visitors a clue as to what you want from them. Once a visitor has their expectations set with the ad copy, they should click through to a landing page that holds the same call to action. If you have asked them to “Buy Now”, they should be given the opportunity to buy on your landing page. If you want them to subscribe to a newsletter, then make sure that your landing page holds a form that they can fill out. This helps frame the visitor experience and weed out people who are not interested in the offer, ultimately saving you the cost of the click.

Test psychological approaches

With search engine result pages being overcrowded with clones of the same bland and boring message, the messaging you use in Google Ads copy can be a critical selling point, given that you embrace your chance to stand out from the crowd. Test the different psychological approaches to ad copy to know which performs best with your target audience:

  • Features – highlighting the physical or intangible aspects of the product/service
  • Benefits – calling out the positive outcomes the visitor will have from the product/service
  • Problem – focus on the actual issue at hand to relate to the problem the visitor is trying to solve
  • Solution – focus on the solution to the problem the visitor is facing
  • Testimonials – using actual feedback/testimonials to leverage social proof
  • Reviews – third-party reviews of the product/service, not from customers
  • Top of the class – calling out any awards, ratings, etc. to show you are indeed the best choice
  • Prequalifying – weeding out people who might not be a good fit for your service before they click

Once you have tested which psychological approach works best for your audience, mirror the approach on the landing page to provide a cohesive experience to your visitors. Use suitable images and calls to action as well.

Fulfill visitors expectations

We have already mentioned this, but let’s highlight it again – ad copy and landing pages need to work together. If your ad says “30% off”, you don’t want your visitors to go to your landing page only to see that the offer has expired. This kind of behavior leads to wasted spending since your visitors are no longer primed to complete the conversion action you were aiming for.

Use ad extensions in Google Ads copy

Ad extensions are additional areas of text that can extend the size of an ad. Here is the list of extensions from Google Ads:

  • Sitelink extension
  • Callout extension
  • Structured snippet extension
  • Call extension
  • Message extension
  • Location extension
  • Affiliate location extension
  • Price extension
  • App extension
  • Promotion extension

Each of these has a different purpose. The most used are Sitelinks, Callout extensions, and Structured snippets.

Sitelinks are additional text and links that function as in-site navigation in the SERP. You should use these to add additional information to the primary ad copy in the ad group

Callout extensions are a line of text no longer than 25 characters. They also provide information that supports the ad, such as a list of features, benefits, or more information. This text needs to be a true support to the ad, and not just repeat what was already in the copy.

Structured snippets let you create a list within an ad extension. All you need to do is pick the Header you want to start the list and add in the values below with a max of 25 characters each.

Generally, it is best to have as many extensions as you can, but be cautious not to sacrifice performance for ad real estate since sometimes one ad extension can be suppressed and another type shown more often causing a drop in performance.

Use dynamic ad features in Google Ads copy

There are three dynamic features that you can use in addition to ad extensions to produce stellar ads. They can be triggered by typing an { into the ad creation screen. This way you will bring up the dropdown for Keyword Insertion, Countdowns, and IF functions.

Keyword Insertion (formerly known as Dynamic Keyword Insertion or DKI) is the basic version of dynamic ads mostly used for campaigns that are not strongly segmented. This feature allows you to replace a search keyword in place of the default text in your ad copy. Note that the text with the keyword will not be used if the combination of the text plus Keyword Insertion is too long.

IF functions allow you to create “if, then” statements within your ad copy that will be triggered based on a user’s device or the audience they belong to. They come in handy if you wish to have a different call to action on mobile devices and desktops, or if you are providing a different kind of incentive to your loyal customers versus your new customers. You just need to make sure that these offers carry out to your landing pages.

Countdowns are a great way to create a sense of urgency with searchers. People are more readily motivated by the idea of losing out than the idea of gaining something. This psychological force is called loss aversion and it can be a powerful way of boosting your Google Ads click-through and conversion rates. After you set the end date your ad will include a countdown in real-time. Visitors seeing your ad will be motivated by their fear of loss, giving you the edge over your competitors.

Final thoughts

Though it may seem simple enough to an inexperienced eye, writing an ad copy that stands out can be trickier than it looks. It requires you to look beyond the ad itself and through to the landing page. Even beyond that – you must get to know your visitors and nearly to read their minds. Well, not quite read their minds, but you get the idea. While there are some technical best practices to follow, don’t feel ashamed to reach for your artistic side. Though on its basic level, it is all a combination of ones and zeros, through that combination you are talking to people, and this communication is the heart and the soul of a great ad. If ad copy were purely algorithmic, I guess you wouldn’t be looking for advice on the web.


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