Google Ads: create the best text ads

You’d like to improve your Adwords ads. And so you should: clicked ads are indispensable to capture traffic. This tutorial shows you how to write attractive text ads that make users click on and visit your site, and how to judge whether your arguments are effective. You’ll learn how to write better Adwords ads and only keep the most compelling ones.

Level: beginner – intermediary – advanced
Reading time: 5 min.

Create the best Google Ads text ads

Context of your Google Ads campaign

Google Ads (Adwords) is a powerful lever to achieve visibility right on the first page of Google search results. But ‘visible’ does not mean ‘clicked on’. You have to stand out. Text ads require that you play on key phrases and arguments that prompt users to click.
Let’s say your Google Ads campaign is almost ready: it is structured, with one or (most likely) several ad groups. You may have already tested ads, but without really knowing what conclusion to draw. I’d like to share some feedback from nearly 10 years of setting up and optimising paid search campaigns.

To create effective and clicked ads

Basic principles:

  1. Create multiple ads for each Ads ad group. An average of 2 to 4 ads per ad group is perfect. These ads will allow you to vary not only:
    • the arguments put forward,
    • but also the insertion of these arguments between the different lines of the ads (title 1, title 2, description):
      Write Adwords text ad
    • and the wording of the arguments, i.e. the choice of the words that you think will have the greatest chance of inciting a click.
      Test action verbs that encourage ‘click-to-action’ (as in ‘call-to-action’).
  2. Be sure to use the keywords purchased in your ads titles (and/or descriptions and the path to display). Another essential point: these expressions must also appear on your landing page (the page a visitor gets to when s/he clicks on
  3. When possible, use arguments that highlight your unique features and strengths. Illustrate them with concrete data rather than general ideas. Compare yourself to other advertisers: how do you stand out from the competition? Find out by testing one of your ad group’s keywords on Google: you’ll get an overview of your prospects’ choices on the results page. Adjust your ads accordingly.
  4. And remember: spelling, grammar and syntax errors are not allowed.

Use your test versions to measure which ads are the most effective (see the performance indicators below).

Need inspiration? Here are some examples of arguments

The following examples can be adapted and structured to fit your activity sector and competitive environment. Among the most effective arguments, in e-commerce, for example, are:

A/ “Price-targeted” ads

The special offer or exclusive package, or the “expert’s choice” (i.e. your selection of an offer), similar to an “editor’s picks” in magazines and papers;
A price that beats the competitors, or a token gift, gift voucher, or free shipping (with a minimum purchase amount);
Price perception: as low as…, a __ % (or €__ ) discount;
The “Don’t miss out” effect: encourage impulse buying by creating an offer that ends ___;

B/ Choice

Product availability (particularly when competitors are sold out);
Catalogue referencing of leading brands or products in your market;
Catalogue size and the richness of your offer;
The all-important delivery factor: delivery times and costs, drive-thru, store pick-up in a brick and mortar store, pick-up locations, etc.
The ability to personalise and offer tailored solutions;

C/ Reassurance

Your ‘legitimacy’, especially if you are still relatively unknown on the web; refer to your years of experience, for example;
Following on from the previous point: customer satisfaction (expressed as a % based on a survey, for example) or the number of customers on the site already;
The ease of returning an article, calling customer service, promptness in responding to requests, etc.

Have you improved your ads? Performance indicators to follow

To arbitrate between several ads, compare what is comparable. This means Positioning counts: an ad which appears on average in sixth position or lower can hardly compete with an ad in first position.
You also need a minimum amount of data: all ads need to be published for several days before they garner results.

With this in mind, pay special attention to:

The interaction rate: this varies widely depending on the activity sector; the click-impression ratio “must” be at least 2%.
The distribution rate: ads with only a 5% distribution rate, for example, are unable to generate meaningful data.
The bounce rate and duration of visit: the higher the first and the lower the second, the less you can trust the traffic quality.

One last tip. Less successful ads shouldn’t be erased: put them on stand-by instead. This allows you to keep a history of your tests. An erased ad is indeed permanently deleted from your account, along with your performance measurements! Sometimes, over time, you can forget which tests weren’t convincing. If, for example, you repeat a one-off campaign next year, you can consult last year’s errors to avoid them.

Other on-line resources on this topic

Write successful text ads
Inside Adwords: Google’s official blog for news, tips and information on AdWords

This article hashtags: #CPC   #SEA   #PPC

Compelling text ads is one among many other criteria for an effective Google Ads campaign. What are your best practices?  Problems you’ve encountered? Need advice? Get in touch.

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