Google Ads, formerly Google AdWords, is a great way to promote your business and boost product sales. They are easy-to-use and typically offer a decent ad spend ROI, when used correctly. But how can you maximize your Google Ads ROI? Today, we will look at how to write great ad copy and how this can boost your Google Ads conversion rate.
Before we begin, a quick note: This guide will not cover the mechanics of Google Ads – there are plenty of decent guides online, and a good place to start is reading through some of the tutorials Google has put out there. Instead, the focus is on writing great ad copy.
So whether it’s your first time writing an ad, or you’re already a veteran Google Ads wordsmith, this guide has tips that can help everyone to hone those skills.
Before we dive in a quick note on the Google Ads text ad format.
You can use:
- Up to 3 Headlines each of 30 characters separated by vertical bars
- Have a visible URL
- 2 Descriptions of 90 characters
- Include extensions such as a countdown timer or site links
Note: I recommend putting the crucial information in the first two headlines, as the third headline may not show on all devices.
So let’s dive in!
1. Mirror user intention
Understanding user intention is the bread and butter of any effective digital marketing strategy. With Google Ads, you have a very short space to get your point across. This means if there is any doubt in the user’s mind about whether or not you can meet their needs, they won’t click. But how can you avoid this doubt?
The answer is to think about what action you want the user to take. Do you want them to sign up for an email list, watch a webinar, or directly buy a product? Once you know the desired user action, you need to reflect this in your copy.
The example shown above may seem simple. And it is! But the user’s intention is clear. Retailer Argos knows that users that search online want to reserve their product online and come and pick up the product in-store. But why? Online browsing is super convenient, but when it comes to customers making purchase decisions, especially larger ones, it’s much more reassuring to see, feel and check the product in-store. This sort of ad helps Argos pick up traffic who otherwise may not have converted straight away in the web store.
2. Repeat the CTA
One of the rules of great copywriting is repetition. And the same is true for Google Ads copy.
There are multiple ways of repeating the CTA, but the main two combinations are:
1) repeating the CTA in the headline and description
2) repeating the headline by using the site links extension.
In the example above, a UK web hosting company starts with an offer in the headline and repeats the offer in the site links extension at the bottom.
The site links extension has the advantage that it increases the clickable space of the ad. Careful not to use too many offers, claims in the site links extension as it can seem a little spammy as in the example below:
3. Eliminate redundancy
Effective copy should never include redundancy and this is particularly true for Google Ads.
You simply don’t have the time or space to waste words. “Can’t make it to the local yoga studio? We got you covered!” wastes 58 characters on something the user already knows. Much worse would be if this redundancy was in the headline. Instead, focus on the benefits of your offer. In this case, why are your online yoga courses so good? A better headline/CTA would be to offer a free trial class.
4. Be specific
When it comes to ads, the more specific the better. This can include claims, numbers or benefits. Try and answer a question specifically in your ad such as: how many happy customers do you have? or how many resources do you have? In the above example from Apple, there are two specific numbers: how much you need to pay monthly to get an iPhone 11 and how much you would need to pay if you trade in your old phone. Note how both numbers are exact. Also note that the claims are repeated in the body copy and using the site links extension.
5. Insert emotive words
Emotive words are words that elicit an emotional response from your users. In the example above, words such as “claim”, “confidence”, “help”, “deserve” elicit an emotional response. Sumo put together a list – use it to get inspiration and not as a definitive guide.
6. Use a countdown timer
Ok, so this is not technically a copywriting tip. But it is effective. You can add a countdown timer to your Google Ads. The great thing is you can set the timer and Google will dynamically insert how long it is left in the sale. A timer can be a great purchase incentive as people don’t want to miss out on a great offer. It’s not too tricky, just follow these steps from Google
7. Get personal
Lots of ads out there speak about “the company” or make promises like “We will help you succeed”. This waters down the personal connection. It is much more effective to talk directly to who you are writing to. So try to avoid all “we” forms and go straight for the “you form”. Have a read through the 3 ads above. Which one jumps out at you? Fiverr’s “Your Freelancer Is Here” headline copy makes it stand out from the other two and using “Your” plays a large role. The second ad uses “your” in the body copy, but this gets lost because Fiver’s headline steals the show.
8. Get hyperlocal
Including a local phone number can significantly boost CTR. ExtraSpace dynamically inserted their inventory details so that when users searched for storage in their local area, the number of available units was displayed. According to their findings, this boosted CTR by 113%.
Related: Boutique dog grooming business Dogue utilized a hyperlocal Google Ads campaign for their Sydney-based franchisees. It has since become their number one source for new online acquisition. Check out how Google Ads have helped grow their business in the video below:
9. Test, test and test some more
It’s impossible to predict which copy is going to perform the best. That’s why it’s best to perform A/B testing with different ads. It’s best to change one element of copy (headline, description) between ad sets, so that when you analyze the results you know what change was effective.
In order to analyze your Google ads performance, you need to focus on:
- Click-through rate: a critical stat which tells you how effective this ad is and which directly impacts the quality score of the ads. A higher quality score will help you lower your CPC and get your ads in more queries in higher positions.
- Conversions and profitability: If you are tracking conversions, and you should, you should prioritise and optimise the ads that are driving more revenue.
10. Bonus tip: Landing page congruence
Congruence is just a fancy word for similarity. The copy in your ads needs to match the copy of your landing page that it links to. Think about the tonality, who you are addressing (we vs. you forms) the user intention, and your CTAs. The Google Ads should match up as closely as possible to your landing page. For this reason, it may be worth creating separate landing pages with small text tweaks for different Google Ad campaigns.
Start growing your business with Metigy and Google Ads Today
Hopefully, you found some of the above tips helpful. The main takeaway is that Google Ads are not an exact science, but if you experiment and persevere, you will find the winning combination. Use the tips above to make sure your ad copy is on point, and the rest will follow.
At Metigy, we’ve addressed the number one challenge facing SMEs that want to start using Google Ads, the complexity of creating and running a successful Google Ads campaign. We’ve created a simple way for you to run a successful Google Ads campaign, backed by our AI recommendation technology.
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