5.4 Billion Google Searches Are Made Each Day
People are searching for things all the time, all day long. Some of them are searching for what you sell. Advertising on Google is a great way to create brand awareness and generate new business. However, with lots of competition, you need to make sure your ads will stand out and get you the clicks you deserve. Here are ten best practices to keep in mind when creating your text ads for your Google Ads campaigns.
#1 Use Top Keywords In Your Headlines
What better way to catch a user's attention than to have the items or service they are searching for be the first thing they read in your ad? You should always have your top-performing keywords inside your headlines, typically headlines 1 and 2. This builds relevance, trust, and increases the likelihood that your ad will be clicked.
#2 Include Your Product Name/Service
Don’t keep your product or service a secret. Include it inside your headline, include it in your description. Make it super clear what you are offering. That way when someone is searching for a product or service and your ad shows up on the results page it will bold every single spot where that product they were searching for is mentioned inside your ad. This increases the relevance of your ad to their search, increasing the chances of a click.
#3 Include Your Call To Action
Your Call To Action (CTA) is what you want users to do when they get to your website. It’s usually going to be the same objective as the CTA buttons on your website. Things like schedule a consult, learn more today, contact us today, browse now, shop now, etc. are all examples of a CTA. You want to include these same CTA’s in your ads that way users can know what their goal should be when clicking on your ad and landing on your website. Usually, the best 2 places for these to be included are inside your 3rd headline and at the end of your second description. That way the action you want them to take is the last thing they read. So after you’ve shown them what they want, you tell them how to get it.
#4 Use All Available Extensions
Extensions are additional real estate that your ads can be taking advantage of on the Search Engines Results Page (SERP). When used they make your overall ad take up more space, potentially more space than your competitor's ads, and more time you’re in front of users. Structured Snippets take up the most space, and provide direct links to your website. Callouts are a great way to feature extra important information about your product or service that can be enticing to users. Call extensions are great for anyone searching on mobile that may want to call you directly. These are all very important pieces of your campaign and you should be doing your best to use them all effectively.
#5 Don’t Forget About Paths
Paths are a very important part of writing Google text ads that shouldn’t be forgotten about. There are 2 paths that have 15 characters each that let you customize the display URL of your advertisement. You should use these fields to include some keywords directly related to the destination that the user will land on when they click your ad.
Want to learn more about how text ads work? Our blog post on The Anatomy of A Google Search Ad has got you covered.
#6 Use All Your Characters
You get a limited amount of characters to use inside your headlines and descriptions. 30 characters per headline and 90 characters per description to be exact. So you’ll want to make sure that you maximize every character. Use abbreviations when possible to help save you some space.
#7 Be Clear
Since you do have a limited amount of characters to work with you’ll want to make sure your messaging stays clear and to the point. This will help to convey your message in a more effective way while keeping to the character limit. If you find yourself trying to cover too many things in one ad, it might be a sign that you need to make another ad group. Ads should be specific to the one topic and one ad group that they are targeting.
#8 Incorporate Locations
If you are a locally based company, with some sort of physical location it’s a great idea to include the name of your city in your ads. This helps build a level of comfort and trust in users. Knowing where you are located, can even be an immediate win for them on their level of interest in buying from you.
Pro Tip: Make sure you have a Google My Business account set up and linked via the location extension inside Google Ads - This allows your ads to show up inside Google Maps!
#9 Use Testimonials
Testimonials are extremely powerful, and if you don’t already have them on your website I highly recommend adding them. Just like they can be beneficial to your website, they can also be beneficial to your ads. Reading a testimonial inside an ad description is like seeing a direct recommendation from another customer. Give them a shot!
#10 Choose Your Landing Pages Carefully
What landing page your ad goes to has a lot to do with how well that ad will perform. If a user clicks on your ad and is taken to a landing page that’s got nothing to do with the ad they clicked on they are going to immediately leave your site, creating a bad impression. Make sure your landing page matches up with the product or service that’s advertised.
Best Practices For Testing Ads
Just like everything else in Google Ads one of the best things you can do is keep testing, and keep experimenting. Much like your campaigns, you can always be improving your ads. Here are 3 bonus tips on how to test your text ads.
#1 Use Responsive Text Ads
Responsive Text Ads(RTA’s) are one of the easiest ways to test out different headlines and descriptions. Being able to test 15 headlines and 4 descriptions at a time is huge. By setting up a few RTA’s with at least one fully unpinned* and one partially pinned* Google will quickly help you figure out the best performing headlines and descriptions. Which you can then take and make into new Expanded Text Ads.
*unpinned and partially pinned RTA’s is in reference to how you can pin a headline or description to a specific headline or description slot. This tells Google you only want it to show up in that slot and nowhere else. This is really helpful if you always want your Call To Action to be your 3rd headline for example.
#2 Make Tweaks To Expanded Text Ads
On a much smaller scale, you can make small changes to Expanded Text Ads, like trying out a different call to action, headline, or description. To do this you want to make an exact copy of a well-performing Expanded Text Ad, and then swap one thing out, whichever you want to test. Then be sure to keep track of the date it was created, so you can check back to see how it’s performing in the last, say a month, against the original ad. Did it perform better or worse? Then you can keep testing different tweaks until you find the best combination of headlines, descriptions, and paths.
#3 Set Up An Experiment
Of course, you can always set up a full experiment if you wanted to try a brand new batch of ads against your existing batch of ads. You’ll want to clone your existing campaign and ad groups then remove the existing ads (inside the experiment) and add in your new ads. That way everything else setting-wise, keyword-wise, and bid-wise remains the same. Then set a 50/50 split between the existing campaign and the experiment for at least one month, search-based. Be sure to keep track of when you start your experiment, what you are testing, and when the test will be over.
Pro Tip: Change your UTM Tracking codes inside your experiment campaigns at the ad group level to include the word ‘experiment’ that way you’ll be able to tell which conversions came from the experimental campaign and which ones came from the original campaign.
Always Be Testing
There’s a lot that goes into writing effective text ads so make sure you take the time to plan out your ads and keep testing them. It takes time, but a well-thought-out campaign turns into a well-performing campaign.
If you have any questions feel free to reach out, we’re always here to help!