The Unwritten Rules of AdWords

Aug 21, 2015  | 

1. Be keyword-oriented, especially in your headline

Your headline is the first part of the ad someone will read, so it is important to be intentional and strategic with the copy. Keywords help to connect your ad to your customers, as they are the bridge between their search and the solution. By being keyword-oriented you will make the most of your ad and provide relevant information to the searcher. Keywords should be the heart of your ad. They are on the mind of your searcher and should be in the headline of your ad. 


2. Impeccable spelling and grammar

Accurate spelling and grammar are always important when you are representing a brand. A misspelled word or wrong verb tense can diminish your authority and reflect poorly on the product you are trying to promote. With Google, every ad must meet their specific expectations for spelling and grammar; a simple mistake could prevent your ad from being shown or lower your quality score. Sometimes a faulty ad gets lost in the shuffle and it appears with an error. To avoid this or your ads getting denied, have the copy of the ads checked and edited.


3. Know your audience, know your product

With any form of advertising, it is important to understand your audience and product and the relationship they share. AdWords gives you little space to get the attention of the searcher so each word needs to be purposeful and targeted towards the customer. Relevant verbiage and language will appeal to a certain demographic where others will not. Lingo or common abbreviations will resonate with the searcher and help you stay within the character count. Your tone is another way to focus the ad on a particular set of customers.


4. Beat the character limit with abbreviations and symbols

The limited amount of characters allotted per ad can make it tricky to navigate AdWords and effectively communicate your message. If you are writing a marketing ad concerning pay-per-click advertising and you know your targeted audience is proficient in the terminology of the industry, you can save characters with abbreviating it to PPC. This can be applied to almost any field.The same could be said for using a number or dollar symbol rather than writing out the entire word. Google is very specific with their rules for symbols and abbreviations, so only use them when it is accurate and necessary. This will save you precious character space within an ad shorter than a Tweet.


For reference: the headline is allowed 25 characters and each description line has a limit of 35, making for a total character count of 95.


5. Capitalize every word

This practice has become the norm in the AdWords world because it creates an eye-catching ad when contrasted with the other search results. With the previously mentioned character constraints in mind, capitalization allows you to make the most of the small ad space and give your copy the power only more space could create. Capitalization of AdWords has become standard practice within the copy community. To understand this more, think of the ad as a title in regards to it being the first piece of information a potential customer will see about the product.


6. Add dynamic keyword insertion when appropriate

In its simplest form, dynamic keyword insertion turns the user’s search into the headline of the ad. If you were to search for “apple pie recipes”, the headline of the ad would be just that. The following copy would integrate keywords and language that could be part of a more universal ad group. In this instance, it could be baking or fruit recipes. Dynamic insertion is great tool to catch a searcher’s attention and make the ad more personal. It adds a layer of relevance to your copy that otherwise would not have been there. 


7. Experiment with your copy

AdWords can become repetitive, causing many ads to be read over or ineffective. Do not be afraid to experiment with your copy to find new ways of conveying your message. Because Google has strict restrictions on the use of punctuation and symbols, it can be tricky to write your ad in a provoking manner. Mixing up the vocabulary can be a great way to give your ad a leg up against its competition.

8. Mirror your landing pages

When writing copy for AdWords, it is important to mirror the ad to the landing page. If a searcher were to read your ad and click, you want the languages to be similar. Knowing what to expect when you land on a site improves the experience for the searcher and adds authority to your message.  Mirroring your pages increases your quality score, ad rank and position. 


9. Make a compelling offer

It is important to keep in mind the competition within AdWords. When writing copy, highlight what makes your offer unique and influence the searcher to click. By including key benefits like prices, promotions or exclusives, you will add depth to the copy and entice them to interact. Know the strengths of your product and integrate them into your copy.  


10. Choose a relevant call-to-action

With your ad, make it clear what the next steps are for your customer. If you are selling something, tell them what they need to do to buy it. For services, provide them with your contact information. This is an important component of the copy because it gives your customers direction and leads them where you want them to go. A strong call-to-action will be at the end of your ad with interesting and provoking content. This is your last chance to get the searcher to click. Go ahead, try it out! 


By  Jake Bowlby

Jake Bowlby is a Sr Digital Marketing Strategist at Lift Division and has helped hundreds of businesses across Missouri grow sales and profits. Jake has considerable experience helping builders, contractors, restaurateurs and many other industries with brand development and lead generation.