How to Write Effective AdWords Ads That Convert

Advertising on AdWords is incredibly competitive.

Making it even harder is the fact that you have limited space in your ads to work with.

With only a few lines of text, you need to communicate your unique sales proposition to get potential prospects to click through to your landing page. Certainly not an easy task as your business is also competing with other advertisers all vying for the same traffic.

The bottom line is that how you write your ads matters.

It can mean the difference between a high performing campaign or one that fails to gain any traction. Writing effective copy is your best chance to make your ads stand out.

Here we look at some of the most effective tactics to write better ads that convert.

1. Write Headlines That Reflect What Visitors Want

Headlines are perhaps the most important aspect of your ad copy. With Expanded Text Ads, advertisers have more space to work with (two headline fields with 30 characters each). But every word still counts or you risk potential prospects glossing over your ads.

Write headlines that reflect what people want to make your ads stand out.

Here is a good example of an ad with a targeted headline:

Someone searching for CRM software would definitely be interested in growing their business. So this ad likely attracts a good deal of traffic.

Now compare this ad to this one:

The headline is poorly written and fails to communicate any value to potential prospects. Highlight in your headlines how your products or services help customers and make this clear in your ad copy.

2. Highlight a Special Offer

Great offers are hard to resist.

Use this to your advantage to encourage potential customers to click through to your ads. Some examples might include offering:

  • Free shipping worldwide
  • Special discounts on all purchases
  • Price matching available

The more specific you can be in your ads, the better. That way searchers have a better idea of what to expect from your business.

Here is an example of an ad that highlights a special offer:

Potential prospects can tell immediately from the ad that a rather substantial discount and free shipping are available. Not all offers will results in conversions for your business. So be sure to test different offers to see which one performs better.

3. Create a Sense of Urgency

Loss aversion is a powerful behavioural concept. It states that the pain of losing something is far greater than the pleasuring of gaining something.

This is a principle that you can leverage in your own copy and is a powerful motivator to get customers to click through and buy. One way to implement it is by using a countdown timer in your ad to highlight limited time only offers. Instead of manually updating your ads, you can include a timer that automatically updates.

When creating a new ad, insert “{=” (without quotes) and you will see the following popup:

Double check the settings and create the rest of your ad as usual. Once your ad goes live, visitors will see a dynamic ad (e.g. Sale ends in 5 days) that highlights when a special offer ends. This is an incredibly powerful feature that can have a huge impact on click through rates and conversions.

4. Include Specific Numbers

Numbers are easy to understand.

And they also add credibility to your copy.

Simply stating that your software is the best likely won’t work. Because that exact copy has been used by hundreds of other people. But being specific and adding that more than 500,000 customers are using your software is far more likely to get your ad noticed (and clicked).

Here is an example ad from a company that offers project management software:

The headline is slightly truncated but it only can mean 1.5 million customers.

That bit of information is far more likely to get noticed than an ad that simply states that they are leading project management tool. But the information you use needs to be accurate as it reflects poorly on your business if you inflate your numbers just for impressions.

5. Be Personal

Effective ads that resonate with target audiences are those that are personal. They speak directly with potential prospects by using words such as “you”.

Take a look at this ad from Shopify:

Note that the headline says “Start Your Online Store” and not “Start an Online Store”. The difference is very subtle but using the word “you” in your copy can make your ad far more persuasive. And drive more clicks to your landing pages.

Writing ad copy is an ongoing process.

Even if your campaigns are generating conversions, you should never stop testing new ads. Implement these proven strategies to transform mediocre ads into ads that convert.