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Paid Media 10 min read

How to Write Google Ad Copy That Converts

Ayesha Renyard photo

Ayesha Renyard

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Published 10 Nov 2020

Writing high-converting Google Ads copy requires some strategy. Why? Because you’re working with minimal real estate. Any expert marketer will say that you need to pitch your value and benefits, set yourself apart from the competition, incorporate keywords, and have a strong call to action—in a way that resonates with your target audience. Oh, and in 300 characters. That means 50 characters less than what’s in these first four sentences. Stuffing all that into your copy is like squeezing a genie back into its bottle. Not so easy. 

In 2019, Google Ads increased the character limit to 300 characters as a part of its Expanded Text feature. According to Google, it offered advertisers: 

  • A third headline
  • A second description
  • Up to 90 characters for each description

In other words, Google Ads now allows three 30-character headlines and two 90-character descriptions.

Source: Wordstream

Does anyone else think this still isn’t a whole lot?  

Here at Galactic Fed, we’re always up to the challenge—and we hope you are too. If your ad ranking is high on a SERP, there’s an enormous opportunity to skyrocket your conversion rates. So let’s flip the switch. 

As part of our Paid Media Series, this article covers five tips for creating high-converting Google Ads copy. 

Five Tips for Improving Your Google Ads Copy

1. Expand your text space with extensions

Extensions expand your ad with additional information—giving people more reasons to choose your business. According to Google, they typically increase an ad’s click-through-rate by several percentage points. 

Here are some that are consistently in our toolkit

  • Callouts: If you feel like the headline doesn’t provide enough room to showcase just how amazing your products are (a tough position to be in, we’re sure), take advantage of the callout extensions. These are available so marketers, like you, can still include all the juicy benefits. You can create up to ten, but Google will have the final say as to which one’s pop up—according to each user’s search.
  • Sitelinks: Sitelink extensions take people to specific pages on your site (for example, product pages, store hours, the blog). With up to 25 characters, they also help you bulk up your ad with more information. But keep them relevant to the ad you’ve created. If you’re promoting socks, don’t go throwing in sitelinks to your sweater product page.
  • Location: Although consumers have access to a global marketplace, location is still incredibly important for driving digital ad conversions—and that’s because brick-and-mortar stores offer immediate gratification. In a study by Google, 76% of people who searched for a nearby product online visited that company’s business within a day. Of that, 28% made a purchase. 

Location extensions work by showcasing your local business address on the actual ad for given search results—and work exceptionally well for mobile ads. Get ‘em while they’re on the go!

  • Call extensions: Similarly to location extensions, call extensions leverage the value tied to accessibility. When people search “plumbers near me,” they are also likely in a bit of a pickle and need to reach one quick! Call extensions are your best bet at capturing business leads that need help, products, or information fast. We also recommend them for restaurants—as they’re highly effective at converting hangry prospects.

To maximize your ads’ performance, Google Ads selects which extensions to show according to each user’s search. For that reason, it’s a good idea to use all the extensions relevant to your business goals.

BUT! Adding an extension won’t guarantee that it will show up with your ad all the time. 

Extensions only show with your ad when:

  • The extension (or combination of extensions) is predicted to improve your performance.
  • Your ad’s position and Ad Rank is high enough for extensions to show. 

2. Create a strong headline 

Your headline is the first line of copy your audience sees on your ad. Now, you can have three 30-character headlines. The options! 

The headlines appear one after the other, separated by a vertical pipe. The first two are mandatory, while the third is optional. We recommend covering the most important stuff in the first two. 

What qualifies as important? Think about the keywords you’re targeting. If it’s “pizza,” make sure it’s in there. Then, consider why your target audience is searching for pizza and how you can craft a headline that will grab their attention. 

Hint: this is where your unique value proposition comes in. 

In a sea of similar products, your prospects don’t give a hoot about your product. They want to know what they’re getting out of it. So if you sell the best pizza in Chicago, you need to frame why it’s the best pizza in Chicago from the customer’s perspective.

Take the example above. With Barraco’s headline, we see the differentiator front and center: 24-hour access to pizza. But with Gino’s East, in a city full of pizza joints offering deep dish pizza, what unique value does it offer prospects? It uses all three headlines—without saying anything new. 

To really set your business apart from others, you could Google “Chicago pizza” and see what your competition is pitching. If they’re claiming they offer the fastest delivery, you could target their search traffic by offering free delivery. Or, you could find a hole in current ranking ads—such as 2-for-1 deals—and snag prospects that way.

3. Optimize your display URL 

The display URL is the webpage address that appears with your ad, typically shown in green text. Its purpose is to give people an idea of where they’ll arrive after they click the ad. So, the display URL can be different from the destination URL to optimize clarity. However, they should still be similar because they both reflect the content of the webpage. 

Remember, Google Ads rewards advertisers that offer a stellar user experience. If your destination URL (or landing page) is vastly different from your display URL and ad, your ad ranking will suffer. 

To ensure consistency between your destination URL and display URL, use your target keywords as a foundation. Then, to create specificity, use path fields. These are optional text fields you can add to the display URL to better describe a product or service that you sell. You can add up to two path fields, with 15 characters each.

Say you’re a shoe brand (www.shoebrand.com). Is your domain URL enough to tell the audience what type of shoe you sell? With path fields, your URL can now look like this: www.shoebrand.com/mens_shoes/tennis to demonstrate that you sell tennis shoes. This will reduce your CPC because those who click on your link are genuinely interested prospects. 

4. Create a strong call to action (“CTA”)

A CTA is a phrase that tells the user exactly what action to take, and how to take it. You can have amazing ad copy that shows off all your benefits and value, but if prospects don’t know the next step, they’ll bounce. 

But “Learn More” and “Click Here” no longer cut it. Your CTAs have to be clear and decisive. Here’s how: 

  • High visibility: No matter how great your copy is, your prospects will likely be skimming. If your call to action is in your headlines, there’s a high chance that your audience will see it. If you decide to put it in your description, be mindful of burying it with other copy. 
  • Powerful action verbs: Give clear direction on the next steps using powerful verbs. If you’re selling something, use words like “buy” or “order.” If you’re promoting a resource, tell them to “download” or “subscribe.” Keep it simple, but in a way that is purposeful and direct. 
  • Use pronouns: Make your prospects feel like you created this ad just for them. The benefits you pitched solve their pain points—and this call to action is their VIP access. “Claim Your Discount” or “Start My Trial” makes this offer sound extra special.  

Nike is known to empower its customers. In this ad, the call to action comes first—even before the brand introduction! And in the descriptions, they include pronouns to make that 1-to-1 connection with their millions of consumers. 

5. Create urgency 

In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini states: “The idea of potential loss plays a large role in human decision making. People seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value.”

When writing your ad copy, creating a sense of urgency is incredibly valuable. People will convert today out of fear that the offer won’t exist tomorrow—kids nowadays call this FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). 

Add some urgency to your copy by using countdowns or suggesting scarcity. As you can see in the ad below by TD Bank, the headline is used to really draw attention to the limited time to claim an offer. Similarly, you could highlight a limited supply to motivate prospects to convert quickly. 

It’s time to write your way into new territory

Despite such little text space, there’s always room to improve your Google Ads copy. However, with these five tips, we’re confident that you have enough in your toolkit to steer your next ad campaign towards higher conversions. 

Unsure about something? No problem! We’re available to chat anytime.

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Ayesha Renyard photo

Ayesha Renyard

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

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