How to write perfect AdWords copy every time

Posted by Ken McGaffin on 8 Aug, 2017
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A video tutorial to help you write consistently great ads copy to succeed with Google Adwords and grow profits.

Writing good Adwords copy is essential to success and easy to learn. In this post we'll show you how.

We’ll give you:

  • A video lesson that will take you through the whole process

  • An example ad that has double figure conversion rates

  • A detailed worksheet that will give you great ads right out of the box – and allow you to continually improve their performance

  • Guidance on how to evaluate and learn from competitors' ads

Here’s the video, which will take you through the process step by step and show you how to word an ad using the 'Ad Copy Formula':

The AdWords Copy Formula video tutorial

Many people feel they lack the skills and confidence to consistently write great copy that will convert customers and provide solid profits. As a result, they write ads that produce poor to average results.

And instead of improving those ads systematically, they leave them to underperform. Or even worse, they decide that Google AdWords is not ‘right’ for their business - and so lose one of the most valuable tools in online marketing.

With the AdWords Copy Formula, writing good Adwords copy that continues to grow profits is something anyone can do.

Using the Ad Copy Formula to improve your own ads

Now you’ve seen the video, start writing your own ad copy using the 'Ad Copy Formula' by downloading the interactive spreadsheet we provide.

Remember, you’re never going to be able to write your best ad first time - just get started and then use our worksheet to refine your ad at least 3 times.

Here’s an example to help you through the process:

Using the Ad Copy Formula

It's a creative process and you've got to set yourself the objective of beating your own previous work. It's only by going through a process of continuous improvement that you'll create outstanding ads.

Video transcript

Ken: This section we’ll start off with the Ad Copy Formula Hack. Can you explain that to us?

Ian: The Ad Copy Formula Hack is really a way of helping you write effective ads every single time - even if you're not a copywriter.

So if we go through the actual ad in Google, you have two headlines of 30 characters each. And then you have the ability to put in the description of 80 characters.

Then you have the destination URL - which is where you actually send people off who click your ad.

But you also have a display URL which allows you to put in more text - and it doesn't have to be the same as your real URL. So if your real URL is quite long you can shorten it for this display URL - it’s like an extra line of text.

Ken: So the display URL is really a little bit of a marketing trick, it is?

Ian: Yes, the display URL allows us to put more keywords into the ad - so you've got these headlines, you’ve got the description and you’ve got the display URL.  Great, but what Google doesn't do is give you any guidance on what to put in.

So we’re putting an ad actually up on the screen now which is for Godiva, and it shows that there’s a line in blue. That line in blue is the two headlines.

The 2 x 30-character headlines:

Godiva chocolate gifts

give the perfect chocolate gift

Ken: Excellent - and each of those is potentially 30 characters, is that right?

Ian: That's right. And then you have the display URL, which here is

And then they have a very short description line:

shop chocolate gifts now

You have up to 80 characters but you don't necessarily have to use those 80 characters. But if you look at that description line, it’s not as powerful as the two headlines.

So the first thing to understand is, the most powerful thing about the message is the two headlines, because they’re the thing in blue, they’re large on the page and they’re going to draw people's attention to the ad. If you're lucky they may look at the rest of the ad.

So really the most important thing is those headlines and what you put into those headlines.

Ken: And do you have to have two headlines?

Ian: Yes, you have to have two headlines. Google will force you. If you don't put that information in, it won't allow you to save the ad.

Ken: Right ok, so that's something that you must do. And then let's just look at this display URL that appears directly under that. We’re saying that's another opportunity for a little bit of marketing and I see the word gifts in there.

Ian: Yes, that's right. So you've got the ability to put more marketing messages into your URL. Even if the page doesn't have gifts as part of its URL, if the page is themed around gifts, Google will allow you to put that text in.

Yes, there’s different tricks. Some descriptions use the full 80 characters, but you can experiment and sometimes actually a shorter description can work just as well as a long description - and those can be tested.

Ken: Godiva here have chosen to keep it short. Is that right?

Ian: That’s right, they’ve made the decision to to make it short. So this is an example of a short description line

And so long as you have something in the description line, it doesn't matter whether it's long or short, so long as you don't go over the 80 characters.

The rest of the text is all ad extensions which we’ll come along to in a later chapter. So the ad extensions allow you to have these extra pieces of text which display if you get over Google’s threshold of quality.

Ken: So what you're saying here is Godiva is a really good example and what we would urge people to do is look for similar examples in your own industry and see who's doing it really well.

Ian: That's right. Have a look at what the competition is doing and do better than them.

Ken: Excellent, OK. And how does the situation change with mobile ads?

Ian: So with mobile ads it actually displays slightly differently on screen.

Here we have an example of how the mobile version of the ad looks. Here's a good example of why you might use a shorter description, because sometimes mobile ads ‘clip’ - they give you these ellipses, the three dots.

So there’s sometimes a good reason on a mobile ad - if you have a very strong message - to put in a shorter description.

But the great thing about mobile ads - it’s a great thing you’re a PPC person, it's a terrible thing if you’re an organic search person - is that one ad can take up almost the entire screen on a mobile phone.

Ken: Yes, that's what we're seeing there -  this is just dominated by the ad.

Ian: Yes. Now it's great because you're owning such a lot of the screen - but it really means that mobile is a ‘winner takes all’ market. That is, if you're getting top results, or maybe second result, and you got all your ad extensions in and you’ve got a really compelling ad, you’re going to take up a lot of real estate.

And people on their mobiles are more impatient - they’re potentially doing other things at the same time - and therefore you're more likely to get the click.

About Ian Howie

Ian is currently Director of Analytics at ROIWorks in San Francisco where he works with a wide range of startups and large corporates. He was previously head of PPC at Conversion Rate Experts, as well as founding his own successful PPC & SEO agency in London when AdWords first emerged as a powerful online marketing tool.

Ian teaches extensively in the USA, working with individual startups and in-house corporate teams.

About Ken McGaffin

Ken is a trainer and consultant in digital marketing and video production with more than 20 years experience helping scores of digital companies build their web presence, tap into new markets, and develop “magnetic” content that draws attention from customers, journalists, and bloggers alike.

He has worked with companies such as Majestic, SkilledUp, Buzzstream, Wordtracker and is now Director of PR Services at Citation Labs.

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