The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Effective AdWords Ads

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This guide provides comprehensive understanding, information and knowledge to writing effective AdWords Ads.

Writing Effective AdWords Ads – The Basics

A Google AdWords ad is deceptively short and sweet, at least to the viewer. But for its writer, it is a tough job trying to be short and sweet. To use an apt simile, an Adwords ad is like a commando’s emergency ration kit. Hardly a mouthful, but so powerful that it galvanizes the searcher into instant action.

The constitution of an AdWords ad is divided into three distinct parts: First, two headlines of 30 characters each and a description line of 80 characters. The character count includes the space count. Finally, the URL (web address) line which will lead the searcher to the relevant web page of the advertiser’s web site. Google aptly calls it the landing page.

A good AdWord ad conveys the full message logically and coherently in fewest possible words. It is telegraphic in nature. That’s why it requires a crafty writer to compose a result-centric compelling AdWords ad. Such an ad improves the click-through-rate (CTC) and reflects the search parameters very accurately in its content, particularly in its keywords.

Keywords or phrases – They are the key to success for any AdWords ad. They must be precisely representative of the search parameters. If a searcher is looking for spades, it will be a good idea to call a spade a spade in the AdWords ad. It’s no point calling it a garden implement. A good AdWords ad never beats around the bush. It hits the bull’s eye straight away.

Such a well-conceived AdWords ad gets instant approval from Google (yes, all AdWords ads need to be pre-approved by Google before its publishing), offers a better click-through-rate (CTR) and earns better cost-per-click (CPC).

The central aim of a good AdWords ad should be to persuade the searcher to perform that all-important action of clicking on it. This, the searcher only does if he has found the exact search criterion/criteria in the content of the ad. So, it amounts to deriving and incorporating the most appropriate keywords in the ad, which the searcher may be using in his search field.

Well-tested set of guidelines to Writing Effective Ads

A very important thing to remember by aspiring Google AdWords writers is that less is more. This part of the series provides a well-tested set of guidelines that explains how to achieve the ability of writing AdWords ads judiciously yet effectively.

  • An aspiring AdWords writer may think he is a surgeon and his vocabulary is his kit of tools. Before using these tools, he has to study the diagnosis and examine the case thoroughly. In other words, the writer has to give his 100% application to the case study and come up with an analytical hypothesis on how to carry out the ‘operation’. Google AdWords writing is more of a precise science than art.
  • Every product and service has its USP, Unique Selling Proposition, the feature of any advertised subject on which its selling pitch is based. This is generally the most obvious and important strength of the subject of the ad. The writer has to be adept at digging out this USP, transforming it into a unique user-benefit, and craft the AdWords ad with surgical precision and finesse.
  • A writer should never over-hype the subject so that it creates over expectation, or indulge in jugglery of words, or use gimmicky phraseology. Instead, it is best to be truthful to the subject. This will help in facilitating a realistic aspiration level in the searcher’s mind, which will not let him down when he lands on the landing page.
  • An aspirant may experiment economizing his verbal communication in every-day life. A conversation that would take ten sentences to verbalize may be consciously compressed into five sentences, without compromising on the quality of communication. It will be an amazing discovery for the writer how well this experiment works when its benefits are applied to writing effective AdWords ads.

It then becomes easy to create compact and concise but power-packed AdWords ads. Besides, a writer should realize that the searcher is always going to have options of AdWords ads to click on. And if these options are better than the writer’s, he does not stand a chance worth a click. Hence, an aspirant should precisely understand what the searcher is looking for, articulate his search intentions in keywords, fine tune them to both the searcher’s needs and Google’s editorial policy, and then draft out a sure shot AdWords ad.

  • It can’t be repeated enough times: It’s all about keywords. The writer can actually ‘simulate’ his AdWords ad by using the split testing facility offered by Google. The writer can also edit or redraft the ad using newer keywords or phrases if an ad does not produce the desired results.
  • Please, please do away with unrequited a, in, an, it, of, etc. It’s allowed.
  •  The writer can precede the most appropriate keyword with the word ‘keyword’, and then encase it along with the actual keyword in square brackets. This becomes a search field. Whenever a search matches this field exactly, Google automatically converts the keyword into bold.

Google AdWords content and Related Issues

In this third and final part, the language of Google AdWords content and its related issues are explained. Various aspects like setting the tone of language, no-nonsense approach, correct grammar and spellings, and avoiding promotional gimmicks are covered below:

  • The tone of language: This must be factual, professional and concise. The emphasis here is on being effective rather than being impressive.
  • No-nonsense approach: Google disallows any type of promotional gimmicks or scams, which are practiced or malpracticed on the net.
  • All claims by advertisers regarding quality, competitive pricing, superior performance, freebies, discounts, incentives, free offers, etc. have to be supported and substantiated either on the landing page, or within two clicks of that page. So, while claiming superiority over the competitor, or using superlatives like the best, or claiming numeric one-upmanship like ‘#1’, the advertiser must prove it.
  • Google says no to instructive call-to-action phrases (a persuasive phrase that compels the searcher to perform the click action on the ad) like click now. Instead, a writer can use a subtler phrase like act today.
  • Use of inappropriate or indecent language is strictly prohibited. No offensive, abusive, provocative, racial, sexual, or slang language is allowed in AdWords ads.
  • Apart from these language-specific norms, Google also insists on a few other things like adhering to its no pop-up policy which disallows pop-ups on any activity done by the searcher in and around the landing page, ensuring exact URLs, smooth functioning of the landing page address, secure and safe URLs, and proper adherence to trademark guidelines.
  • Grammar and spellings: Google is grammatically correct. Always. No writer’s liberties here. Overuse of punctuations like exclamation and question marks to invite attention is disallowed. No exclamation mark in the headline, and only one in the body. The body should not continue or imply to be continued in the URL line. No fully capitalized words like FREE should appear anywhere in the ad.
  • However, first letter capitalization is allowed in nouns, pronouns, etc. and in URL address. Capitalization of abbreviations is allowed in the body. Gimmicky repetition of words like ‘act, act, act’ is a strict no-no. Besides, it erodes the precious character count. Phrases should be logically and sensibly formed so that they are easily understood. Spacing must be grammatically correct. Chat lingo is certainly not allowed as a means of economizing on character count. The writer must not spell ‘you’ as ‘u’. Use of symbols and numeric must denote its true meaning, and nothing else.

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