AdWords Ad Copy: Best Practices

Ah, the mysterious world of Google AdWords.

Frightening first initial thoughts of setting up and managing a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign aside, there are a number of incredible benefits to using a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) platform, which include driving traffic to your website, growing your email list, and more importantly, increasing sales. That being said, there are a few best practices when it comes to writing your AdWords copy that gives you the best possible chance of PPC success.

The Basics

If you’re new to AdWords, understanding what your ad will consist of is the first step in conquering the SEM platform. Your ad will look a little something like this:

  • Headline 1: 30 characters
  • Headline 2: 30 characters
  • Display URL/Path: 30 characters
  • Description: 80 characters
  • Final URL


The headlines may very well be the most important part of your ad. When it comes to writing an effective Google AdWords headline, the goal should be to get an appropriate emotional response from your audience, and not necessarily using a bunch of keywords. Keywords are important, but they also shouldn’t be used in the headline if they don’t exactly target what your audience is searching for. If there’s a keyword that fits within the context of the headline, go ahead and use it, but don’t rely solely on keywords.


Avoid using first person when it comes to your AdWords ad. Using words such as “we,” “us,” “me,” “myself” and “I” fail to focus on the customer’s needs and can decrease your chances of getting a click or conversion. Instead, focus on the customer and their pain points by using “you” and making it strictly about them and not your company or organization.

Another essential part of the copy in the description is having a strong call to action (CTA). Having a CTA will guide customers to make the next move and click on your ad. If you’re currently running a sale, special, or promotion, tell people about it in the description. Try using words such as “call,” “buy,” “order,” “book,” or “browse.” Give them a reason to click on your ad.

Display URL

Google’s new expanded text ads automatically pull their domain for your display URL from your final URL, so you no longer need to specify the domain in every ad you write. In addition, there’s an option to add up to 2 fifteen-character path fields to add to the display URL. Even though it’s optional, we recommend using these additional fields, as it reassures customers that your ad will take them to a specific landing page relevant to their interests, and you can also include a keyword in your display URL’s path.

Final URL

The final URL is the actual URL that people reach after clicking your ad (i.e. URL of a landing page, LeadPage, etc.). This should match what your ad promotes.

Even though you have to squeeze important information into a miniscule 140 characters with the right verbiage and keywords, it’s certainly an attainable task. If you want to be successful with your PPC campaign, put these best practices to the test!

What are other best practices that you recommend?

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