When advertising with Google Adwords, it is important to write compelling ads to ensure a high click through rate (CTR) and quality score. A higher quality score ensures a better placement for your ad in the search results and a lower cost per click (CPC). However, while maintaining a high CTR is important, you also want to make sure your ad copy minimize clicks from non-buyers. Let us take a closer look at how you can make the most of an adwords ad.

1. Keyword in the headline

The headline is the most crucial part of any advertisement. For search advertising in particular, it is important to note that the headline represents a hyperlink (blue and underlined) and has a larger font than the rest of the ad text. For this reason, vast majority of people will click on the ad headline and so you must make the most of this opportunity.
The simplest headline is to repeat the whole keyword or part of the keyword phrases, either manually or through dynamic keyword insertion in your headline. This will make your headline appear in bold blue, making it stand out from the rest of the page. If you are a well-known brand in the market, you can also use your brand name alongside the main keyword phrase to leverage brand power in the ad headline.

2. Stunning Offer in the first line of the ad text

Even if you already have included the keyword phrase in the headline, it is often a good practice to use part of the keyword phrase in the first line of the ad text. However, the goal of the headline is to draw attention whereas the goal here is to offer something unique and valuable to the consumer. Therefore, an ad for ‘affordable car insurance’ could include information about some special discounts you offer on auto insurance.

3. Call to action in the second line of the ad text

In the second line, you want to make sure you put in a clear call to action such as ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Contact Now’. You also want to encourage people to take immediate action by highlighting an exclusive offer or telling them how fast and easy it is to take action. The call to action must relate to the conversion goal – i.e. it must tell the prospect exactly what they are expected to do after click the ad – signup, purchase or get a quote, etc. A good call to action will help improve the conversion rate tremendously.

4. Keyword-rich Display URL

Display url appears in green and any words that match the search query are bolded. The main purpose of the display url line is to let the searcher know where they will be taken after clicking the ad. As such, you want to make sure that the display url does not look ‘spammy’ so avoid using hyphenated domains. You might also want to include the main keyword in the display url as it will appear in bold. One way to accomplish this is to extend the root domain into a page level url to make it appear as though the visitor will land on a page directly relevant to the search query.

5. Use Special Characters and Punctuation to Improve CTR

Google adwords allows the use of special characters and punctuation marks. These marks will make your ad stand out from the rest and thus drive your CTR up. However, their use is severely restricted and so you must use up your allowance wisely. Question marks in the headline tend to improve CTR considerably. Similarly ending a call to action such as ‘Buy Now’ with an exclamation mark is highly recommended. Other characters commonly used to grab attention are & (in place of ‘and’) and quotation marks to highlight quotes and important information like discounts (‘25% off’). Depending upon the vertical you can also employ the double dashes (–) and elipses (…). Finally, you must also use registered and trademark symbols where applicable.

6. State the price to prevent unqualified clicks

It is good to mention the price in the ad, particularly if you offer lower prices than your competitors do. On the other hand, if you do not offer the lowest prices, you should still state the price in the ad. It does not make sense paying for traffic who cannot afford your products or services to begin with. While stating the price in the ad, might hamper its CTR, there are a number of other ways to improve CTR as described in the article. Having said, it is completely understandable why some businesses might want to withhold the pricing information from their ads.

7. Expand your ad with appropriate extensions

Google Adwords now offers several extensions to enhance user experience. Some of these ad extensions like location extensions and site-links are completely free while others like call extensions incur a charge every time a user calls your number directly from the search results page. Ad extensions are easy to manage and implement and every advertiser should take full advantage of them to improve the performance of their ads.

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