Create effective text ads: Google Best Practices

Write compelling, genuine ad copy

There are certain ad copy best practices that should be taken into account when writing your ads. Namely, you want to show value to a user without coming across as pushy.

Craft messaging that focuses on user needs and benefits

The best way to show value to a user is to think about their needs and benefits. Users respond to ads that include concepts that are important to them.

Focus on what a user gets by visiting your site. Things like reliability or trustworthiness (ex. “official site”), a wide selection (ex. “view our inventory”), and whatever else someone could want before visiting your site. Although those specific benefits will vary from industry to industry, start the ad copy writing process by thinking about your users.


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Aside from knowing your own business and your customers, there are plenty of other ways to get insight into what users care about.

  • Connect the terms you see in the Search terms report with what ad copy is serving.
  • Look at behavior reports in Google Analytics to see which pages on your site are most appealing to new or returning users.
  • Use language from successful pages on your own site as inspiration for your ad copy.

Think about why you would want to be a customer of your business, and do what you can to capture that in your ad copy.

Avoid generic sales language in your ads. Use more specific and relatable calls to action

Once you’ve identified some benefits that your users could respond to, it’s easy to see why generic sales language might not be appealing. Things like “call us today” create a false sense of urgency. There’s not really a benefit to the user, so why would they want to call today?

Non-specific or generic calls to action (ex. sign up today, book today) can often show decreased engagement with ads. Time-sensitive ads can be great, but there has to be a reason for that urgency. Saying something like “sale ends in XX hours” (through the usage of a countdown) can be very effective. Make any urgency earned and valued.


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Estimates tend to be free, so it might not benefit a user to know that your estimates are also free. Similarly, signing up for a newsletter is great for you, but a user might not see it as a benefit. Having a clear call to action is great, as long as that action actually benefits a user.

And a final point: make your offers to customers relatable. Think about where someone is in the buying cycle based on their query. Know when a user probably wants to browse inventory and when it seems like they’re ready to actually make a purchase.

Plan to give people answers, not ask them obvious questions

While this isn’t a rule to be followed 100% of the time, people generally come to Google to find answers. Ad copy with a question in the headline often underperforms, while ads that offer answers typically receive more attention (and clicks).

Asking someone searching for “black dress shoes” if they’re “Searching for Black Dress Shoes?” is the type of question that never needs to be asked. Plenty of advertisers have seen success with a question in their headline, but more often than not this proves to be a lower performing version. If you want to test out headlines with questions in them, keep a close eye on that test and don’t be surprised if the version that offers a direct answer performs better.

Try to avoid: Assume that you're the answer they want
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