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How to Write Killer Google Ads That Convert? [This Is Why No One Clicks]

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Businesses make an average of $2 in income for every $1 they spend in Google Ads. However, once you start dealing with PPC ads, you’ll encounter endless ways to write your Google Ads copy and improve your click-through and conversion rates. You will also discover that Google Ads is always updating ad formats and regulations, which might be quite challenging to follow.

Yet, disregarding all the constant changes, there are still a few proven strategies and tactics that can help you make your target audience click on your Google text ads more vigorously.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the best ways to write a catchy PPC ad copy and make your Google Ads more effective. Are you ready to get those desired clicks from your prospects? Then dive in to learn why people aren’t converting on your Google Ads and what exactly you can do to change it.

What Are PPC Text Ads?

As you might already know, Google Ads offers quite a few ad formats you can use to entice your audience into buying your products. For now, we’ll focus mainly on expanded Google text ads.

If you want to create and optimize your PPC text ads properly, it’s critical that you know their structure and what drives people’s attention the most.

Here’s an example of Google Ads’ PPC text ad format:

Text ads appear on top of Google’s search results. It means that your ad can be among those four and make potential customers click on it instantly. But how can you be sure your ad is actually clickable?

A Google text ad consists of:

  • Display URL
    The display URL is black and shows above the headline. It should include a webpage or a landing page you want users to go to once they click on your ad.
  • Headline text
    It’s the part that makes your text ad the most noticeable. It displays in blue, and you should make sure it includes search terms related to your product or service. Google Ads lets you add three headlines, up to 30 characters each. Headlines are separated with a vertical pipe (“|”) and might appear differently depending on the user’s device.
  • Description text
    The description is where you write the most crucial information about the product or services you want your customers to know. It’s a good practice to include calls to action (CTAs) in a description field to attract more clicks. Google Ads lets you add two descriptions, up to 90 characters each.

P.S. If you want users to know where exactly your expanded text ad will take them, you can use an optional “Path” field as a part of your display URL. You can add two different paths, up to 15 characters each. However, note that they’re not guaranteed to show up.

Below you can see an example of an ad where “www.ae.com/” is the display URL, and the path text is “mens/jeans.”

8 Ways to Create Effective Google Text Ads

According to the Clutch’s survey, 49 percent said they click on text ads, 31 percent clicked on Shopping ads, and 16 percent clicked on video ads. So, what does it take to make your PPC text ads stand out and get people to click on them instead of your competitors? Let’s take a look at the best ways to craft effective Google text ads and improve your ad campaign results.

1. Write a Catchy Headline

The headline is the most prominent part of your ad. So, make sure you spend some time crafting a good one. Before deciding on the final headline, think of what would grab your audience’s attention straight away.

“If the person is searching for “bed bug treatment,” don’t try to get too clever with your ad headlines. Since you only have a 30 character limit per headline, the first headline should target the focus keyword you want that ad to show up for. An example of Headline 1 could be *#1 Bed Bug Treatment in Ohio*. Headline 1 is a mix of copy, searcher intent, and geo-relevance. I’ve found headline 2 is a great place to entice the user to click through. Copy such as *Same Day Service Available *or *Get Rid of Bed Bugs! *are examples of CTAs that work well. Headline 3 usually doesn’t show, but we include our brand name there just in case Google does decide to show our Headline 3.”

John P., Founder of Freedom Bound Business

Consider addressing your target audience’s pain points and showing the top benefits of your product or service. People are googling stuff to find easy solutions to their problems, and you should be right there to provide them. Check out the example below:

Personalize: Use power words to call the attention of your customer. Use the word you to call their attention. And anytime you want to use words like we or me, opt to use you instead.
Appeal to their Emotions: Trigger an emotional response, use content that impacts the society or the environment. Make a stand or an appeal, use current events issue, or raise awareness.”

If possible, try to include numbers in your headlines, as you can see above. “50% Off” sounds like a pretty good deal. Is it going to attract users? Most likely. As much as people want to solve their problems, they would never mind saving a couple of bucks too.

“When adding the exact figures in headings, the ad receives more engagement with an above 80% click-through rate at a confidence level of 99%. Numbers are easily noticeable and make the ad more accurate and credible. When adding the numbers in advertisements, go for the specific numbers like 2456 rather than 2400+. The strategy will improve ad performance.”

Brandon Foster, Blogger at My School Supply Lists

Also, do not forget to include a bidding keyword into your headline if you want the attract quality and relevant traffic. Let’s say you’re searching for an affordable coffee maker, would you be happy if you saw an ad of a high-end coffee machine that’s way over your budget? I guess, no. However, you’d probably decide to learn more about the “Wayfair Cheap Coffee Brewer”, wouldn’t you? (see the screenshot below)

We handle PPC campaigns daily, and from our own experience, we can state that a good and catchy headline accounts for almost 40% of your text ad’s success. If you’d want us to create and optimize your text ads, don’t hesitate to check our Google Ads Management services.

2. Address Searcher Intent

If you want your ad to be more appealing to your target audience, then think of the most relevant search term they’re going to use, and then include it in your ad. Simple as that.

Not only it lets your ad be relevant, but also be hyper-local.

“The best way to create effective Google Text Ads is to first consider the intent of the keywords with the content of the landing page. This will help guide you to what the searcher is looking for and what headlines & descriptions will appeal to them.

  • Headline 1 – Keyword Rich Headline – This tells the searcher we have what you’re searching for.
  • Headline 2 – Value & Benefits – This tells the searcher why you should pick us.
  • Headline 3 – Call-To-Action – This tells the searcher what they need to do next.
  • Descriptions – Supporting information/trust signals.

To increase Google Ads conversion rates, ensure high relevancy between what searchers are looking for, seeing in your ads, and finding on your landing pages. Frequently review search terms reports to see if searchers are ending up in ad group or landing pages that are sub-optimal for what they’re looking for.”

Grant Higginson, President of Welby Consulting

For example, I’m looking to hire a virtual assistant, and the ads below would fully satisfy my request:

Or, let’s say I have an emergency and need to find a plumber in my area at this very moment. The ads below would be what I expect to see when I’m looking for a solution to my immediate problem.

If you make sure to satisfy searchers’ intent in your ad, there’s a bigger chance they’re going to click on it. It means that you have to let people know your product or service is exactly what they need. If you fail to showcase that, then don’t be surprised when no one clicks on your ads.

3. Use Robust Calls-to-Action

Your text ad should not be confusing. Otherwise, it should directly reflect what you want your prospects to do once they click on it. Do you want them to sign up for a service, submit a form, buy your product now, or contact you for more information? Make sure your ad has a clear message. Then your prospects will have a better understanding of what they should expect once they choose to click on your ad.

Take advantage of FOMO. Ads that have a sense of urgency work better than evergreen ads. Adding countdowns to your Google Text Ads will trigger loss aversion and will persuade your customer to act now. With the Fear of Missing Out card up your sleeve, you'll get more conversions more effectively.”

For example, I want to get an online digital marketing certification. What institutions should I choose? Here are the examples of CTAs I see once I conduct my search: “Get certified”, “Optimize your digital marketing skills”, “Radically transform your customer experience management”, “Drive digital technology forward”. As a searcher, I’d probably go for the ad that directly says that I’ll get an online certification because it’s what I want right now.

And if I happen to be interested in workout clothes, I’d probably opt for an ad that says they have 90% off on selected styles and “buy now” rather than the one advertising new collections. But of course, everything depends on your priorities. That’s why it’s critical to research your audience properly and outline their top desires.

In short, put yourself into your customer’s shoes every time you’re writing your Google ad’s copy. Once you’re done optimizing your Google text ad, take a look at it and ask yourself, “Would I click on this ad if I were searching for this product or service?” If the answer is no, then you need to work more on perfecting your ad. If the answer is yes, you can try it out. It doesn’t mean you’ll succeed straight away, but at least you’ll have something to work with.

4. Leverage Ad Extensions

You want your visitors to learn as much relevant information from your ad as possible. Google Ads offers several extensions to help you maximize your text ad performance. We’d suggest using at least four ad extensions, but don’t go too crazy, include only those that you believe your prospects would benefit from.

Looking at the ads above, a user can learn such additional information thanks to:

  • Useful sitelink extensions under the description might help to discover more about the business and go directly to the selected pages.
  • A call extension with a phone number might help users reach the advertised business quickly.
  • Specific callout extensions like “Wild-caught Fish” and “PaleoRobbie Food Delivery” might attract more attention.

“Google has numerous fields for your headlines and descriptions as the requirement for your ads, but they also have additional fields called extensions. You have to use these. It shows searchers different parts of your website that they can directly go to. It casts a wider net for you should someone on Google be looking for something specific outside of the main page you are targeting. We advertised some of our other games using extensions, and it increased our overall CTR by 16%. It was a great win!”

Depending on your goals, you can also choose among such extensions as ratings, store locations, affiliate locations, structured snippets, business hours, prices, and apps. Just remember that not all extensions might show up as it will depend on a user’s device.

5. Use New Ad Formats

If there’s something you should definitely keep an eye on, it’s new Google text ad formats. They let you be more creative and have a bigger chance to reach your target audience.

For example, we recommend leveraging such text ad formats as:

  • Dynamic Search Ads
    Using this ad format allows Google to generate headlines automatically based on the user’s search request. It enables Google to use your page content to get the most relevant information and feed it to the algorithm for better optimization. All you have to do is create a description and specify landing pages you’d like Google Ads to send your prospects to.

  • Responsive Search Ads
    Responsive ads let you create up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions, which Google will mix and match them to craft the most relevant ad for your visitor. Including these types of ads into your ad groups gives Google’s algorithm a chance to test which combinations work better and gather more data to optimize your ad campaigns better. You can learn more about how to create effective responsive search ads here.

If I wanted to do laundry, I’d most likely click on the ad you can see above. Without even specifying my location in the search request, I got an ad offering services in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and that’s where I’m right now (thanks to Google that knows where I’m at any given second.) So, if I didn’t have a washing machine at home, I’d go ahead and spend money on the services these guys offer as their ad is relevant and hyper-local.

Also, do not forget about optimizing your ads for mobile users:

“The best way to increase conversion rates on your Google Ads is to have a Mobile-First mindset. Mobile traffic these days can be as high as 70-80% of Google searches; for example, our million-plus users per month are 81% mobile, and that has been climbing at about 1% per year. Making sure that the ad is tailored to a mobile audience is key to maximizing conversion
rates.”

Jessica Randhawa, Head Chef at The Forked Spoon

So, the more assets and freedom you give to Google algorithm to help you assemble your ads, the bigger chance you have to boost your conversion rates.

6. A/B Test Your Ad Copies

I don’t want to sugarcoat things and say that creating ads is easy because it’s not. But it’s also not impossible. Yes, you’ll probably have to go through quite a few failures until you run a text ad that converts well. Both Google and its users are unpredictable. So, it’s your chance to experiment with the copy and see what works best for your business.

“How to increase your conversion rate through your ads is testing! I usually give it about a month to pull up the optimum amount of data (I usually make sure that each keyword gets at least 50 clicks to make a decision). After that month’s time, I look at the data and I first comb through the Ads themselves to see which ones have the best click-through rate. Secondary dimensions I consider as well are conversion rate, time on page, and bounce rate.”

Jenny Abouobaia from Clever Touch Solutions also highlights the importance of split testing:

“First, you need to find out exactly what you are testing about your ad, is it the timing? the device targeting? the offer itself and the wording? Second, find out which one of your ads is getting the best results and from there it's easier to find out what kind of changes need to be done then you need to specify these changes based on your goal, whether it's more CTR or more leads..etc”

A/B testing is essential in almost every segment of digital marketing. It lets you apply creative strategies, be bold, and figure out the words that capture your audience the most. That’s why you should write multiple ad copies and let data show you what users prefer and click on. It’s one of the proven ways to nail your advertising copy and discover how to increase traffic on your Google Ads.

7. Match Your Ad Message to the Landing Page

A landing page has a significant effect on your click-through and conversion rates. It means that you need to make sure your ad matches your landing page content and doesn’t highlight any fake promises.

“Choosing the right landing page for your campaign is key here. When the COVID pandemic started, a lot of our clients’ focus shifted into selling products in bulk through Amazon or e-commerce. We created specific direct-to-sell campaigns that would take consumers straight to the conversion pages while keeping dedicated ad groups on Brand campaigns active. Using clever CTAs and capitalizing on special promotions and bulk pricing, we tripled our conversion rates from 5% to 35% on Buy Now campaigns.”

Valentina Robotti, Digital Marketing Manager at QNY Creative

Image your text ad as a smaller reflection of the page to which you’re sending users. People feel reluctant to buy from companies that trick them with their ads and empty promises. If you’re offering an 85% discount in your ad, I expect to see it once I click on it.

For example, I searched for “designer swimwear sale”. I got this ad as a third search result:

I’m so lucky I got an ad that even has the word “sale” in its headline. Looks great, so I decided to click on it. And here’s what I got:

404 – Page Not Found. So, I said bye-bye to Zimmermann and went on to click on other ads that would actually lead me to a “Sale” page, not a 404 one. How do I feel? Kind of disappointed, and I will probably never click on their ad again. But maybe I feel a bit relieved too because they still had to pay Google Ads for my click even though they gained nothing from it. Imagine how much money they had to pay for the clicks from people who also didn’t find what they were looking for on their landing page. It might have been a technical mistake, but it probably cost them a lot of money.

Outcome: if you don’t want to lose trust in your potential clients’ eyes and Google, then don’t lie in your ads. It will save you from spending money on irrelevant traffic to your website and give you a chance to attract only quality leads who are genuinely interested in your product and ready to convert.

Also, do not forget that the quality and relevance of your landing page impact your Google ad’s quality score, which defines your ad position and price per click.

“We recently launched Google Ads for Marketing training courses. We were happy with the text content for the Ads, but *weren’t getting the traffic or course signups we expected*. The changes we made were to align the H1 and H2 content on the landing page to match the main variants of our Google Ads text, and also bring in our Google Ad Callouts directly below the intro
onto our landing page. By focusing on matching the Ad to the content above-the-scroll on the Landing Page, we *decreased the cost per click by 32% and more than doubled our conversion rate month-on-month.*

Matt Lincoln, Director at Cultivate Automation

8. Know Your Competition

A rule of thumb: check your competitors’ ad copy and keywords they bid on, then analyze them and make your ad campaign better than theirs.

There’s nothing wrong with doing your research and trying to stand out among your competitors. After all, it’s an advertising battle, and you should use all ethical means available to win it.

“Utilize the headline to make you stand out from the competitors. Research about your competitor’s ads and compare yours. This doesn’t mean that you will need to get influence from them but to use keywords that will make your ads more intriguing than them.”

Samantha Moss, Editor & Content Ambassador at Romantific

Here are a few ways you can differentiate from your competition:

1. Bid on your brand keywords.

Firstly, it’s cheap. Secondly, it will help you appear first if users are searching for your business directly. Thirdly, it will help you keep your prospects from clicking on your competitors’ ads, who might also be bidding on your brand name keyword. If you want to learn more about this PPC strategy, then check out our blog post on why PPC brand campaigns are valuable.

Here’s an example of how competitors bid on each other’s brand keywords. I searched for “Ahrefs” (a popular SEO tool). And the first ad that I got was from MOZ SEO Software, which is Ahrefs competitor. It means that MOZ is bidding on the Ahrefs brand name and might get people clicking on their website instead of the Ahrefs. If Ahrefs bid on their brand keyword, their ad would probably appear on top of MOZ’s ad, and people would be more likely to click on it.

So, even if you appear on the first page of organic search results, bidding on your brand name would still contribute to bringing you even more clicks.

2. Show the unique feature/value of your product or service.

We understand that it’s hard to compete with well-known brands that have million-dollar advertising budgets. But the fact everyone knows about them doesn’t make your product worse. So, you should focus on how to let people know about it.

If you offer something that your competitors don’t, you should definitely mention it in your ad. It’s important you tailor your ad copy specifically to your product/service and highlight how it can make a difference in people’s lives.

For example, do you offer special discounts for new members and offer tons of different styles? Let the world know about it, just like this brand does:

The ad above shows not only all the great deals this company has but also mentions prices and other types of clothes they sell. FYI, this ad appears first, followed by some even more popular brands like Uniqlo and American Eagle. Thus, you can also beat your competitors if you make sure to write compelling ad copy and run your ads correctly.

Remember: It’s Always About Them, Not You

Whenever you sit down to write another copy for your Google text ad, keep in mind that it’s not about your feelings and ego, it’s always about your prospects’ desires.

People who are searching for solutions to their problems on the internet are selfish. They want to find the best offers, get the most quality products or services, and at the same time save as much money as possible. That’s why your ad copy should appeal to all these needs. It should also reflect the searcher’s intent, show that your business really cares about their feelings and that your product/service will satisfy them immediately.

Want to find the perfect recipe for writing effective text ads? Then don’t hesitate to be creative, experiment with wording, address your customer’s pain points, write attention-grabbing headlines, and even take advantage of people’s fear of missing out (FOMO.) And of course, always be aware of your competition and make sure you have a relevant landing page that matches your ad.

Remember that all businesses are different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating an ideal ad copy. So, embrace both wins and losses, until you find the perfect language that speaks to your target audience and makes it convert.

If you would like our PPC specialists to help you optimize and manage your Google Ads campaigns, get in touch with us today.

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Olia Batyr
Olia Batyr
Olia is a marketing consultant at Zima Media. She leverages her marketing skills and training to craft attention-grabbing copy that converts. You’ll find her traveling around the world gathering inspiration when she’s not busy looking for missing Oxford commas. On a side note, Olia is also an ultimate adventure seeker and meme lover.
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