How to Create Compelling Google Ads

April 15, 2020
Posted in Paid Search
April 15, 2020 Jen Lopez

How to Create Compelling Google Ads

To give you some ad copy pointers, we’ll be dissecting an Expanded Text Ad since that is the norm within most Search campaigns these days. Expanded Text ads allow for up to three headlines at 30 characters each, up to two description lines at 90 characters each, and two URL paths that allow for 15-characters each. For the best bet when using Expanded Text Ads, you’ll want to fill in all lines and try to get as close to the maximum character limit as possible. The goal is to create a relevant ad, but also one that takes up every bit of space possible.

An expanded text ad example.
Source: Search Ads 360 Support Center

Let’s get into the specifics.

Headline 1 (Maximum 30 Characters): This first headline is a great place to simply state what your product or service is, and ideally you can do that with a high-volume keyword from the given ad group you’re writing your ad for. By doing this, you can get a nice boost to your keyword quality scores, as they are typically higher when your ad copy is relevant to your targeted keywords. To find the high-volume keywords within a given ad group, you can review your existing data looking at clicks and impressions, or if you’re building ads for an entirely new campaign, you can do some research on expected volume using Google’s Keyword Planner tool.

Working your keywords into your ad copy shouldn’t feel forced and it should make sense, as the majority of keywords should be pretty relevant to whatever you’re offering. If you happen to be drafting ads for a conquesting campaign, where you are purposefully bidding on competitor terms, we don’t recommend using their name in your ad copy – not only to abide by trademark rules but also because you don’t want to confuse the searcher.

Headline 2 (Maximum 30 Characters) – Though I’ve seen people shout out their brand name elsewhere in an ad, I love using Headline 2 for branding. Remember, many searchers aren’t going to convert right away, and making your brand name known upfront can help a searcher find you again or keep you top of mind when they are ready to convert. If you can, I like to add in a registered trademark ® or trademark ™ symbol when possible to make the brand more official and have the ad stand out more. Additionally, if you are a retailer with affiliates or authorized resellers, you may consider text that includes “Official Site” or something that sets you apart as being the direct source of the goods.

Headline 3 (Maximum 30 Characters, Optional) – Headline 3 is optional, as it isn’t always guaranteed to show. It is usually chopped from mobile results, as most tablets and smartphones don’t offer enough space to show this headline. That being said — add one anyway! Remember, you want your ads to be as big as they can be, and chock-full of information and compelling copy because that’s one way to push down competitor ads and organic results. 

This headline is a great place to put a call to action or a discount you want to highlight, but – you’ll still want to make sure you include this info elsewhere in your ad so that it isn’t missed if Headline 3 doesn’t show. I like to always ensure my call to action (CTA) is expanded upon in Description Line 2 (more on that below) and that any special discounts or offers are also present within my ad extensions. Repetition can be key sometimes, so this is a good place to restate the most-compelling part of your offer – Free Shipping, Money-Back Guarantee, 25% Off Sitewide, Unlimited Warranty, 2-Day Shipping, etc. Headline 3, like the other Headlines, has hyperlinked underlined blue text (vs. the body of the ad copy which has plain black text), which means you can garner some extra attention for these offers or CTAs as opposed to using them in ad extensions and description lines alone.

Description Line 1 (Maximum 90 characters) – This should be a very carefully crafted part of your ad copy, and likely one of the areas where you’ll do the most testing. Description line 1 is where you should put your USPs (unique selling points) and set yourself apart from your competitors. Often, using language here that aligns with your brand image and voice and is best. Are your items hand-crafted, artisan or locally sourced? Recyclable or good for the environment? Is your company award-winning, your service instant or your prices unbeatable? This is the place to make it known! Why are you the very best and how can you meet the needs of your typical searcher? This is where you tell them. A great recommendation here is to research competitor ads. Of course, if they are playing up something and it seems popular, you’ll want to also, but how can you go beyond what they have? How can you excite and delight your customer?

Description Line 2 (Maximum 90 characters) – Though many PPC professionals might do this differently, I typically reserve description line 2 to drive home the point, create urgency and make a clear ask with a persuasive call to action. You’d be massively surprised how many brands or companies don’t think they need to “tell” a searcher what to do. You do. But, you can’t tell them to click, because believe it or not, that part is a given. If you’re having trouble with this line, I often recommend creating a list with two columns. In the first column, write down phrases that drive urgency (to hopefully shorten the conversion window) and in the second column, work up all the calls to action that make sense for your business. It might look something like this:

Create Urgency:

  • Now Is The Time!
  • Don’t Waste Another Minute.
  • For a Limited Time Only.
  • Today is the Day.
  • Hurry Before Time Runs Out.

Encourage Action:

  • Get Started Now.
  • Book Online Today!
  • Download Our Guide Instantly.
  • Talk to an Expert Now.
  • Schedule a Free Consultation.

URL Paths (Maximum 15-characters, each field) – Your Display URL (or basically just your site’s domain) can now have two additional paths called “URL paths” and these show together with your URL, making it one long URL – like In this example “blog-articles” and “pay-per-click” would both be URL Paths. I use these areas to work in more of the high-volume keywords from my adgroup, so long as they make sense. You can also try working in part of your offering, as I’ve often used “Free-Consult” as a URL path or “Free-Download”. To be extra clear on this point though – this does NOT need to be a working URL. It’s just for show. Your real URL goes in the Final URL or Destination URL field.

We hope the above was helpful and would love to see any ads you’ve worked up based on our guide. Drop them below! And as always, if you need help with your PPC campaigns or need some ad copy pointers, feel free to get in touch with our team.

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