Digital Marketing Agency

The Do’s and Don’ts of Ad Copy

Google provides a lot of helpful data when it comes to certain aspects of search campaigns, except when it comes to ad copy. Ad copy can be one of the most crucial elements when it comes to paid search, no matter the platform. Finding the right combination of keywords and titles can be difficult, but when you’re spending a good chunk of budget on paid search, you want your ad copy to be something that’s generating traffic.


What is Ad Copy?

Ad copy is the main text or description of a clickable advertisement. The text is usually the second and third lines of the ads displayed on a search engine, in between the title and display URL. It’s generally used to describe what the advertisement is for, as well as inserting related keywords. While most people are aware of what ad copy is, there are still mistakes frequently made, even by experienced paid search marketers. Finding what works best for your particular paid ads can be difficult, but we’re going to discuss some general do’s and don’ts of writing ad copy.


Ad Copy Don’ts

Jacob Baadsgaard, founder and CEO of Disruptive Advertising, has identified the top 3 most common mistakes that keep businesses from paid search success, when it comes to ad copy.

Keyword Stuffing

Inserting as many keywords as possible into ads is no longer the secret to search success. The modern user has been trained to avoid any search results that look even slightly suspicious or point towards spam. Users now look for content that address problems and solutions. As consumers evolve, ad copy should follow. This does not mean keywords should no longer be included, they’re still very important. What it means is that they need to be appropriately and specifically selected and placed in the ad copy. The ad needs to incorporate them in a more meaningful way. Focus more on providing answers, rather than keywords, because that’s ultimately what users are looking for.

Focusing On The Wrong Problem

Users click on ads if they focus on a problem, pain point, or whatever triggered their need to search. The issue is many business misidentify the motivating factors behind customers’ searches. A common misconception is that a company’s target audience share the same needs, goals, and values. More often than not the customer doesn’t care, what they do care about is whether or not you can help fix their problem. If the ad doesn’t focus on a solution, customers probably won’t click on it. When the ad copy’s main focus is the need behind a user’s search, you’ll seem like the perfect solution.

Neglecting Ad Extension

While it is ultimately up to Google whether people see your ad extension or not, neglecting it is a huge mistake. It is important to focus on titles and descriptions, since that’s what everyone will see, but when your ad extension is shown, it needs to matter. “Google reports that adding a new ad extension typically increases click-through rates by 10-15%, so they’re well worth investing some time into.” Ad extensions are a way to incorporate callouts, sitelinks, and structured snippets.

Callout extensions allow you to include specific attributes about your business, products, and services. This is an area where you can include more keywords and pitch-heavy content.

Sitelinks are something that should definitely be taken advantage of if given the opportunity. They can build the content of your ad by offering additional information and links to more specific pages on your site, allowing users to get directly where they need to.

Structured snippet extensions allow your ad to highlight specific aspects of your products and services. The layout is a mix between a callout and a sitelink. Each snippet contains a header and list of features you choose to highlight. This extension can hurt your click-through rates if your content isn’t carefully thought out, because the design can be complicated and hard to read.

Ad Copy Do’s  


Include Emotional Triggers When Appropriate

Users don’t make decisions on logic alone. People are more often driven by emotions. If someone reads something that triggers a strong emotional reaction, negative or positive, they will be more inclined to click through. You do want to be careful to balance the reaction with the rest of your message because you don’t want your brand to be associated with negative emotions. The ad copy should ultimately focus on resolving the negative emotion. Positive and subtle triggers can be effective as well. It all depends on what exactly you’re advertising.

Create Keyword-Rich Display URLs

Sometimes advertisers may not be aware that the display URL and their actual destination URL can be different. The display URL can be something more interesting or relevant to your ads while including your top keywords. Even if your destination URL doesn’t contain your keywords, your ads can still appear in search results if your display URL includes them.

Be Benefit Focused, Not Features

It can be disappointing, but most customers don’t care about your actual company. As previously discussed, users want to know what you can ultimately do for them. Focus on how your brand can make their life easier, not about your actual brand. Using words like ‘you’ makes the ad more personal and can demonstrate how your service actually benefits the user. How much time or money users can save with your service are easy and effective things to include.



Writing ad copy can be tricky, and there is a lot of room for error. That’s why it’s always beneficial to outsource for your paid search needs. At Onimod Global we are experienced experts in SEM. As a Google Partner we are a digital marketing company, trusted by Google and excel with their products. Experts in paid advertising on platforms such as Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Not only are we experts in paid advertising, but also organic search engine optimization. Onimod Global works as your own in-house, cross-channel, digital marketing team.

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