Writing good ads is one of the most important parts of your campaign.   It can mean the difference between success and failure.  Although every campaign is different, I have found general trends through testing that usually work. The overall formula I like to use when writing ads is this:

Title and Line 2: Repeating the search term, starting the pre-sell

Line 3: Reassuring the customer, showing authority, and bonus selling points if space.

Display URL: Providing confidence in next step.

As always, its easiest to see with an example. Let’s use the example of a shoe offer like shoebuy or zappos. This ad would be for a search hitting the keyword “running shoes“. Here is a sample ad:

Ads may look simple but there is a lot going on here.  So let’s break it down.

1. The search term is repeated in 2 different places on the ad, reinforcing the search, increasing quality score, and bolding that text for increased CTR.

2. Saving money. Everyone wants to save money, so in 2 places on the ad we have show they will save money. On line 1, the word “discount” and on line 2 the phrase “on sale”.

3. Urgency. The word “now” on line 2 evokes a sense of urgency.

4. Numbers and percentages. People scanning a page always stop on numbers. On line 3 we use “100%” which draws the eyes to the ad and increases CTR.

5. Reassurance and final selling points. On line 3 we provide buyer reassurance with the guarantee and the bonus point about free shipping.

6. The word free. If there is anything about the offer that is free, its a good thing to put in the ad. “Free” jumps out at people.

7. Sentence case. Capitalizing the first letter of every word usually leads to higher CTR.

8. Display URL. This is a simple display URL but effective because it further reinforces the search term and lets the person know the domain is related to what they want. Not overly hyphenated or too long. Also I capitalize each word in the domain if its multiple words.

Even though this ad doesn’t have a call to action like “click now for coupon” it should still lead to a good CTR. Once the searcher gets to your landing page, you can then close the deal with a clear call to action. I like more descriptive and informative ads, which usually work well. In addition you get more serious clicks which keeps expenses down and leads to overall better conversion rates. At any rate this is just one of the techniques that usually works great for me, there are tons of ways to write ads for different situations.