By Ebb Walton, Marshall Communications Online Marketing Specialist

If you have ever run a Google AdWords campaign, you know how difficult it can be to effectively communicate your message. You have 95 characters to explain who you are, what you are offering, and why people should choose you over the competition. As a point of reference, you have double that when posting a Tweet, which many people (including myself) have trouble with, as well. So how can you use such a limited number of characters yet maximize the effectiveness of your AdWords campaign?

If you have ever run a Google AdWords campaign, you know how difficult it can be to effectively communicate your message. You have 95 characters to explain who you are, what you are offering, and why people should choose you over the competition. As a point of reference, you have double that when posting a Tweet, which many people (including myself) have trouble with, as well. So how can you use such a limited number of characters yet maximize the effectiveness of your AdWords campaign?

Incorporate Keywords in Your Headline and Display URL

Google ad exampleIncluding keywords throughout your ad is a best practice for a few reasons. First and foremost, this will give your ad a higher quality score, meaning it is extremely relevant to the page you are sending people to on your website (something Google really likes). Secondly, when you search for a keyword you will notice those keywords you searched for are bold in the ad copy and the display URL, helping to draw a user’s attention, increasing the likelihood they will click on the ad.

Identify Your Call-To-Actions and High Performing Keywords in Ads

A call-to-action in each ad is a great way to entice customers, and let them know exactly what they are getting when they click on it. Call-to-actions such as “Buy Now” are effective, but the more specific your call-to-action the more enticing it will be, such as “Learn To Play Golf In A Day.” Also, including keywords in the following bulleted list in your copy will help increase the click-through-rate, if it pertains to your offer, product or service.

  • Free
  • Free shipping
  • Download
  • Free demo
  • Free quote
  • Free report
  • Call 24/7
  • Instant
  • Guaranteed
  • Proven
  • Step-by-step
  • Unlimited
  • Cheap
  • Sale
  • Special offer
  • Limited time offer

Capitalize, Capitalize, Capitalize

Example of a good google adBy capitalizing the first letter of each word, you can drastically improve the click-through-rate of your ads, and they also look more professional and trustworthy according to a KISSmetrics survey of Internet users. It is also a best practice to do this with the URL that appears under your headline (known as a vanity URL). This isn’t necessarily the URL of the landing page, but as I discussed earlier, it’s another way to add the keywords you are trying to rank well for into the ad, as well as increase a user’s confidence that this ad will take them directly to a page where they can view golf clubs.

Use Dynamic Keyword Matching

Dynamic keyword matching is a moderately advanced but very powerful AdWords strategy, and can help increase your ad’s click-through-rate because it appears more relevant to the user’s search and is bolded for the user’s keywords. Here is how it works in a nutshell:

  1. You create your Campaign, Ad Groups, and Keyword list pertaining to your products or services. For example, in a “Gemstones” ad group you may have keywords such as diamonds, rubies, green tourmaline birthstone, and yellow topaz.
  2. In the title, or text, you use {braces} to tell Google AdWords to use dynamic keyword matching; for example: Gorgeous {keyword: gemstones}.
  3. When one of your keywords is matched with a user’s search, it will be replaced in the title or text, unless the keyword phrase exceeds 25 characters. For example: diamonds will match “Gorgeous diamonds”; rubies will match “Gorgeous rubies”; green tourmaline birthstone will match “Gorgeous gemstones” because the phrase “green tourmaline birthstone” exceeds the 25 character limit.

On top of that, since this is a very simple version of a code, you can tell it what to do beyond just matching. The different types of variations of this strategy are as follows for a Google search of “yellow topaz”:

  • {keyword: gemstones} – yellow topaz
  • {Keyword: gemstones} – Yellow topaz
  • {KeyWord: gemstones} – Yellow Topaz

See What Your Competitors Are Up To

Magnifying GlassThe fact is, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Google your competitors, or even your industry in general, to see what other companies are doing from an online advertising standpoint, then look through the top ads and study what they are doing. I am by no means saying copy what they are doing word for word, but check out how their content is structured. If your direct competitor is offering 10% off, offer 15%. If you find that your direct competitors don’t offer a product or service that you do, include that in your ad copy.

It’s also a best practice to highlight how you help your customers. Many businesses say they are #1 at something, and since there are so many of those companies out there, it’s unlikely that putting this in your ads will help. Ad copy that says “Learn French In A Day” will be far more effective than “Best French Teacher In The State”.

In conclusion, these are just a few ways to increase your online ad copy’s effectiveness, and in reality, there are hundreds of ways to tweak any campaign to improve its performance. A go-to source of information is the Google’s AdWords blog, which helps you stay up-to-date on the many new changes, tactics, and best practices for your AdWords campaigns.