Over the past few months, Stephanie Lim from the Optimization team has offered tips for assessing your business and goals and optimizing your account structure and keywords. In the final post of this series, she offers suggestions on optimizing your ad text in order to help you achieve your campaign goals.

The ad text you use in your AdWords campaigns is an opportunity to tell customers about the products or services you offer and can also serve to differentiate your offerings from your competitors'. While we can offer a few general best practice tips, please keep in mind that you should test and experiment with different ad text strategies until you find what works for you.
  • Be descriptive. Since your ad text is your chance to communicate your offerings to the potential customer, start by clearly identifying what you are selling. You can use ad text to describe specific benefits, features, or special offers and set correct expectations for the potential customer who might be clicking on your ad. Ad text composition is where much of the initial research you conducted while assessing your industry comes into play. Try to emphasize unique qualities, such as 'Handmade' or 'Award-winning,' or promotions such as '15% Off,' 'Free Shipping,' or '30-day Returns' that make your product or service stand out from other businesses that offer similar products or services.
  • Use proper grammar, punctuation and capitalization. Be sure that your ad text makes grammatical sense and uses punctuation where appropriate. You can use capitalization to your advantage by capitalizing the first letter of every word in your display URL to bring more attention to your company name and brand. For example, 'www.ShellysSeaShells.com' rather than 'www.shellysseashells.com.' Lastly, AdWords ads can contain up to one exclamation point, so use it to help make your point!
  • Let your account structure and keywords guide you. Ideally, the ad text that your potential customers see should reflect the keyword they searched for as closely as possible. If someone searches for 'flights to kalamazoo,' then an ad text headline that reads 'Book Kalamazoo Flights' may be more relevant to them than one that reads 'Babson Travel Agency.' An additional benefit of including keywords from your ad group in your actual ad text is that those keywords will appear in bold type when the potential customers view your ad and will help bring their eyes to your ad. Once your ad text reflects what the potential customer is searching for, you can also try setting up destination URLs to landing pages that that are specific and appropriate to the keywords in each ad group. For example, someone searching for t-shirts should be taken to a landing page displaying only t-shirts, instead of a main store page where there are also jackets, sweaters, and pants.

  • Filter out irrelevant or unqualified searches. If your product or service has a geographical element, it may help to include that information in your ad text. Someone who does not live in Texas, for instance, is less likely to click on an ad that is promoting 'Houston Adult Education Classes.' If your product is high-end, you can discourage bargain hunters by describing it as 'Premium Quality' or 'Luxury.'

  • Define a clear call to action. A clear call to action is especially important if your goal is to maximize your return on investment. Offering the user some guidance on what to do once they reach your site -- such as 'Buy Flowers for Mom!' -- may improve your campaign's performance. The call to action should reflect the action that you consider a conversion, whether it's a sign-up, a request for more information, or an actual sale.

  • Test at least two versions of your ad text. For a given ad group, you can test out several versions of ad text to evaluate which one performs the best for your business. Try to emphasize different points, qualities, features, or promotions with each version. You can find out whether potential customers respond better to questions such as, "Need to Refinance?" or to statements like "Refinance Your Mortgage." You may find that a straightforward approach such as 'Treat Skin Disorders' works better for you than a vaguer, catchier phrase like 'Free Your Skin Now.' In any case, it will be difficult to predict what will perform best for you before you actually try it. Do keep in mind, however, that including too many different versions of ad text will make it more difficult to manage and accurately assess ad text performance.

Thanks to Stephanie for all these great tips! For more advice on ad text or general optimization, you can check out the AdWords Learning Center. We hope this series on optimization tips has been helpful in getting you started on optimizing your own AdWords account. Be sure to lookout for more specialized optimization topics right here on Inside AdWords.