A few weeks ago, we asked you which optimization topics you wanted to learn more about. Many of the questions we received were on creating effective ad text, which is the subject of today's post.

If you aren't familiar with our six-part series on optimization tips, you may want to check out our previous post on ad text tips. You can read up on the importance of describing your offering clearly, using proper grammar and punctuation, having clear call-to-actions, and other basic tips when writing ad text. Today, our optimization team is back to cover more tips like including prices and discounts in your ad text, ideas for testing different messages in your ad text, and tracking overall performance of ad text.

Should I mention prices or discounts in ad text?
It depends. While the most important component of ad text is a good description of your offering, you may also want to mention a price. If you consider your prices to very competitive, it may be to your advantage to advertise them. Conversely, if you sell a high quality product and charge a premium price, you may also mention price to set the right expectations and discourage bargain hunters. And if you are only promoting a discount on one of your products, do not give the impression that there is a general discount. In summary, your best strategy is to be straightforward with your potential customers, so the right ones are clicking through to an offer they were expecting to find.

What should I be testing in my ad text?
You can test different descriptions, call to action phrases, promotions, and special offers. Here are a few different points you may want to test:
  • Different emphasis: product description, call-to-action, or promotional offer
  • Including the brand name versus simply describing the offering
  • Including the price in ad text versus including a discount or other special offer to differentiate your business
  • Including an audience-specific message such as 'Perfect for Couples'
  • Placement of certain messages in your ad text: headline, line 2, or line 3
You can also find good ideas for messages to include in your ad text by taking a look at what visitors are searching for on your site. If your site has a search bar, try looking at the search queries to see what they are interested in. Similarly, if you have web analytics tracking on your site, you can also look through the search queries that are bringing people to your site to see which features of your business resonate most with your potential customers. For example, if you offer vacation rentals, you may find that visitors are interested in certain amenities -- you can then include descriptions like 'pet friendly', 'hot tub', or 'concierge service' in your ad text.

When testing different ad texts, be sure to control for some portions of the ad text, while experimenting with the other portions so you'll be able to assess how effective the message you are testing really is. For example, if you are trying to figure out whether the call-to-action 'Buy today' or 'Learn more' is more effective, be sure to keep the description of your offering the same. You can also learn more tips on effective ad text by reading our Editorial Guidelines.

How can I better track the overall performance of my different ad texts?
One easy way to look at the overall performance of your ad texts is to run an Ad Performance report. You can run an Ad Performance report from the Report Center and then use the results from this report to identify low- and high-performing ad texts. For high performing ads, you can try testing a small variation of that ad with a different messaging or a different landing page.

Depending on your goals for your account, you may use different metrics to measure your success. (If you have conversion tracking, don't forget to use the 'Add/Remove Columns' feature in order to include conversion data.) Remember that your ad text with the highest CTR may not have the highest ROI. And don't just pay attention to the conversion rate, but the cost per conversion as well.

For even more sophisticated tracking capabilities, you may want to try A/B testing on text ads with Google Analytics. To read on this topic, check out this article from the Google Analytics Conversion University.

We hope you've found these tips on ad text to be helpful. We'll be back soon with other topics that you emailed us. And in the meantime, please continue to send us your questions on optimization.