AdWords Made Simple: Creating Ad Groups & Writing Text Ads in Google AdWords

To help you start the New Year with more traffic to your business website we’re showing you how to get started with Google AdWords. Last week’s AdWords post covered:

  • signing in to AdWords for the first time
  • setting your time zone and currency
  • selecting all your AdWords campaign preferences

How to write your first Google AdWords ad

Today we’ll cover the next couple of steps in the process:

  • creating your first ad group
  • writing  your first AdWords PPC ad

We’ll assume that you chose Search Network only in your AdWords campaign preferences since that’s the simplest and most common choice.

Creating an Ad Group

Ad groups are just what they sound like: groups of ads, plus related keywords. It is simplest and most effective if you start by creating one ad ground for one product or service rather than trying to sell many products from one ad group. Trust me. All you need to do is enter a name for your Ad Group #1. Don’t go crazy. Make it clear, concise and descriptive so you’ll be able to easily tell what that group is for later when you have many other ad groups.

Writing Your First Ad

I’m sure you’ve seen them when searching on Google, but you may not have paid close attention to the structure of AdWords ads. You may actually want to pause here and go do a search and look at the ads in the results. Better still, do a few searches using the same kinds of keywords you think you’ll be using in your campaign. That way, you’ll not only get familiar with the structure of the ads, but you’ll get an idea of your competition and what they are saying. Google AdWords ads have a very specific format with rigid rules, but don’t worry, they’re pretty easy to create. You can’t really get it wrong since Google will stop you from writing too much and warn you if you make other mistakes.

You will need to fill in 5 fields to create your AdWords ad (see the screenshot above):

  1. Headline (up to 25 characters long)
  2. Description line 1 (up to 35 characters)
  3. Description line 2 (up to 35 characters)
  4. Display URL (up to 35 characters)
  5. Destination URL (not shown;  it is the actual URL you are sending people who click to)

Headline Tips: Though you may be limited based on the length of your business name or product name, a common AdWords headline tactic is to use Keyword(s) + Brand/Business name or Keyword + Deal/Offer. I just did a search for 3D glasses (my daughter said she wanted them) and I many ad headlines that fit this model: 3D Glasses at Walmart, Glasses 3D at Amazon, 3D Glasses for Less, and 3d-glasses on eBay. Including your keywords in the headline is typically very important. If you don’t, searchers may glance at your ad and assume it isn’t really relevant. Plus, keywords get bolded by Google in the ads, making them stand out.

Description Tips: There are too many strategies for all the different possible products to list here, but you will typically want to include prices, discounts, offers and promotions if possible. Include some reason to select YOUR ad/website over all the competition, and a strong call-to-action: buy now, save 25% today, call to order, etc. You may also wish to include your keyword a second time (or a variation of what you used in your Headline); again, keywords get bolded in search results, so including them in your description can help attract attention.

Display URL Tips: The display URL needs to show people what website they’ll be going to, but you can show a shortened, customized URL that’s not the complete URL of the landing page. Let’s assume I want to promote 3D Glasses on my fictional website. I can’t show as my destination URL (since that’s not the website I’m actually sending traffic to), but I can use or even if the actual landing page URL is Some big, well-known brands will simply show their homepage URL ( as the Display URL, but most others will add either keywords or some offer-related text to the URL to make the URL look more relevant and compelling.

I also want to leave you with two important general tips for writing and running your AdWords ads:

  • Match the Landing Page: Make sure you are promoting the same products with the same offers in your AdWords ad copy and the landing page you are sending your search traffic to. If your AdWords copy says Save 30% on Samsung 3D Glasses than anyone who clicks on your ad should see Samsung 3D glasses on sale for 30% off. And make sure you use the exact keywords whenever possible. It’s not as effective, for example, to advertise about 3D glasses and then use the term 3D eyewear on your landing page, even if it means the same thing.
  • Test, Test, Test: One of the great things about Google AdWords is that you don’t have to have all the answers right away. Don’t worry that your very first ad isn’t the best possible ad. You can (and should!) test to see what works and to constantly improve your results. Simply write a few different ads where you vary the language you use. Vary the headlines, description, and display URL and see which one gets the most clicks. You might want to test putting an offer in the headline vs. in the CTA in your description. Or highlight different benefits of ordering from you. Let the ads run long enough to see that one is the clear winner and then pause the others. Then you can write another new ad to see if you can beat the first one.

Here are some additional tips for creating successful text ads from Google.

Next week we’ll cover AdWords keyword selection.

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