Business technology

Four quick fixes for Google AdWords ads

- February 22, 2010 2 MIN READ

Google AdWords is a popular and effective marketing tool for small business. Here are four small improvements you can make to your Google AdWords ads for a big improvement in your results.

 1. Use the keywords in your headline

Including the keywords (i.e. search terms) in your headline will almost always improve your ad’s click-through-rate (CTR). That’s because when you mirror a searcher’s language exactly, you join the conversation going on in their head. This creates instant rapport and makes it more likely they’ll click on your ad.

Also, keywords are bolded on Google’s results pages, which makes your headline more eye-catching. If you can’t put your keywords in your headline try to fit them somewhere else in your ad.

NB: To make this tactic work you need to group your keywords in tightly themed ad groups. For example, if you had a golf shop you might have separate ad groups for putters, drivers, golf shoes and golf balls.

2. Benefits before features

There are lots of ways to write effective Google AdWords ads, but as a general rule, you can’t go far wrong putting a benefit on the first line of your ad and some attractive features on the second line.

Want more articles like this? Check out the SEM strategies section.

Here’s an example of a mock ad for golf clubs:

Need new golf clubs?
Get 15% off when you buy online
Best selection of brands since 1979

The benefit is “15% off” and the features are “best selection of brands” and “since 1979”.

Not sure about the difference between benefits and features? You’ll find a refresher on this important topic in this better marketing article.

3. Put your URL to work

If you just put your home page address in the display URL line you’re under-utilising valuable ad real estate. The display URL makes up 25% of your ad, so it makes sense to optimise it if you can.

In the example above, “” is a better bet than “”. That’s because it contains the keywords “golf clubs”.

It also implies you’ll go directly to the golf clubs section of the site, making it attractive to impatient searchers.

4. Test and beat your best

The key to success in Google AdWords ads is split testing. This means you create two variations of an ad (e.g. featuring different headlines, benefits or features) and get Google to rotate them evenly. Over time you’ll see which one gets better results and be able to declare it the winner. You retire the loser, write a new ad to challenge the winner and repeat the process, improving your results at every step.

How’s your Google AdWords ad campaign going? Got any extra tips to share?

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