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The Anatomy of a Google Ad: Your only needed guide

The anatomy of a Google Ad has changed a lot over time.

From the number of headlines, to the characters limit, Google kept changing Ads format to optimize both user experience in search results page and Ads conversion rates.

In today’s post, we are going to discuss the anatomy of a Google Ad (basic text ad), shedding the light on the importance of each part in driving you the conversions you target.

Anatomy of a Google Ad: Basic text Ad

Anatomy of a google ad

What are the 5 parts of an ad?

1- Headlines

  • Number: 2 split by a pipe or a dash.
  • Position: at the top of the ad text.
  • Character limit: 30
  • Importance:
  • Represent the “core” of the ad.
  • Tell the user what the ad is all about.
  • Capture the attention of the potential customers.
  • Play an important role in click through rate (CTR).
  • Tips:
  • Should contain numbers: increase CTR.
  • Should contain targeted keywords.

2- Ad indicator

  • A box with transparent background and a green outline.
  • It’s there to tell the reader that this is actually a paid Ad not an organic result.
  • Google minimized this indicator so that some Ad-phobic readers miss it actually and click on the result thinking that it’s an organic result.

3- Display URL

  • Has 2 different subdirectory paths.
  • Each path is maximum 15 characters.
  • It doesn’t reflect the landing page that the potential customer will go to after clicking on the Ad (hence the name “display”).
  • The actual landing page is determined by the “Final URL”.
  • Represents a cleaner version of the ugly, messy final URL that appears in the browser bar.
  • Mostly contain name of product or service.
  • Gives the user a clear indication of the page they are going to visit.
  • Adding your keywords in the display URL will increase the click through rate. In addition, quality score of your ad will go up (proven by experience).

4- Descriptions

  • Number: 2 (sometimes only one appears).
  • Character limit: 90 characters.
  • Position: below headlines.
  • At least one description must appear (ads cannot appear without descriptions).
  • If only one description appeared, it’s usually description no.1, so make sure to optimize it to the max.
  • Should tell the possible customer why to click on your ad or for example why they should buy from you today.
  • Google gives you the chance to write multiple description copies, however, don’t see them as multiple versions that are going to be compared to each other (it’s not an A/B testing game here). You have to always make sure that all descriptions are good enough and inclusive on their own.

5- Extensions

  • Include:
  • Sitelink extensions: feature different website pages (e.g. pricing page, services page …).
  • Call out extensions: feature unique promotions, offers, discounts.
  • Structured snippet: highlight specific features of your services and products to improve CTR.
  • Call extensions: give the possible customer the choice to call your business.
  • Location extensions: feature the location of your business.
  • Price extensions: feature special prices of your different products.
  • App extension: gives you the ability to feature your business app.
  • Promotion extensions: give you the chance to promote special offers to the customers.

Big No’s when writing a Google Ad

Including any of these 8 points in your ads may get them to be disapproved !

1- Excessive capitalization (ALL CAPS): use title case instead, by capitalizing the first letter of each word (best for headlines).

2- Cursing, gambling related products, alcohol, weapons, pornography…etc.

3- Extra spacing.

4- Vague call-to-actions (e.g. click here): Call-to-actions have to be specific (e.g. call us now to book an appointment).

5- Asterisks & symbols: Some types of symbols are allowed and recommended to be used when applicable (e.g. registered symbol ®).

6- Exclamation points in headlines: one is allowed in the descriptions.

7- Repetition: repeating words unnecessarily.

8- Phone numbers: you can’t put your phone number in headlines nor in descriptions. Use call extensions instead.

Some best practices to write a killer Google Ad

The following are fundamental basic principles that can turn any of you to a good Ad copywriter who can create and launch really good campaigns.

Social proof

Highlighting unique selling points of your products and services (focus on what makes you stand out against your competitors).

Talk about objective, measurable and verifiable unique social proof points and don’t be fake. Don’t just say we sell the best product in the world, this sounds really fake.

Benefits Vs features

Traditionally, marketers claimed that writing about your product’s benefits rather than features will increase conversion rates.

This can be true in case you’re showing your ads to someone who doesn’t know/have little information about your products and services.

Here, you’re trying to convince the possible customer who lies at the top of the marketing funnel to take the buying decision by highlighting how your product/service can save his life.

However, when you’re writing ads for a possible customer who lies at the bottom of the marketing funnel (already knows about products in your niche, already showed interest), you surely want to talk about key features of your product/service because the customer here already knows why he needs the product, he’s just considering different options by comparing features.

You have to understand that with Google Ads, we’re mostly targeting educated customers who already know about your products/services, because simply they typed related keywords with commercial intent in Google search bar.

Talking about features here will definitely help you close the sale.

Include prices, promotions, limited-time offers…

Mentioning prices is good because it helps the potential customer evaluate whether they can afford your product/service before clicking on the ad.

This can save you extra money that you can spend on more interested customers who do afford what you offer.

Use the registered symbol ® to increase the click through rate (CTR)

It lends legitimacy and social proof.

Make sure your ad sounds like an introduction to your landing page

Ads and landing pages content should be always connected.

Making sure that there is a logical progression of information from your ad to your landing page will lead to higher conversion rates and your relevancy score will suffer !

Optimize your ads for mobile devices

This can be done by adding call & location extensions, as mobile users tend to want to either text/call the business or see locations.

Use concepts of scarcity and urgency

Scarcity: limited pieces available.

Urgency: offer valid for a limited time.

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