Small Business PPC – Writing Ad Copy

While having the right keywords in your ad group is important, writing compelling ad copy is even more crucial so your ad stands out from the crowd and gets clicked. First, let’s discuss the basics:

  • Title – 25 characters
  • Line 1 – 35 characters
  • Line 2 – 35 characters
  • Display URL – 35 characters, must be the same root domain as the destination URL
  • Destination URL – 1024 characters, users don’t see this

Titles Are The Key

The title, though only 25 characters, is the most important. Since you chose keywords that followed a theme, you want to write a title that follows that theme. Ideally you also want your title to include your keywords because if the users search term is contained in your ad, Google will make those words bold, helping your ad to stand out. In the example above you’ll see the title is “I Mess With Texas T-shirt”. This ad is shown for searches on “mess with texas” and “texas t-shirt” where the keyword would be bolded.

Focus on Benefits in Line 1 & 2

You have a few more characters in Line 1 and Line 2, but you still need to be focused. Search users, whether explicitly or implicitly, are trying to determine which of the 10 organic and up to 10 paid links to click. You need to tell them exactly what they’ll get if they click on yours. Focus on the benefits of your product. For my t-shirts, the benefit is that you get to mess with Texas and you get to do it quickly because the shirts are in stock and I have fast shipping. Not to mention that 49 out of 50 states agree that Texas needs to be messed with.

Don’t Neglect the URLs

There are two different URL boxes. The first is the display URL that is shown with your ad. While the root domain must match the destination URL, you can fudge a bit for a little extra benefit. Say your landing page is That would be an okay URL, but I suggest you spice up the display URL to say Again, this will help your ad stand out by showing people that you actually have a page for their keyword (even though they just go to Don’t be fooled into thinking that you just put your homepage URL in the display URL field.

Run 2 Ads at a Time

One last point. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS run at least 2 ads in each ad group. Use a little bit different title or different copy in Lines 1 and 2. Then you can compare the two ads later to determine which is working better.

Okay, you’re almost there. Now you have a keyword list and 2 ads written for your first ad group. Next we’ll show you how to take care of billing, budgets and bids.

About Robert

Conversion rate optimization and PPC wizard. If I'm not out playing ultimate frisbee or golf you may find me hiking, skiing or mountain biking.
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