Write effective text ad copy

For more best practices specific to campaigns in portfolios, see also the Optimization Guide > Managing Portfolios > Best Practices for Portfolios section, which is available from within Search, Social, & Commerce.

General requirements for all ad networks

See each ad network’s policy on acceptable ad copy for the full requirements.
  • Use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

  • All wide characters and double-byte characters reduce the number of characters permitted per line.

  • Capitalizing the first letter in each word of your ad is allowed. But a word can’t appear in all capital letters to draw attention unless that’s how a term is trademarked. For example, “MAC” is allowed for a MAC brand ad, but “NEW” isn’t allowed.

  • Exclamation points are prohibited in headlines/titles, but they’re allowed in description lines. Only one is allowed in the description.

  • Special characters such as @,~,\, ^,>,< are prohibited.

  • Shortcuts, or the use of symbols to replace words, are prohibited. For example, you can’t use “U” to replace “you,” or “@” to replace “at.”

  • Superlative phrases, such as “Best”’ or “#1,” are prohibited unless this distinction has been verified by a third party and the verification is clearly displayed on your website.

  • Use trademark terms only if your client owns the trademarks in question, and the trademarked items must be visible on the landing page.

  • Inappropriate language is prohibited.

Recommendations for effective ads

  • Write powerful headlines to attract potential customers.

  • Include keywords in your headline because that’s what most people are looking for. [1]

  • Create ad copy that’s designed for the intended audience.

  • Create ads that are specific, clearly communicate your intent, and include your company’s value proposition to compel the user to click the ad and visit your site.

  • Include the product, service, and other details (such as promotions) in the description/body.

  • Get to the point fast: include the most relevant information about the business first.

  • Relate your ad to offers that are on the landing page to help users complete the sales cycle.

  • Use phrases like “Free Shipping,” “Easy Returns,” “Free Exchanges and In-store Returns,” and “Free gifts” to increase the click-through rate.

  • If you are offering a discount, then include the specific amount or percentage of the discount (such as “20% off” or "Save $20 on first purchase).

  • If possible, use the keyword both in the headline/title and in both lines of the description/body. [1]

  • Always include a call to action in the text, such as “View,” “Check out,” “Order,” or “Sign up,” to increase the click-through rate. For image ads, include the call to action on a button linking to your website; for rich media ads, include the call to action in an early frame.

  • Be sensitive to how the advertiser wants its brand to be perceived. For example, an advertiser may not want the word “cheap” to show up in its ads.

  • Research what your competitors are doing. Look at the top ads for a space (at sites like www.spyfu.com) and try to understand which ads are working.

[1]: If you use keyword insertion, use the correct capitalization for the insertion code:

{keyword:default} = lawn mowers

{Keyword:default} = Lawn mowers

{KeyWord:default} = Lawn Mowers

{KEYWord:default} = LAWN Mowers (which is allowed only if “LAWN” is a brand)

{KeyWORD:default} = Lawn MOWERS (which is allowed only if “MOWERS” is a brand)

{KEYWORD:default} = LAWN MOWERS (which is allowed only if “LAWN MOWERS” is a brand)