Write Better Text Ads: Improve Your CTR With These Text Ad Tips

Writing advertisements is challenging. We’re essentially trying to craft copy that asks someone we’ve never met to make an action, and we’re willing to pay for them to make that action.

The action is usually something simple, like clicking through from an ad and landing on a web page or calling a business directly from an ad. Yet, why is it so difficult for advertisers to actually connect to users and have users take action? A lot of it has to do with the actual ad copy.

It’s very easy to write a bad text ad. Here, I’ll show you:

I searched “Cake Decorating”, because cake, and this was one of the text ads I was presented with. Here’s a few ways NexTag failed to encourage me to click on their ad:

  1. It feels a bit keyword-stuffed to me. Does NexTag really have anything to do with cake decorating? Is it something they specialize in or just are bidding for that keyword, along with tens of thousands of other products? Turns out that NexTag is a price comparison website, not a cake decorating supplier. Does that mean their ad isn’t relevant, of course not. They still have business bidding on “Cake Decorating” as a keyword because they can help users find the most competitive prices for cake decorating tools, but their ad doesn’t clearly explain that.
  2. “See NexTag Seller’s Lowest Price”. What’s an example of a low price? What can the user expect when I click? It’s not very clear in the phrasing what NexTag is about to present the user with since we don’t know who their sellers are. The call to action needs to be to the point, but understandable.

Here’s an example of an ad that I actually wanted to click on.

In one sentence, Avalon Deco was able to clearly tell me that they must specialize in cake decorating because they understand how important it is to have a cake decorating tool that is affordable, helps save time, and is pretty to look at – like a cake should be. The description of the ad is relatable to someone looking for cake decorations and  provides a level of reassurement that if I click on that ad it will actually take me to cake decorating items.

If you’re text ads are resembling more of the first example, follow the tips below to help improve your ad conversions and better attract a user’s attention.

Craft the Perfect Headline

It’s okay to have two headlines in text ads, in fact you should, as long as you include the search term or keyword in the first headline to connect with a user’s search intent immediately. AvalonDeco did a great job of this by displaying their primary keyword in the first headline and website in the second.

They could have chosen a stronger second headline since the website is already displayed, though. The second headline would have read better with “Free Shipping” or “Beautifully Handmade”.

Depending upon what you chose for your first headline, make sure that both the first and the second compliment each other and include your most important information. The description is a supporting feature to the headline, which users will see first. Put your eggs in that basket.

Take a Peek at the Competition

It’s fairly easy to see what kind of text ads your competitors are publishing. Do a little competitor research by searching for a few of the keyword terms your bidding on. What kind of text ads appear?

Analyze the ad copy and see if competitors are using different phrases and how long their copy is. Since you can’t see how successful each ad is just from searching on search engines, I wouldn’t suggest changing your entire ad copy strategy based on what you see your competition doing.

The competitor’s ad may look nice because it’s different, but in reality, it may not be converting for them and they could be sitting in the same struggle you are. So, proceed with caution and take this information with a grain of salt. View the competitor’s ads to inspire new ideas and freshen up your own copy with, but not to develop a whole new ad strategy with.

Include a Special Offers – Free Shipping, _% Off

If you’re having a holiday sale don’t be afraid to promote it inside of your text ad. Even though we’re limited on the amount of characters for text ads, seeing your ad with a 15% off special can be more attractive next to your competitor’s ad with no offer included.

Get creative with how you phrase the pricing in order to stay within a low character count, but do include the promotion, promo code, or discount within the ad in either the second headline or description. The first headline is primarily used to match with the searched term or company name.

Give the User an Action to Make

Each text ad should have a very clear call to action, and not just be filled with keywords and percentages. Explain what the benefit for a user to act is and what action should be taken: click, call, buy, talk to us, order, schedule an appointment, etc.

Users are already searching for something that you’re claiming to relate to with your ad. So, make the process as easy as possible for the user to act on the ad by telling them exactly what to do. I suggest adding your call to action in the second headline or the description. If it’s a lengthy call to action then add it to the description where you’ll have more room and put the offer as the second headline.

Use the URL to Drop More Keywords

If your headline and description doesn’t clarify exactly what a user can expect, and what they should do, you have another opportunity with the URL.

Marketing360 nailed their text ad. They have a keyword-defined headline, and a supporting second headline to make them stand out from their competition. My favorite part of their ad is the URL, though.


When you publish a new text ad, you’re publishing it knowing that you’re going to compete with several other businesses. Be direct with your URL and take advantage of the option to add on and let users know exactly what makes your company better, or why they should act. If you don’t feel that the URL is an appropriate place to make this point, then add it in the description or second headline.

Do you have a special recipe for your text ads? Comment with your favorite ad writing tips below!

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