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12 Proven Tricks That Get More Clicks From Google AdWords

Looking to get more clicks from Google AdWords?
It’s not easy.  You’ll need to apply the same copywriting principles you would when writing a 3,000 word sales letter in the space of a matchbook.
Your AdWords ad is limited to,

  • 25 characters for the headline
  • 70 characters of ad text
  • 35 characters for the Display URL

With limited space, you won’t be able to incorporate all elements outlined below in the same ad.  Mix and match.  Test and improve.
Don’t complicate things by trying to be clever or gimmicky with your AdWords ads unless you’ve been writing ads for your market for quite some time.
There’s simply not enough space to get cute with these ads.
Instead, stick with these 12 tried and true AdWords elements that get more clicks.

1 – Use Specific Numbers

This works in every kind of copywriting.
Use goofy numbers like 71 instead of 70 or 8.23 instead of 8.  In both cases, the former looks more precise (and thus trustworthy) than the latter.  They also catch attention — it’s not everyday that I see the number 8.23 in print.
Notice how uses a specific percentage in their ad for printer cartridges.
AdWords ad with Goofy Numbers

2 – Use funky characters

Similar to #1, odd characters such as ® , % , $, é catch the eye and can increase click through rate on your AdWords ads.
Notice how FTD uses the registered trademark symbol to boost trust and catch your eye.
AdWords Ad with funky characters uses é instead of an ordinary e in their ads.  This is by design.
Adwords Ad with Funky Characters

3 – Use a Call-to-Action

If you want someone to do something, tell them to do it.  Use a clear call-to-action in your ads.
Lowe’s knows the drill.  The entire body of this ad is a call-to-action.
AdWords ad with a call to action

4 – Include the Benefit

Your ad will be stacked above and below your competition.
Why should I choose you?  Teleflora Flowers is advertising a $10 discount and a timely benefit with “Capture the Spirit of Thanksgiving.”
AdWords ad with a relevant benefit
This ad for the Google query ‘learn php’ gives me a strong benefit, “Accelerate Your Career.”  This benefit won’t appeal to everyone but to some it will be exactly what they are looking for.
AdWords Ad with a clear benefit

5 – Include a Phone Number and Address

AdWords allows local business to add location extensions into their posts.
Notice how Bahama Breeze restaurant includes a phone number and address.
AdWords Ad with phone number and address
Learn how to add location extensions from this Google AdWords support page.

6 – Tell a story

When you start a story, people naturally want to hear how it ends.
Sometimes an ad like this will test through the roof,
AdWords Ad that tells a story
Notice how this ad wraps a benefit in a story.

7 – Remove risk

It’s a basic principle of copywriting.  If you can remove risk you will increase conversion.
You can remove risk by advertising guarantees, free trials and no hassle return policies in your AdWords ads.
This ad describes features of a project management tool and then offers a 100% guarantee to remove risk.
Adwords Ad that Removes Risk

8 – Free shipping

This won’t apply to everyone but if you offer free shipping, be sure to test it in your AdWords ads.
Home Depot knows that high shipping costs can be a deal breaker for customers and advertising free shipping increases conversions.
AdWords ad that removes risk

9 – Ask a question

You can’t help it.  When asked a question, your brain answers it.
This shred of engagement with your ad might be all you need to get clicks.  Here’s a very straightforward AdWords ad for a weight loss product.
AdWords Ad that asks a question

10 – Include Social Proof

One of the ways we make decisions is to simply choose to do what others are already doing.  The more people doing it and the more prominent they are — the better.
Social proof is just one of the reasons this ad is likely getting lots of clicks.  If you’ve got impressive numbers, use them in your ads.
adwords ad with social proof
If you have relevant endorsements from reputable sources, test using those endorsements in your AdWords.  This flower delivery company features an endorsement from CBS News in their ad.
AdWords ad with social proof

11 – Scarcity or urgency

People are more likely to grab something if they think it’s going away.  If there is something scarce or urgent about your offer, incorporate that scarcity or urgency into your ads.
Notice how this travel booking company communicates the fleeting nature of their 75% off deal.
AdWords ad with urgency

12 – Make a threat

Be careful with this one.  Don’t try to invent danger that doesn’t actually exist.
That said, if what you are offering protects people from real threat or danger, be sure to include that in your AdWords ads.
AdWords ad that makes a threat
Your turn.   What have you tested that gets more AdWords clicks?  Add your #13 to this list in the comments section below.

Russ Henneberry

Russ Henneberry

Russ Henneberry is a digital marketer, speaker, and co-author of Digital Marketing for Dummies. Russ has helped hundreds of brands increase sales, leads, and retention including Crazy Egg,, and DigitalMarketer. Visit Russ's website or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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