How To Make Your Google Search Ad Copy Sparkle

PPC Marketing

Google Search Ad copy makes all the difference when it comes to tempting people down the marketing funnel. All you need to do is convince them you’re the right choice.

You know people searching Google are already in need of something you offer as they’re looking for it online, and they may even be thinking about buying your product in particular.

Discover how to get people past the consideration phase and through to conversion by applying our Search Ad copy best practices today. From basic principles straight from Google’s rulebook through to recommended methods proven to be effective, we cover it all in our guide below.

Know Your Fields

Google Search Ads on desktop

Google Search Ads on desktop

Firstly, there are three headlines. As per the screenshot, the headlines are all at the top, separated by a vertical slash. Next is the display URL. This is a shortened version of the real URL, which you create to look simpler and more appealing.

After that come your descriptions 1 and 2. They’re listed one after the other like 2 consecutive sentences. Below them are callout extensions and at the very bottom are sitelink extensions, or sitelinks, hyperlinked to relevant pages on your site. You edit all of these fields plus morewhen you create your Google Search Ads.

…And Your Limits

Headline 1, 2, and 3 allow for 30 characters max each. Description length is up to 90 characters, while callout extensions and sitelinks are 25 max. Chinese symbols count as 2 characters each.

Take care when composing each one of your fields, however, you should put most of your creative efforts into headline 1 and headline 2, as well as description 1. These will always display, whereas some other fields may not, as per this screenshot of Google Search Ads displayed on a mobile device compared to desktop, above.

Google Search Ads on mobile

Google Search Ads on mobile

Although not all elements may show, make sure they link together coherently, and fill them all out for the best chance to take up a maximum amount of ad space when the opportunity arises.

Use Keywords

It goes without saying that your Google Search Ads need to contain keywords in order to rank for them, whether in the headlines, description, sitelinks or callout extensions. Keywords are best placed in headline 1.

Keywords show up in bold, denoting relevance and driving conversions. However, beware not to stuff keywords in mindlessly or your ad will look spammy. Remember that even if you want to rank for trademarked names, you’re not allowed to use them unless you have prior permission.

What Goes Where?

  • Headlines– keywords, CTA, basic information
  • Display URL – add up to 2 path fields (fields after the main URL) to your custom display URL
  • Descriptions– further description plus selling points such as fast, free shipping, CTAs
  • Callout extensions – promote your USPs in short snippet form
  • Structured Snippets – up to 25 characters per snippet including a heading pre-set by Google according to your category
  • Sitelinks – link to other pages on your site users may want to visit
  • Location extensions – display your address
  • Call extensions – so people can contact you, and you can track how many clicked to call directly from the ad

Title Case

Use title case (first enter capitalized) in your headline, sitelinks and callout extensions to catch attention and add an air of authority. Leave article words such as ‘a’, ‘and’, and ‘the’ all lowercase

Most advertisers use drop caps for a reason. Stay in line with this tried and tested strategy for the best effect. Remember that Google will most likely not approve ads in all-caps, and no symbols are allowed. No emojis are allowed either.


Pretty much no fancy punctuation is allowed in Google Search Ads, except one exclamation mark per ad. This is an important part of your Search Ad copy that relays surprise, importance, and urgency. Your single exclamation mark is best placed in a description. They’re not allowed in headlines or custom URLs.

Unlike in meta descriptions, you can use ampersands (& symbols) in Google Search Ad copy. Make sure you use them in lieu of the word ‘and’ to save character spaces. Use well-known acronyms in the same way, such as BBQ for barbecue, as well as numeric values (1 for one). ‘The No. 1 choice for BBQ supplies & outdoor furniture in HK!’ for example.

Add A Compelling CTA


Calls to action are best placed in your descriptions. Make sure you include at least one. Examples include; Register today for 10% off! Get a free instant quote! Browse our selection! And so on. The more specific and concise you can be, the better.

Address Your Audience

Consider who you’re addressing. Is your audience young? Rich? Female? Professionals? Are they techy or novices? Part of a subculture? All these factors and more should be taken into account when crafting your Google Search Ad copy.

Address your audience directly by using pronouns such as you, your, and yours to make your audience feel important. Ask them questions about their query that lead them to your solution. Push them down the funnel by making them feel like they have arrived at the right place.

Test Only 1 Element

ab split test

For successful A/B (split) testing to figure out your best performing ads, alter only one element of your Search Ad. You can test one of the headlines, descriptions, or the display URL. Your test should be on either headline 1, headline 2, or description 1, as you’re not guaranteed display of headline 3 or description 2. Keep everything else the same.

Relate to Your Campaign

If your Google Ad campaign is based on brand awareness, your Ads will show when people are specifically searching for you. In this instance, communicate your brand first and foremost, along with your USPs and latest offers.

If your Ad campaign is for remarketing, craft your copy to entice prospective clients back to your site with further incentives to convert such as returning customer offers. Meanwhile, if your campaign is generic or related to products or services, describe what you offer clearly along with your USPs, and any promotions or discounts.

Inspired to craft a Google Ad campaign? Make sure you investigate your competitors to see what they’re doing so you can top them!

To help maximize your ROI, talk to the Google Search Ad experts at First Page.