Why It’s Vital to Have Strong Ad Copy

February 28, 2017

This is a guest post from Ashley Aptt, Account Lead at 3Q Digital.

Many advertisers underestimate the impact that ad copy can have on paid search performance. But ad copy is an essential element in generating traffic to your site, learning about your target audience, and improving efficiency to save money and drive stronger results.

With Google making the shift from Standard Text Ads to Expanded Text Ads, now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your ad copy, take advantage of the new ad features, and improve ad performance.

Here are three reasons marketers should focus on better ads.

1. It’s The First Thing Users See

Within a matter of seconds, users perform an online search, skim their options on the search engine results page, and determine which ad to click. Ad copy is one of the primary elements a user evaluates when deciding which site to visit.

  • Which company has the best offer?
  • Which brand seems most reputable and trustworthy?
  • Which ad seems most relevant to my needs?

These are all things a potential customer could be thinking when deciding which site to visit.

Ad copy gives advertisers the platform to communicate their message and showcase their value propositions. Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) offer more character space to help get your message across to potential customers. Use this space wisely, as it could be the only chance to win the sale from a competitor.

2. Learn about Your Customers

An important part of making sure you’re using strong ad copy is to incorporate a solid ad copy testing strategy. You’ll never know what messaging, call to action, or value proposition resonates best with your target audience until you start testing different ad elements and measuring results.

When kicking off an ad copy test, be sure to focus on one element at a time. There’s a lot of opportunity for testing within ETAs. For example, you can test two headline messages against each other while leaving everything else the same. Or, test alternative calls to action in the description line while keeping the rest of the ad copy consistent between both ad variations.

Testing one element a time ensures you’re able to accurately determine which message delivers the best results. Once you determine a winning ad variation, don’t stop there—keep testing different elements against the winning variation.

expanded text ads schema

Ad copy testing doesn’t just help you refine your ad copy—it also allows you to learn more about your customers. For instance, in an A/B value proposition test, you could learn whether your customers find “Free Shipping” or “0% Financing” more appealing. Aside from updating your ad copy appropriately, use the test result learnings across various marketing channels and improve your performance for social, email, and display campaigns, too.

3. Improve Efficiency and Save Money

ETAs give advertisers the perfect opportunity to rethink their ad copy messaging. Rather than just inserting a second headline, think about the entire message you’d like to deliver, and make sure the message in your ad is relevant to the search query.

The additional character space you gain with ETAs also provides the ability to further explain your business offerings and can help pre-qualify users before they click your ad. This can help you home in on your target audience and weed out users who may be looking for something different.

All in all, utilizing ad copy that’s relevant to what the user’s searching can help improve your click-through rate and Quality Score, which ultimately reduces your cost per click. It can also pre-qualify your visitors and help reduce bad clicks. Overall, strong ad copy can end up saving you money and improving your ROAS.


Don’t underestimate the power of strong ad copy. Use the additional character limits with ETAs as an opportunity to connect with your users, stand out from the competition, and drive qualified traffic to your site. Apply learnings from ad copy testing to improve your paid search performance and expand the lessons to other marketing channels as well.

Ashley Aptt

3Q Digital
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