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Writing Good AdWords Ads- Being Interesting in Small Spaces

Quick Review:


And Now: Part 3 – Creating a good text ad.

Remember that a text ad on AdWords looks like this:

adword layout

You get a 25 character headline, two 35 character lines to describe your service or product, and a 35 character display URL.  Go watch the editorial guidelines tutorial on the AdWords learning center – I’m not going to rehash that here.  The video is quick and simple enough.


Be Concise, Be Descriptive, and Be Interesting

A 70 character description – that’s not a whole lot of space to make your pitch.  Think about it.  That’s only half a tweet.  You’ve got to be concise.  Whatever you’re pitching, you’ve got to be able to explain it and make me want it in 70 characters or less.  You’ll probably also be describing some kind of action so that the user knows what they’ll be getting when they click on the ad.  Think verbs: get, learn, search, find, see, earn, know, click, download, print, tour, save, map.  And of course, whatever action that user can take, you’ll need to have some clear benefit, your unique angle that will make your ad stand out, where the user would be genuinely intrigued and desirous of what you’ve got, and would want click on your ad.


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Can You Be Better Than What’s Out There Now?

I never said it’d be easy.  It’s a process of trial and error, to see what words and descriptions work best in your market and with your site.  You’ve got to have something that’s interesting, that is clear, and that’s better than your competitor’s ads.  Let’s look at some examples.  I’ve blacked out the display URLs to protect the, ah, innocent.

sample ads

Really look at those ads.  I can find 1000’s of beautiful homes – they must filter out the ugly ones – I can see Tucson homes, there’s area listings with no obligation (did you feel obligated?), a free MLS search.  One is going to show me 5000 listings when there are closer to 10,000 on the market in this area.  There’s another free MLS search but this one is fancy – see, it includes ONLINE home listings.  And one guy says I can have instant access to all Tucson homes (I want to exclude my home from that list, please) but gives me a toll free number to call. Am I on the phone or am I online?

You see what I’m getting at here? Is there anything here you want to click on?

My personal favorite, and one that had potential, in my opinion: Look at the "Thoroughly Modern Tucson" one.  Except I’m urged to call her, and when I clicked on the ad, it took me to a page that didn’t exist.  Still cost her some money though when I clicked on it.  And I clicked on it a couple times, just to really make sure it didn’t work.


Do It Right Or Don’t Do It

If you’re not going to make a real offer, if you don’t have a unique benefit, if you’re not special in any way or you can’t express that in 70 characters, then don’t play, you’ll be wasting your money.

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Spend some time crafting a good ad.  Can you think of a better offer, of something cool you can have on your website, something that people would enjoy and would grab attention?  Use your imagination, check your competition, make several variations and try ’em all, see what users like to click on and what they avoid.

Written By

Kelley Koehler, aka the Housechick, is usually found focused on her Tucson, Arizona, real estate business. You may also find her on Twitter, where she doubles as a super hero, at Social Media Training Camp, where she trains and coaches people on how to integrate social media into successful business practices, or at, a collection of all things housechick-ish. Despite her engineering background, Kelley enjoys translating complex technical concepts into understandable and clear ideas that are practical and useful to the striving real estate agent.



  1. Ben Goheen

    October 30, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Good call Kelly – go big or go home! Too many ads look the same so you have to ??stand out?? from the crowd. I’d also suggest looking at ads in different cities to get ideas that may not be in your market.

    Search Google to find some good Adwords ad writing tips. I’d share but I can’t give away ALL my secrets…

  2. Missy Caulk

    October 30, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Great idea’s here Kelly. Put on your buyer hat and check other area’s. See what you are drawn to and use those terms.

    Excellent post! You know I love these.

  3. Caryn Berry

    November 6, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Very helpful Kelly,
    I’m going to look at other cities and follow your advice.

  4. The Adwords Guide

    November 12, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Amazingly helpful kelly!

    I have got many good ideas from this and has many good tips.

    Great post.

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