Writing Winning AdWords Ads Using AIDA

So you’ve done your keyword research and it’s time to craft some AdWords ads that are going to get clicked. But how do you start? One simple and powerful approach is to use AIDA.

AIDA is an old copywriter’s acronym that stands for Attention-Interest-Desire-Action. It represents the steps you want your prospects go through as they read your ad and decide you’re offering what they want.

Before we delve into AIDA, let’s review the rules regarding the number of characters you’re permitted to use in your ads. (Here we’re covering only text ads).

When it comes to creating an AdWords ad, every word counts. Your whole ad is limited to 130 visible characters (that’s less that even a Twitter tweet). Your headline has a maximum of 25 characters, your two description lines 35 each, and your display URL 35. For your destination URL you’re given a generous 1024 characters. Meanwhile don’t forget it’s a smart move to include your keywords in your ad, too.

adwords cloud

Harnessing AIDA


This is your headline that should call out to your prospect and alert him that you have what he wants. His eyes will be scanning the SERPs (for the search network) or third party landing pages (for content network) for items of interest.

Old copywriting hands advise you to enter the conversation going on in your prospect’s mind. So what’s he worried about or craving? Make sure the headline promises it. In other words, make sure it’s relevant.


Once your headline has caught his attention, you have to deepen his interest with your first description line. It should confirm that it’s what the prospect wants and add some more details to make it more tempting. That’s how you build desire.


Generating desire requires that understand your offer intimately. What benefits does your product or service offer? What’s the unique selling proposition? Show how you’re different and special.

With the extreme brevity of the AdWords ad, you have to focus on the one special benefit that’s unique and compelling. You might want to add in some proof in the form of brief testimonials or sometimes quoting prices works well. It all depends on the type of product or service. Check what the competition is doing for ideas.


This, of course, is the click. Once they desire what you’re offering, they click the link and head off to your landing page where hopefully some kind of transaction will take place. Make sure it’s clear and tempting.

AIDA is a very simple copywriting formula and far more sophisticated ones have been developed over the years. However when you start on the task of crafting your AdWords ad, simplicity is a real asset. It helps you focus on what’s really important for your prospect and create just the right ad for each situation.

About Nathanael Vanderkolk

Nathanael Vanderkolk is the Director of the Smart SEO Company, a SEO Agency in Sydney, Australia. Smart SEO Sydney has a keen awareness of the latest approaches to online marketing. Follow him on , Facebook and Twitter.
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