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Writing effective ads is one of the fundamental tasks of creating your online ad presence. It’s critical to learn about the general ad structure and Microsoft Advertising policies so you can write advertising copy that will compel people to click.

In this PPC copywriting Study guide, you will understand important policies, ad copy tips and techniques to help you write ads that are effective and relevant. This training will help you understand how to:

  • Write effective advertisement copy that meet the Microsoft Advertising policies.
  • Submit your ads for approval.
  • Use Expanded Text Ads to craft longer ad copy.

The basics

First, always make your ads are relevant. One way to improve relevance is to use your customers' most popular search query keywords in your ad titles and text. A great strategy for effective advertising is to include a strong keyword in the first line of your ad or title.

Use compelling action words that encourage customers to click your ad right now. Offer a specific call to action in your description, such as encouraging customers to request a brochure or consultation, download a free e-book, subscribe to a newsletter, or take advantage of a limited-time discount. You can test different ones out to see which work best.

Highlight your company's products and benefits rather than using excessive promotional language and superlatives. Describe a unique feature, product or service that you offer. Why do customers buy your product? Does it solve a problem? Does it help save time or money? When you're finished writing, pretend you're a customer and review your ad and landing page. Ask yourself:

  • Is the content on the page relevant to the ad? Have I set up Expanded Text Ads?
  • Will my customers understand the page right away? Have I used a message that targets them directly?
  • Does the landing page prominently display the offer mentioned in the ad? Is your brand clearly represented on the page? 

General policies

Microsoft can refuse to accept any advertising content that does not meet Microsoft Advertising policies. When tackling your PPC copywriting projects, it’s necessary that you adhere to these guidelines to decrease the likelihood that your ad is disapproved. Disapproval can inhibit the execution of your campaign, so, it’s best to read the editorial guidelines article in Microsoft Advertising online help to become familiar with the list of acceptable ad content.

Four of the most important ad copy tips and general policies that you must adhere to when writing ad copy are:

  • Do not use offensive language or profanity.
  • Do not advertise illegal products.
  • Do not mislead your customers or create the wrong impression.
  • Use correct style and grammar in your ads and avoid common mistakes such as more than one exclamation point per sentence, repeated or unnecessary punctuation, or repeated words.

Policies for intellectual property

You are responsible for ensuring that your ads and keywords do not infringe on another party’s intellectual property. However, you can use trademarked words or phrases in certain instances.

Landing pages

The landing page for your ad should provide clear content that is relevant to your ad text and keywords. The ad should lead to different landing pages, depending on the focus of the ad. If the landing page is inaccessible, is under construction, generates pop-up ads, or does not have content that is relevant to your advertising copy, your ad could be disapproved. Consider these three questions for a positive landing page experience:

  • Is it relevant?
  • Is it transparent?
  • Is there ease of navigation?
  • Can users find what they are searching for?

Expanded Text Ads

Expanded Text Ads are a mobile-optimized ad format that enables you to craft longer ad copy and optimize your ad text to better engage with potential customers before they click on your ads. Expanded Text Ads work seamlessly on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices, giving you a way to create more compelling calls to action for consumers and drive higher conversions to your business.

An Expanded Text Ads contains three fundamental visual elements: the ad titles, the final URL, and the ad text.

Expanded Text Ads

You can further enhance your Expanded Text Ad with ad extensions.

Tips for optimizing your Expanded Text Ads:

  • Review your ad extensions to ensure that they have fresh, differentiated content from your expanded headlines.
  • Add your brand in the headline for trust.
  • The clearer and more specific your offering, the better. For example, rather than "big discounts," specify an exact percentage, such as "50% off."

*Note: You can convert standard text ad (STA) to expanded text ad (EXTA) via  Microsoft Advertising web UI Opens in new window and Microsoft Advertising Editor Opens in new window.

Ad customers

Ad customizers provide flexibility to easily customize your text ads to what someone is searching for at the time they’re searching for it. A single text ad can be customized with hundreds of variations and show the most relevant ad to each potential customer.

Ads can be modified based on user location, device, search queries, time of day and many other ad customizers.

To get started, click the Campaigns page. Navigate to the Shared Library. Expand Business data and choose Ad customizer library. You’ll see an option to Upload new ad customizer feed and a list of previous uploads (if available).

Expanded Text Ads

Character limits

Each ad consists of four components: ad titles, ad text, display URL and a final URL. Each component has character limits so all ads across the network remain consistent. As you type your ads, a counter shows how many characters you have remaining for each component, making it easy to stay within the limits. If you happen to exceed the character limit, you’ll need to make wording adjustments before you can save the ad.

Here's how Expanded Text Ads compare to standard text ads:

Ad part
Standard text ads
Expanded text ads
Ad title
25 characters
90 characters: Supports three deadlines, up to 30 characters each, seperated by a space, vertical bar, and space ("|")
Ad text
71 characters
180 characters: Supports two descriptions, up to 90 characters each
Display URL
35 characters
Domain and subdomain automatically generated from your final URL (preserving capitaliation) plus two customizable URL paths

Submitting your ad for approval

Once you’ve finished writing your copy, Microsoft Advertising provides feedback to help you make adjustments so your ads comply with basic editorial requirements, such as word counts and missing or incorrectly formatted URLs.

If your ad, keywords and landing pages meet all Microsoft Advertising policies, your ad may display online soon after you submit it. If not, this process will take longer. Microsoft Advertising does not notify customers when their ads have been approved. You can look at the Delivery column on the ad and keyword tabs on the Campaign page to verify the status of your ads and keywords.

Disapproved content

If your ad has been disapproved, you will be notified by email. You can also select the arrow next to the disapproved Delivery status on the ad or keyword tab in Microsoft Advertising to get actionable information about the reasons for the disapproval.


Remember these key points for effective ad writing that will get your products and services noticed:

  • Keep your customer in mind at all times.
  • Keep your ad concise, relevant and specific.
  • Review and follow the Microsoft Advertising policies to help your ad go live as quickly as possible.
  • Use ad customizers for higher click-through and conversion rates.

Thanks for reading this PPC copywriting Study guide. Continue studying or take the Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional exam to become certified.

Please note all features in this Study guide may not be available in your market.