Find relevant ad copy depending on the ad group

Filtering your results in Ad History lets you work with relevant keywords, and that leads to more effective ad copy suggestions.

This post wasn’t supposed to start this way.  I’m becoming crazy frustrated because I wanted to show you not-quite-obvious but incredibly helpful feature in Ad History. When you filter keywords, your top ads adjust. Instead of the best overall ad copy, you get a BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW version to take over as the best one. There’s just this small snag.

I keep running into domains that aren’t putting a lot of work into adjusting their copy. They’re lazy, so it’s the same bland copy used across their keywords without . The domains I tried just phoned it in. They approach their ad writing with the easy, safe route.

It’s like saying, “Oh everyone’s favorite movie is Citizen Kane” and you might watch it and say “Sure, it’s a good movie,” because you’re supposed to say that when you watch Citizen Kane. But then you get a few people together who have some more common ties. Like maybe you’ve got some people who were 80s kids, and you mutter “the Donger needs food.”  They turn and stare at you with excitement and a collective agreement that– Oh, Exalted John Hughes of Our Youth –we need to watch Sixteen Candles! And they freaking LOVE this movie, and they will play it again and again, and this movie will convert them into happy movie watchers.

Citizen Cane is considered to be really good overall. But when you’ve narrowed it down to a specific group, Sixteen Candles wears the crown.

Such is the same with ad copy on a domain’s set of keywords.

Picture of a man pointing and a women laying in the bed

Just because you find a domain’s top ad (the best performing copy across its most profitable, high-performing keywords) doesn’t mean that it’s the best choice for a specific ad group. That’s why successful advertisers know to differentiate their copy depending on the keywords. That’s why you build your ad copy ideas on targeted keywords.

A phrase match filter built into Ad History narrows down your search. That lets you work with targeted keywords. You can see ad copy patterns emerge from relevant matches.


Top Ads

First, a word about top ads. Based on the set of keywords being viewed, these are ad copy variations that the domain used most often across all of these ads.  

I ran a search for “” because I was feeling festive. (I love that on their best keywords, their go-to message is “Did you mean Evite?” Presumptuous little stinkers.) They do at least write new ads for different ad groups.
Explination of top ads in ad history

High usage of the same copy is an important factor, but we took it a step further. Google tends to serve ad copy with the highest click through rate, so we connect the dots and determine that these Top Ads point you to the best-performing ad copy on these keywords.

The Top Ad itself isn’t the final answer—yet. It becomes incredibly more important only when you’ve filtered down to the targeted keywords that matter to you.

Back to the Filter

When you write ads, you should aim for the best copy that fits your targeted keywords. That’s the beauty of the filter. It leaves you with the strongest message that’s been tested along with your keywords.

That kind of specificity is important in AdWords.

  1.     More qualified traffic finds you
  2.     They are more likely to click and engage with your content
  3.     Working with targeted keywords and copy can lead to a higher Google quality score.

I can click “view more” to expand the list, or just click the “Ad History” tab over the title. Both ways open what I need: the filter.

Let’s say you’re trying to write for an ad group built on BBQ-themed keywords. Use the filter to find the matches.

Filtering ad history by the keyword BBQ

And there you have it. Top ad copy for BBQ keywords.


Don’t always just snag the top ad and be done. I highlighted the ad (in red) above to show that it ran a lot last summer, but Evite has since updated that copy. While the Top Ad is often a very good bet, it’s worth looking at the latest ad variations to see what the domain is testing.

In this case (orange highlight) the updated copy didn’t prove itself, and it’s too soon to tell with more recent tests. They brought back the current Top Ad in February, tried something new in March, and then they tried something else in April.

Example of a domain testing different ads using SpyFu Ad History

That puts you back with the Top Ad, just like you thought. Now you’ve got clearer answers about writing ad copy for targeted keywords. Now go enjoy that summer BBQ.