Last week we introduced two regular blog features: win of the week and the Friday PPC News Roundup. Today we’re rolling out another that we hope will be a standard: ad text tips. The idea here is to offer one short, simple, actionable tip that you could take away and implement relatively quickly if you so chose.


Today’s tip will talk about how the ad preview tool can help you troubleshoot issues with ad text.

The New AdWords Ad Preview Tool

AdWords has updated their ad preview tool, and it can actually be quite handy for diagnosing issues with your ads and to better understand how people see your ad. Understanding where searchers come from and how they interact with your ad is critically important in creating great ad text.

You can use the ad preview tool in a few different ways, but we’ll focus on two:

  1. Get a relatively clean view of your ad appearance- There’s no way to account for personalized search, but if you’re looking to get a realistic picture of the ads your own ad is being compared to by prospects, you can do that here.
  2. Drill down to your most popular geo-regions and see how your ads appear there and what your competition looks like

How to Use the Ad Preview Tool in Google AdWords

The ad preview tool is very easy to use. As you can see below, you simply navigate to the ad preview tool and input your keyword and the location you’re looking to check:



Then, you can go a step further and actually look at your ad results in a relatively clean format:




This “clean” ad text comparison is pretty handy in general, but if you first leverage the dimensions tab in the new AdWords reporting interface to drill down and get an idea of which geo-locations are driving most of your traffic within certain campaigns, you can then preview your ads in that location. This gives you an idea of what the searcher sees in the highest volume regions your ads are shown, and allows you to create a differentiated, compelling ad.