Creative That Clicks

Take advantage of expanded text ads



People use Google across different devices. In fact, 90% of people start an activity on one device and finish it on another. In your text ads, you should factor in this cross-device behaviour.

Create ad text that appeals to users across devices

We’ve found that a compelling call to action on one device tends to be compelling on other devices as well. Your ad text should highlight why you have what a user is looking for. Find what’s most compelling about your business and build your ads around that insight.

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Here’s an important consideration that’s unchanged: tie creatives to your keywords. You want to indicate that you have what someone is looking for by speaking directly to their search term.

Customising the experience for mobile users can still be a good thing, though. Direct them to pages of your site that deliver a great experience through mobile-specific URLs. And if you know about any calls to action or offers that work particularly well on mobile devices, take advantage of ad customisers to speak directly to mobile users.

Take full advantage of your character limits

You have two 30-character headlines, one 80-character description line and two 15-character URL path fields. Use that space. Include deeper messaging that focuses on what you and your users care about. Not only that, longer headlines increase the clickable space of your text ads.

Don’t underestimate the value of your path fields. The URL that’s visible in a text ad is an important indication of where a user should expect to end up. Adding descriptive path fields gives a user confidence that she’ll find what she’s looking for when she arrives at your site.


Your URL paths don’t have to match the exact language that is present in your final URL. The URL paths should simply be relevant content to help the user understand what to expect from your landing page.

In 2016 ads were removed from the right-hand side of desktop results to make the Google experience consistent across devices. That change affords more space for ad text to be both detailed and instructive.


When you’re creating campaigns on the Google Display Network, add an image to make your ads more appealing. You can reach a larger audience on the GDN using responsive ads that combine text with a required marketing image of your choice. Responsive ads tend to drive better results and maximise your ROI.

Focus on your headlines

Your headlines are the clickable space on your text ads. You now have more than twice as many headline characters as were available before. What you put into that space will be a big indicator of how enticing your ad text is – big blue headlines are more prominent than your description text. The content and quality of your headlines matters and will determine how well your ads perform.

Your headlines should receive the majority of your testing attention. As you go about instituting and testing expanded text ads, focus on writing the best headline possible. Implementing great headlines has the most potential to make a big difference to performance.

The additional headline in your ads gives you an additional thing to consider: your line break. Generally, mobile headlines will have a line break in them, while desktop ads will not. In every case there will be a dash between headline 1 and headline 2.

Sample Expanded Text Ad on desktop and mobile views

A flexible headline can be appealing on all types of devices. You can’t create a set of headlines that relies on a line break, as there’s no guarantee where that line will actually break. A tablet might see some of headline 2 on a second line, while a desktop device will have it all on one line.

Two headline fields raise another question about ad text – should your call to action be in the first or second headline? It’s a great question, and exactly the type of thing that you should test as you optimise your creatives.


Our headline fields have expanded, but our headline policies haven’t changed. For example, you can’t add an exclamation mark to your second line of text.

Ready to create expanded text ads? Get started now.

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