Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

Guide to expanded text ads

Expanded text ads are the next generation of text ads, designed for a mobile-first world with both users and advertisers in mind. Expanded text ads give advertisers additional control over their messaging, and provide users with more information before they click your ad. Like text ads, expanded text ads are available on both the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network, and are supported by all the AdWords tools that currently support text ads. Ad extensions (both automatic and manual) are fully compatible with expanded text ads too.

This guide explains what expanded text ads are and how they differ from standard text ads. It also recommends ways to create new text ads in the expanded text ads format.

What are expanded text ads?

Expanded text ads differ from standard text ads in a few important ways. They have:

  • Two headline fields (up to 30 characters each)
  • A single, expanded description field (up to 80 characters)
  • A display URL that uses your final URL's domain
  • Two optional ”Path” fields, used in the ad’s display URL (up to 15 characters each)
Luxury River Cruise Holidays - Book Your Getaway Today
www.example.com/Cruises
Explore The World Along Rivers. Selected Locations On Sale!

Your new display URL

With expanded text ads, you no longer need to enter a display URL that matches your final URL domain. Instead, AdWords will take the domain from your final URL and show it as your ad’s display URL. For example, if your final URL is www.example.com/outdoor/hiking/shoes, your ad’s display URL will show as www.example.com.

Expanded text ads also introduces two optional “Path” fields, which can hold up to 15 characters. They are part of your display URL, and are placed after your website’s domain. So if your final URL is www.example.com/outdoor/hiking/shoes, you might want your path text to be Hiking and Shoes so your ad’s display URL is www.example.com/Hiking/Shoes.

We recommend using path text to give people reading your ads a better sense of where they'll land on your website. The text you put in the path fields doesn’t necessarily have to be part of your website’s URL, but it should be related to the content on your landing page. Learn more

Transitioning to expanded text ads

Right now, AdWords supports the creation of both expanded text ads and standard text ads in both the new and previous experiences of AdWords. When you create a new ad, you will be defaulted to expanded text ads. To switch back to standard text ads, click the Switch back to standard text ad link above the “Final URL” field. 

Starting January 31, 2017, AdWords will no longer support the creation or editing of standard text ads. New text ads generated after that date should use the expanded text ad format. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve past January 31, 2017.

After this date, you will only be able to create and edit expanded text ads. However, existing standard text ads will continue to serve alongside expanded text ads.

AdWords tools that support experimenting with different ad text, like campaign drafts and experiments, are fully compatible with expanded text ads. We recommend trying out different variations on your expanded text ads to see which perform best for your business. When you create a new expanded text ad, we also recommend waiting for the ad to be approved before pausing your standard text ad. Create expanded text ads

Updating existing text ads

Opening a standard text ad for editing now brings up the ad in the expanded text ad by default. Your existing ad's text is used to populate fields in the new format, so you already have a head start in creating the newly expanded ad.

Remember that editing an ad in this way causes the original to be removed. To create an expanded text ad from a standard text ad without removing the existing ad, hover over the ad and select Copy and edit from the drop-down next to the pencil icon.

Using bulk editing 

You can also edit multiple text ads at once. Making bulk changes to expanded text ads is very similar to making bulk changes to standard text ads. You can multi-select ads and pause, enable, or remove them via the Edit menu.

Bulk upload also supports expanded text ads, though with additional column headers that aren’t available for standard text ads. You can make changes to both standard and expanded text ads within the same Bulk upload spreadsheet. Get started 

Using AdWords Editor

You can also create and edit expanded text ads in bulk using AdWords Editor. AdWords Editor supports expanded text ads in Version 11.5. Learn more

Make the most of expanded text ads

Expanded text ads share a number of the best practices you’re already familiar with for standard text ads. But with almost 50% more ad text available and an additional headline, expanded text ads provide more opportunity for you to connect with users and drive more, qualified clicks to your website. 

  • Rethink the messaging of your ad. It can be tempting, but don’t simply add a second headline to your existing ads. Consider the entire message that you want to present, taking into account all parts of your new ad.
  • Take advantage of your character limits. Expanded headline fields increase the clickable space of your ads, and allow you to communicate more to someone who’s searching before they decide whether to click through to your site.
  • Focus on optimizing your headlines. People are most likely to read the headline of your ad. When viewed on the search results page, your ad’s headline fields are combined using a hyphen, “-”. On mobile, the headline may wrap beyond the first line. Consider the different ways that your headline may show when writing your ad to make sure that your ad is compelling and easy to read on different devices.
  • Use ad extensions. Including information below your ad like additional deep links into your website or your business location has been shown to increase your ad’s performance. Get started

See more best practices for expanded text ads 

Frequently asked questions

How do expanded text ads work on mobile?
Expanded text ads are designed to look great across all devices, including mobile devices. As a result of this flexibility, expanded text ads no longer support a Device Preference setting. In order to have more control over how often your ad appears across different devices, try out device bid adjustments.
Are expanded text ads available for Display Network campaigns?

Yes. To create an expanded text ad for the Display Network, select Text ad at the "All campaigns" level. You can also copy and paste expanded text ads from Search Network campaigns to Display Network campaigns.

Also consider using responsive ads instead of expanded text ads for your Display Network campaigns. Responsive ads can show as several different formats – including text ads – helping you reach people better across apps and sites on the Google Display Network. Learn more

What are the character limits for expanded text ads fields?
The headline fields for expanded text ads support up to 30 characters each. The description supports 80 characters, and the path fields can be up to 15 each. Each character in a double width language like Korean, Japanese, or Chinese counts as two instead of one towards these limits. Learn more
What happens to my display URL if my final URL has a subdomain?

In most scenarios, if your final URL has a subdomain, it will be added to your display URL. In rare scenarios, your subdomain may not be added to your display URL. For example, if your subdomain uses a trademarked term, your display URL may not include your subdomain.

Will all the ad text in my expanded text ad always show when my ad shows?

Usually when your ad shows, all the ad text that you’ve entered will show along with it. In some situations, AdWords needs to shorten your text, usually with an ellipsis (“...”). For example:

  • If you use call extensions, the “Call” button may take the place of some of your ad text.
  • If your ad text frequently uses wider characters (like “m”) instead of narrower characters (like “i”), your headline text may be wider than the space available for it on some browser sizes. With most Latin languages, you can avoid this by limiting your combined headline character count to 33 characters total. 
  • If your expanded text ads show on the Google Display Network, “Headline 2” may not show in some ad formats.
What’s the difference between the display URL, final URL, landing page URL, and path fields?

Like in standard text ads and other ad types, your final URL (or landing page URL) reflects the page that the user ends up on after clicking your ads. Your display URL is the URL shown in green on your ad below the headline and above the description. It’s made up of the domain from your final URL plus any content you’ve added in the ad’s path fields.

Will my standard text ads stop running?
Starting January 31, 2017, AdWords will no longer support the creation or editing of standard text ads. New text ads generated after that date should use the expanded text ad format. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve past January 31, 2017.
How do I fix an error when creating or editing expanded text ads?

If you received an error message when trying to save your ad, this typically means that the text in the ad has to be changed to meet one or more of the AdWords policies. Here are some tips:

  • Use the correct character limit for each field
  • Check the proper use of punctuations and symbols
  • Make sure your ad text doesn't have incorrect grammar or spelling

Learn more about AdWords editorial policies

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?
Create Effective Text Ads

Get Google's guide to writing great ads. Learn how to stand out on the results page. What does it take to inspire action with your ad? View the guide now.