Five Ways to Utilize Google's Expanded Text Ads

By Tinuiti Team

GOOGLE’S EXPANDED TEXT ADS HAVE LAUNCHED and are now available to all advertisers with plans for them to become the standard ad format for Google by the fourth quarter this year.

Savvy advertisers will want to take advantage of this switch to maximize their return under the new rules. The new format allows for two headlines of thirty characters each, one description line of up to eighty characters, and two path fields of fifteen characters each – appended to the domain of the final URL.

In total, all ads now feature forty-seven percent more real estate for advertisers to take advantage of. The following five strategies are designed to help you get the most out of Google’s new ad format.

1. Focus on the Headlines

Headlines are the most prominent feature of ads and tend to be the first thing that a user sees. The new format of Expanded Text Ads allows for a doubling of existing headline space. With that, advertisers are now in a position to put twice as much information in the headline of their Google ads.

You will want to prioritize what goes into that space, including your product or service in headlines one and two. Use any additional headline space to highlight specific offers like “Free Shipping” or a “Lifetime Warranty.” Including these offers in the headlines will free up space in your description line and give you more flexibility with how you include keywords and calls to action.

2. Include Additional Details in Local Ads

Expanded Text Ads are also being displayed on mobile. Take advantage of this extra real estate on mobile platforms by creating local ads that are more specific and tailored to each of your stores and their surrounding communities.
Use the extra space to mention specific in-store offers that consumers in your target areas can take advantage of. Test out the performance of using the expanded description line to include the addresses of your local store locations.

3. Test Countdown Ads and Keyword Insertion

Under the old format rules, it was often difficult to use the Countdown and Keyword Insertion features in Google ad headlines due to space constraints. Under the new rules, however, Countdown and Keyword Insertion have become far more robust tools. Test by pairing a static headline in Headline One with a Countdown or Keyword Insertion in Headline Two, or vice-versa.

4. Rethink Your Ad Extensions

Now that the new rules have taken effect, you will have much more relative space to work with. Examine the possibilities to see if it makes more sense to move text from some of your Callout and Sitelink extensions up into your main ad.

Just make sure that there isn’t any overlap between your new expanded ads and your current ad extensions. Google has said that all existing extensions will continue to work with the Expanded Text Ads, so it will remain important to continue to implement and update all of your extensions.

5. Make the Most of the URL Path Fields

Under the old rules, the display URL format was a single text field with a limit of thirty-five total characters, including your domain name. This provided a challenge for sites with longer domain names and left them at a bit of a disadvantage when it came to maximizing the potential of their text ads.

The new display URL format automatically includes your domain name and gives you two fifteen-character “breadcrumb” path fields to customize, without penalizing you for the length of your URL. Take advantage of this space by including the keywords that you are targeting to help improve the relevancy of your ads. These spaces can also be used to include a call to action, or to highlight a special offer or promotion.


There is still time to get out in front of the changes Google has made to their ad format. With a little strategic thinking and planning, and by utilizing the five points we’ve outlined above, you will be well-prepared to benefit from the additional real estate offered by Expanded Text Ads.

Want to see what effects Expanded Text Ads have had on search campaigns since its launch? Read our update to our POV: Google Expanded Text Ads Showing Stronger Results than Expected!

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