Everything You Need To Know About Google’s Expanded Text Ad Format

By: Katrina Tan and Nicole Serrano

Advertising SEM

11 Jan 2019

Everything You Need To Know About Google's Expanded Text Ad Format


Google’s new expanded text ad format is their biggest update yet in the last 15 years. Not to be confused with ad extensions which is the extra information that businesses give to customers (e.g. phone number, address), expanded text ad simply means that the ad size allotment has been increased. This means that advertisements can now occupy more space above Google’s organic listings.


What exactly is changing?

Google used to only allow 2 headlines at 30 characters each and 1 description line at 80 characters. Come August 2018, they’ve announced a new format that will give businesses more room to explain their products, services and value proposition.

The new rolled out format now allows the use of up to 3 headlines at 30 characters each, and 2 description lines at 90 characters each. While these expanded ad texts are optional to implement, a 93% increase in character count provides more opportunity to drive qualified traffic to your website. This big change ensures that there is an increase in click-through rates (CTR) through paid ads as the added copy space allows businesses to further explain and include ancillary details in their advertisements.

Google’s early studies show that these larger ads have produced 15% more clicks than the older ad formats. Advertisers are said to have received an increase in their CTR of 20% after such changes in the ETA.


5 Tips For Writing The Highest Performing Expanded Text Ad


1. Ensure that your ads are highly relevant to the search query

Ensure that your ads are highly relevant to the search query

Make sure that the ads contain the necessary keywords that are relevant to what your potential customers are searching for. We suggest having themed ad groups so that all the ads within that group are relevant to each other. Including the relevant keyword in both headline and advert improves the ad as these will appear bolded when a customer searches for it.

For example, what we did for Verz Design’s ad campaigns is that we divided our ad groups according to the different services that we have to offer – eCommerce Web Development, Copywriting and Digital Marketing. See our examples below:

eCommerce Web Development, Copywriting and Digital Marketing


2. Lead with benefits, not the product or service features

Lead with benefits, not the product or service features

When it comes to ads, it is better to focus more on the benefits rather than the product or service features. Customers will immediately compare your ad with others if the first thing they see are the features.

Try to angle your product or service features into benefits as this can attract people more to buy from you. In a way, you are subtly convincing them that purchasing from your brand is better, thereby appealing to them deeper in the buying cycle.



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3. Use emotional triggers within your ad copy

Use emotional triggers within your ad copy

According to Clicteq, there are a total of 9 emotional triggers that can be used to increase your CTR – laughter, amusement, curiosity, awe, anger, fear, joy, empathy and sadness.

When you target your customers’ emotions and they resonate with you, this can be an advantage in making them understand your advertising message. Emotions can be a powerful catalyst in building trust and loyalty between you and your potential customers. Creating a meaningful connection with them validates your brand as real and authentic.

There are two approaches that advertisers can choose from once they’ve deemed that their ads can use emotional triggers

There are two approaches that advertisers can choose from once they’ve deemed that their ads can use emotional triggers. A positive approach ensures that the ad feels authentic and true to the brand. On the other hand, a negative approach presents a problem that elicits a negative emotion (sadness, anger, etc.) to which the brand will offer a solution.


4. Use the full range of ad extensions

Use the full range of ad extensions

It’s best to make the most of ad extensions especially since they come with no additional supplementary costs. Ad extensions allow you to fully convey your USPs to your consumer base to provide greater visibility in the Search Engine Results Pages. It is also a great opportunity to put the spotlight on what makes your business unique.

It has been proven to increase CTR, conversion rate and instill trust between you and the searchers, because it takes up more space on the first page of Google. More tips on how to maximise ad extensions here.


5. Put your most important information in headline 1

Put your most important information in headline 1

There are times when Google may shorten headline 2, so it is highly important to strategically write headline 1, ensuring it includes the most important features of your ad. Founder of Ogilvy & Mather, also known as the “Father of Advertising”, David Ogilvy once said that, “On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”

Since this is the first thing your searchers will read, it creates an initial impression that can make or break your advertisement. An effective headline 1 will convince your searchers to continue reading, which may eventually increase your click-through rates. When writing headlines, keep in mind the four important U’s:

  • Unique
  • Ultra-specific
  • Sense of Urgency
  • Useful

Pro-tip: To avoid having your headlines shortened, try to limit your copy’s character count to 33 characters across headlines 1 and 2.


Our Final Words

A definitive milestone after 15 years, Google’s decision to expand their text ad format is possibly a gamechanger in the global digital advertising industry. Businesses must make use of this opportunity because the additional space and number of characters ensure that ads are more informative than the older and smaller versions.


Need advice with your advertising campaigns? Give us a ring at 6841 1680 or visit our website www.verzdesign.com for a free quote and consultation.

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