Google Expanded Text Ads – Specs and Best Practices

Pagezii Google Expanded Text Ads Specs Best Practices

Google has introduced expanded text ads. They give advertisers added text space to work with and greater real estate on Google result pages.

Starting in January 2017, standard text ads (the old ad format we’re used to) will be in full phase-out mode. You can continue using standard text ads after this point, but you won’t be able to edit them or create new ones.

Expanded text ads are the future of paid search. Here’s what you need to know to rock the new ad format.

Expanded Text Ad Specs

Big changes have come with the new and improved text ad format. Here are the new specs:

  • Headlines: Ads feature two ad headlines, both at 30 characters a piece.
  • URL Paths: You can create ads with two URL paths. Google automatically uses the final URL domain as the root of your display URL.
  • Description: Ad description maxes-out at 80 characters of text.


How does the new ad format differ from standard text ads?

Have a look:

Expanded Text Ads vs Standard Text Ads


Over twice as much ad headline space to work with. This increase is behind the two ad headline feature.

New URL path options also give a big helping hand to advertisers. In the past, a long domain meant you had little display URL space to customize.

Here’s an example:

  • Let’s say your domain name was That alone took up 20 characters of display URL. This would have left you with 15 characters for a custom URL path – e.g. This made it tough for advertisers to craft effective display URLs.

Worry no more over long domain names eating character space. The domain you enter in your final URL is automatically used for your display URL. The best part? It takes no character spaces.


Advertisers also have a added 10 characters to work with for ad description. This space comes in handy for squeezing in important keywords.

To visualize:


Best Practices for Expanded Text Ads

Expanded text ads are the format of the future, so here are best practices to keep in mind for crafting new ads.

1) Take advantage of headline space

In a Google result page, the clickable area of an ad (or organic result) is the headline. By using the full 30 characters in each ad headline, you increase the area which a user can click.

Two headlines also help you expand on your message. Information lends a hand to users determining if your product or service is right for them. This leads to quality visitor traffic and better bang for your buck.

2) Use keyword variation in your ads

The old standard text ad format forced us to pick which ads featured certain keywords. Extra ad text space means we can include more keywords variations into one ad.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say your company, Acme, sells business intelligence software. Your customers search for products using a variety of keywords:

  • Business Intelligence Software
  • BI software
  • BI Tools

Expanded text ads let’s you fit all three of those target keywords into one ad. Have a look:


3) Use Call-To-Actions whenever possible

The increase in description space gives us more room to work CTAs into our ads. Expanded text ads support up to 80 characters (10 more characters than standard text ads allowed.)

Here’s an example of the extra space at work:


The text description in the above ad is 73 characters long. In the old text ad format, I would be over my character limit.

4) Use ad extensions

Expanded text ads give us more space to work with, but don’t stop there. You’ll still want to use relevant ad extensions whenever possible to boost ad performance.

Additional information provided by sitelinks and callout extensions gives more information to potential customers. More information helps users make informed decisions before they click. This ensures your spend gets the highest quality visitor traffic.

Using ad extensions is also a big factor in the AdWords auction. Using ad extensions where possible can help lower your cost-per-click and increase ad position.

Start Using Expanded Text Ads

Expanded texts ads are the future of paid search. Now that you have a handle on the new ad format and best practices for creating expanded text ads, it’s time to put that knowledge to work.