5 Essential Tips for Writing Expanded Text Ads

The recently released Expanded Text Ads (ETA) have changed Google AdWords text ads forever. Some thought this was an addition to standard text ads, but it’s a replacement—and a huge change. According to the Google blog, “after October 26th, 2016, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads.”
This seems like a worrying announcement, but don’t fret. We’ll cover some tips that will ease the transition to ETA and get you thinking about how to tackle this big change, leading to optimal ad results.

1. Keyword Insertion

Your ad copy should be rich with relevant keywords. Now that Google has added two additional fields in the display URL, you can explore even more creative keyword options. The new fields allot 15 characters each, letting you add some additional flavor to your desired keywords.


The above example features an ad we wrote for a mattress company. We inserted targeted keywords while emphasizing the sale; it’s a small part of the copy, but definitely helps the ad stand out.


2. A Word Concerning Ad Extensions

Before you get too heavily invested in your writing, plan out some key points to target in your ad copy. When you’ve decided on concrete goals, take a look at your ad extensions and update them accordingly to structure your presentation. This will also help you avoid repetition.

3. Double the Headlines, Double the Impact

Since the dawn of standard text ads, headlines have been the key way to grab a searcher’s attention. A word of caution, though: you might not want to use all available characters. Here’s a prime example of why not:


To be truncated…


Squeezed into an awkward-looking second line.

A big part of your messaging is in headlines, and the look and feel is just as important to a searcher as the copy itself. While the approach is a little different, the practice is the same. Be strategic and keep these small nuances in mind.

4. Don’t Neglect your Description!

Advertisers have been waiting years for this update. How many times have you written amazing standard text ad copy only to have it exceed the set limit by two characters? Well, this is your chance to write unhindered! Your headline gets readers’ attention, but the description seals the deal. This is a great opportunity to highlight additional value propositions and get creative with messaging.

5. Don’t Sacrifice Quality over Quantity

It’s easy to get so focused on new developments that we lose sight of the overall goal. Something to keep in mind: there is no mobile preferred option currently for ETA. Consider the ad experience for all users—no matter the device—and don’t get hung up on using every character.


While new features and changes in AdWords can cause mixed emotions, it’s good to keep a grounded perspective of what’s most important. Always write ad copy that speaks volumes to search intent.

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