At the end of July we saw the launch of a new advert format in Adwords – the expanded text ad. In a nutshell, these are adverts that have more text (around 50% more), as the name might suggest. On the surface this might seem insignificant, but there have been numerous reports of click-through rates increasing by 20% or more. Searchengineland even noted one example of a 2x increase in click-through rates.

So why is this important? Well, simply put, not a lot of marketers have caught up with this yet. From the 26th of October 2016, standard text ads will no longer be accepted within Adwords; the expanded text ad will become the norm. At that point everybody will be back on a level playing field – however right now, you can take advantage of that increased click-through rate and gain an edge over the competition.

I’ll quickly highlight a few key differences between standard and expanded text ads.

Headlines: Expanded text ads have two headlines with 30 characters each, separated by a hyphen. Standard text ads have one headline of 25 characters.

Descriptions: Expanded text ads have one 80 character description, whereas standard text ads have two 35 character descriptions.

Display URL: You will no longer have to select a display URL with expanded text ads. Instead, you will have the option to select a ‘path’. The goal here is to give users a better indication of what to expecting on the landing page (see screenshot below). For example,  you could use

In general, these expanded ads are going to give you more real estate on the search engine results page, and more characters to articulate your message – ultimately giving you a better shot at encouraging clicks.

I’ve heard of a few rare cases in which click-through rates actually went down, and for that reason I recommend conducting your own split tests to be sure. Either way though, you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t at least give this a go! And of course, if you’d like help with setting this up or campaign management, you can reach me and I’ll be happy to help.



Globe Digital are a north-east based digital marketing company. Our core services include website design, search engine optimization, and pay-per-click management. Let’s connect if it sounds like we might be a good fit!

Ryan Prior
07982 631 797