Google Ads

7 Top Tips to Craft Compelling Expanded Text Ad Headlines

By Leland Reed| 7 Min Read | September 13, 2018
Tips for writing PPC text ad headlines DOM Blog

Editor’s Note: Effective June 30, 2022, Expanded Text Ads are going to be phased out of Google Ads as an ad type. Instead of reviewing these ad headline types, we suggest you take some time to fully understand Responsive Search Ads so you can take full advantage of an ad type that Google suggests produces a 7% increase in conversions.

There are good Google Search expanded text ads, and then there are text ads that are put together so well, they stop you in your tracks.

Carefully constructed text ad headlines increase the likelihood that users click on your ads to buy your product or learn about your service.

Google is constantly rolling out new updates to all advertisers, perpetually changing the landscape of their Search Ads.

Instead of being limited to two headlines, Expanded Text Ads will now include three. Additionally, the new Responsive Search ads give advertisers the option to use up to 15 different headline variations.

Since Google is emphasizing headlines, it is more important than ever to craft compelling headlines that make your ads almost impossible to resist.

Check out our seven tips on how to get a jump start on crafting compelling ads and increasing your click-through rates.

1. Be persuasive — why do they need your product or service?

One of the biggest mistakes advertisers make in their headlines is not telling the user why they need a particular product or service.

Take a look at the examples below for an advertiser looking to attract new patients for a local chiropractor.

Which headline feels more compelling?

An example of what an expanded text ad headline looks like


A really good example of a strongly-worded text ad headline


While back relief is mentioned directly in the first, the second ad’s headline contains a more declarative statement about stopping back pain. The idea is to convey how a service or product relates directly to solving a particular problem or need without uncertainty.

The second ad tells the user exactly what they will get when they book an appointment with this provider of chiropractic services.

2. Make sure the order of headlines makes sense

Since Google released Expanded Text Ads in 2016, the order in which headlines appear has become incredibly crucial for writing effective headlines. When using text ads with multiple headlines, the order they appear in must make sense and work well together.

Now that Google has once again expanded ads to include a third headline, the order of headlines is even more important.

The three headlines should play off of one another and give someone a reason to click your ad before they even reach the description line.

3. Posing questions

One of the easiest ways to show a user that you can help them with an issue they are trying to solve is by asking them a question.

Say you’re a local coffee shop and want to emphasize how your product can help users get through a tough morning. Try asking a question along the lines of:

“Feeling sluggish this morning?”

Posing a question like this conveys empathy and that you are the solution to their problem.

By combining this tip with the two tips mentioned previously, you can emphasize how your product or service is the absolute best.

4. Tell them how much money they can save

Do you now or do you plan to have a sale on any products? Does your service have a lower cost than your competitors? Will your offering save them money?

When competing to promote similar products and services, it’s important to distinguish why users should buy from you. Letting users know how much money they can save is one of the best ways to create a distinct offering in your headline.

Although highlighting savings is not exclusive to brands selling products, it is better for advertisers selling on price and value. However, calling out savings is also good for selling a “deal” or as a way to create urgency for advertisers that aren’t working with a defined price.

Chalkboard with percent symbols

In the online world, consumers have the tools to find the best deals, so most will do (nearly) anything to avoid overpaying. Telling your potential customer exactly how much they are saving right in the text ad headline is a is a powerful method of enticing them to buy.

An important test to run when using this tactic is showing the user the actual monetary amount they’re saving vs. the percentage off of the product or service. Different audiences react to different messaging, so always test to get the best results possible.

5. Write ads about current events

Want to stand out and really look like you know exactly what you’re talking about to a potential customer?

Be current with your ads!

Shaping your ad copy around a current event that is relevant to your potential audience is a great way to grab their attention and make them see you as an expert.

Let’s say you are a software company that helps other companies with securing their data from malicious fraudsters. While enterprise organizations care about data security, interest in these solutions always peaks shortly after a large data breach makes news headlines.

It’s in this time after a data breach has gone public that you would want to create headlines which call out the importance of your service, specifically referencing the latest breach.

Just keep in mind that if you want to employ this method, you need to be sure to make a schedule to refresh your ads. Consider that while newsworthy one day, interest in a news story will subside in the weeks after.

6. Use hardeners to eliminate unqualified clicks

If you’re getting a lot of unqualified clicks on your ads, a great way to cut down on that wasted spend is to add a “hardener” to the ad copy. By employing “hardeners,” you can weed out unqualified clicks while also making your ad more specific and more attractive to your target audience.

A great example would be a bank that offers high-interest savings accounts to customers who deposit a specific, higher amount of money. By using a hardener in the ad copy such as “2.5% Interest Rate w/ $10k Deposit,” anyone who was not able to make that kind of deposit would ideally choose to not click on the ad.

7. Be as specific as possible

Nobody likes vague advertising. People want to know exactly what they’re getting when they click on an ad.

By creating specific ad copy, users should understand right away if you’re offering what they’re looking for. Along with that, by creating highly specific ads, the cost-per-click can decrease if the relevancy contributes towards a better quality score. Saving money and driving more clicks is really the best of both worlds when it comes to text ads.

Let’s say that you’re an online jewelry retailer and you are selling a beautiful diamond bracelet for $1,897. Instead of listing the bracelet for $1,900 or under $2,000, indicate the exact price.

Be specific.

Don’t make your potential customers guess about how your product or service can help them. Give them exactly what they want and watch your clicks and conversions start to roll in.

Final Thoughts

The seven tips above aren’t the only things you can do to make your headlines stand out more as endless possibilities exist.

When writing ads in general — Test. Test. Test. Almost everything is worth testing.

The most important thing is to find what works best for your specific product or service and build from there.


If you’re interested in learning how you can drive better results with digital advertising, learn more about how to receive a free Google AdWords audit.


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