Are Google AdWords Expanded Text Ads winking at copywriters and translators?

Google AdWords, the most popular form of PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, recently released Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) in their interface. The new ad format provides 45 additional characters to work with, which means that it is easier for skilful linguists to build compelling messages.  

Standard Text Ads

Expanded Text Ads

I am sure you have come across a Standard Text Ad in the last week. It looks like the picture below:

I would like to highlight the 2 key differences between Expanded Text Ads and Standard Text Ads for translation and/or copywriting purposes:

Two headline fields of 30 characters

Expanded Text Ads have two headline fields instead of one, providing a total of 35 additional characters with which to grab a potential customer’s attention:

The headlines appear next to each other, separated by a hyphen. They are the most important component of the new ad structure, because readers scan the first part of the first line of each paragraph before deciding whether to move on or stop.

Hence, copywriters and translators need to write compelling headlines (including keywords) not only to capture readers’ attention, but also to increase Click-through rate (CTR).

With Standard Text Ads, there wasn’t much space for highlighting the uniqueness of a product, or appealing to the user’s emotions. Now there is, and this may increase the demand for the services of professionals who have the necessary skills.  

Some may think that adding a second headline to our old ads will be enough:

The problem with doing that is that we are not using words effectively, and we are not increasing the chances of potential customers clicking on our adverts.

One description of 80 characters

The two description lines have been merged into one field. Instead of the two 35-character description lines you get with Standard Text Ads, Expanded Text Ads have one 80-character description field.

Thanks to the new character limits, creative copywriting has a better chance of persuading clients to act. In the description copy, we can further highlight particular features of products, as in the example above: “Compatible with Apple and Android TV”.

Both ad types will continue to be available for the near future, but eventually Expanded Text Ads will be Google's only text ad format.


If you translated or wrote copy for an AdWords campaign in the past, it may well be worth giving your client a call to tell him about the new structure. If you have never worked in this sector before, you may be interested in learning more about it. 

Standard Text Ads
Expanded Text Ads
Old AdWords
New AdWords
Writing new AdWords
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