AdWords ad Texts

AdWords is Google’s advertising network where advertisers can place paid ads. These ads are displayed for the corresponding search queries on Google’s search results pages and on websites with matching content. The ad texts used in the ads follow a specific structure and format.

Detailed explanation:

Google launched its Google AdWords advertising network in 2000, enabling advertising on the search results pages of its own search engine. The ads displayed there match the keywords that the searcher enters in his search query. The ads are displayed both directly next to the organic search results of the Google search and on thematically suitable websites. The creation of the ads is initially free of charge, advertisers only have to pay when their ad is actually clicked on – Google sets the prices for this via a bidding process. They depend on the competition for the respective keywords and on the traffic and search queries that a keyword generates. In addition, the highest bid and the so-called Quality Score – various quality criteria of the website and the advertiser’s ad – play an important role in the pricing and ranking of the ad.

AdWords ads are one of the most important advertising tools in online marketing today, reaching millions of customers and also being one of the most important revenue sources for Google. Many marketing experts have therefore specialized in AdWords ads.

Design and presentation of AdWords ad texts

In Google search results, AdWords ads are displayed above and below the organic search results. While ads used to also be placed in a column to the right of the organic search results, Google now does without this and uses the space for additional information instead. The number of ads depends on the search query, with a maximum of four ad texts above the organic search results. Since their introduction, the ads have been identified by various means – such as color coding, a separator line or an “ad” button.

Google is responsible for the design of the ads, while the advertiser is responsible for the content and text. Google has set rules and restrictions for this, which have changed over time and can differ locally. For example, depending on the country, the topics of alcohol, health and medicine or illegal drugs and addictive substances count as unsupported products and services. The AdWords Policy Center has a detailed catalog of what is allowed and disallowed for AdWords ads.

Enhanced text ads

In 2016, Google introduced so-called enhanced text ads, which have been adapted in particular for playout on mobile devices. Thus, the headlines of the ads on the tablet or smartphone are now generally displayed in two lines and are geared to the narrower displays of the devices. While Google initially allowed the use of both ad types, only the extended text ads have been available since February 2017.

How is an AdWords ad structured

An AdWords ad usually consists of the ad text including the link that leads to the page. As well as the lettering “Ad” to make it clear that it is a paid search result. In addition, extensions can be booked, which are played out with the ad. These can be additional sitelinks, location or call extensions, but also elements such as the number of followers on Google+, images or customer reviews. Some of these extensions are also automatically added to the ad by Google if the advertiser meets certain requirements.

The ad text, in addition to the URL and the “ad” disruptor, usually consists of the headline and some text. To make the ad more eye-catching, writers often include elements in the text such as a call-to-action, references, or eye-catching characters and symbols such as question marks, exclamation points, or the Registered Trademark symbol. The textual design is, within Google’s guidelines, up to the advertiser.

Examples of Google AdWords ads

An AdWords ad with extensions in Google search above the organic search results

An AdWords ad in Google search as it used to be displayed to the right of the organic search results. Keyword “SEO Content”:
Adwords ad, buy keyword texts

What is important when creating AdWords ad texts

Headline: Where the headline used to be allowed 25 characters, usually spanning one line, since the introduction of expanded text ads, up to 60 characters are available. These are specified in two fields of 30 characters each, separated in the display by a hyphen. Depending on the display size, the headline then breaks into a second line.

Due to its linking, the headline is particularly emphasized and usually thus a direct eye-catcher. The customer should be addressed here with a suitable and meaningful text and the right keywords.

AdWords ad headline

Headline of an AdWords ad in the new design on a mobile device. The headline is separated by a hyphen and breaks into a second line due to the smaller display size.

URL: Before the change, the ad URL only had to match the actual target URL of the linked page in the top-level domain (i.e., or could even be completely unblocked by AdServer. In the extended text ads, Google principally only displays the actual domain of the website to which the ad links.Thus for example of the Landingpage in the announcement only would be indicated. However, it is still possible to optimize the link and fit it into the communication of the ad text: Google offers the option of specifying two additional path fields for this purpose, which are appended to the URL of the domain like folders.For example, by using the paths “Texts” and “Blog Articles”, the URL given above would read as follows:

Text: For a long time, two lines of text were available, each with a maximum of 35 characters including spaces. Both lines were the same length and could be texted as desired. Depending on where the ad was displayed, the lines broke differently. In the extended text ads, Google now offers only one field with 80 characters. However, the user no longer has any direct influence on the wrapping of the lines.

If not already done in the headline, it is important to make the offer clear here at the latest and to move the user to click via call-to-action.


  • Clear and appropriate sentences are enormously important: the user should not have to rack his brains over the meaning of the ad first. Correct grammar and spelling can also be useful, as they convey authenticity. In an ad, depending on the target group, this can be a decisive click criterion.
  • The keyword you are looking for is highlighted in bold and should therefore appear at least once in the headline, URL and/or text. Bolding draws the user’s eye much more directly to the ad.
  • Special offers and USPs are particularly suitable for AdWords ads, as they allow websites to stand out from the competition.
  • A call-to-action does not have to be in the ad, but it is almost always beneficial. Statements such as “Buy now”, “Order here”, etc. already prepare the recipient for the following step of the customer journey. The call-to-action can be used in the headline, in the text or in the URL, e.g.:
  • The landing page or the page behind the ad is at least as important as the AdWords ad itself and should in any case contain the advertised product/service. The text (and content) of the ad should also ideally be reflected on the page: For example, at a minimum, the relevant keyword should be included in the text of the page.
  • Keeping an eye on the competition can be a big help. As a marketer, you should pay attention to the ads and keywords that your immediate competition is using. Their campaigns offer the opportunity to get ideas for your own ads to use similar keywords or to stand out from the competition.
  • As a useful method, Google offers the function of the keyword placeholder: the author of the ad inserts a certain code into the text, through which the ad is dynamically adapted to the respective search query.
  • Not only websites, but also ads should be increasingly tailored to the requirements of the mobile Internet. For instance, ads played out for mobile devices should be more likely to include phone number or location information, among other things. Also, ads should link to the advertiser’s mobile website for more efficient use. Marketers should therefore be sure to analyze how much traffic comes from mobile platforms and, if necessary, respond with their own mobile campaign.
  • Crucial to a well-functioning AdWords ad is extensive and constant testing of different variations of an ad or different ad campaigns. The infographic by the marketing agency Avalaunch Media, for example, shows the different possibilities for an ad. This also includes an in-depth analysis of the results, for example with the help of Google Analytics, and the subsequent optimization of the ads.


AdWords ads are an important part of the online marketing mix for many companies. Used correctly, they can generate a large amount of qualified traffic, direct many users to a website and significantly increase the conversion rate. However, to do this, advertisers need to create appealing ad copy that adheres to Google’s guidelines as well as the target audience and various design and content laws. Extensive and continuous testing of various ads, monitoring and analysis of the resulting traffic and subsequent optimization of the ads are fundamental prerequisites for a successful campaign.


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