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XL Advert headlines within Google

header XL advertenties  

Less is more? Not according to the people behind Google. In their text adverts, a few years ago they started experimenting with longer headlines. They believed that a longer headline would have a positive effect on the CTR (click through rate) of the adverts because in terms of layout, they look similar to organic search results.

As always (or very often), the online gurus at Mountain View were right. We increasingly see effective adverts appearing in this format. It is therefore also important to effectively capitalise on this as an online business. No idea where to begin? Use the following advice to guide your online campaigns and give them an extra boost!

An advert used to look like this:

oude ad google  

As in this example, you had the headline, the visible URL and the two description lines. This layout was ideal for adverts which appeared in the right hand column. Google recently scrapped this right hand column however, meaning that adverts of this format very rarely surface. Read more about this in Ben's blog. This step definitely evened out the playing field for adverts with a long headline.

They now appear in two ways:

  • Either the headline is filled with the visible URL, separated by a hyphen
  • Or there is the first description line, also separated by a hyphen

It is important to know that the hyphen has no impact on the number of characters in the headline. This is automatically added by Google and does not take up an extra space. Luckily.

Here are two examples of the new advert format:

With description 1 in headline

nieuwe ad google 2

With the domain in the headline

   nieuwe ad google 1 


   How can you best capitalise on this? In order to add your first description line to the headline, it must fulfil a number of conditions.

  1. The first description line is only added to the headline if it is correctly concluded with a punctuation mark (full-stop, question mark or exclamation mark).
  2. Also, this only applies in the case of high ratings. If your advert is not in position 1 or 2, Google will choose to add the domain name to the headline, despite the correct punctuation. In other words, make sure that you work in separate sentences and that your quality score is sufficiently high.

Why is this so important? Firstly because people tend to click on longer adverts. This is due to the fact that longer headlines are similar in layout to the organic search results and people are still sceptical about adverts. Strange but true.

If your headline is filled with the domain name, you have an additional ace up your sleeve. The fact that the domain name is already stated means that people also see which company has generated the advert (assuming that your domain name includes your company name). This also gives you, as advertiser, an extra chance to provide information in the headline, as you don't have to provide the company name.

If your domain name is very short, you can create an even bigger headline. If the combination of headline, description line 1 and your domain name is shorter than 68 characters, Google will add all three together. Talk about maximum exposure!

In short, if you want more information to be provided in your text adverts, it is a good idea to bear the above issues in mind. Prefer to leave it to the professionals? Then you’ve come to the right address at OMCollective!

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