One of the trickiest aspects of writing PPC ads is finding a way to confine your advertising message within Google AdWords’ strict character limits. In some cases, the use of necessary punctuation is omitted in an effort to fit more words into the ad text copy.
The traditional AdWords ad text character limit follows the below guidelines:
Line 1 or TITLE = 25 characters
Line 2 of AD TEXT = 35 characters
Line 3 of AD TEXT = 35 characters
DISPLAY URL = 35 characters
It’s easy to begin writing a PPC ad, arrive at the end of your Line 2 character limit, and decide it’s not worth re-writing to fit a period at the end of the sentence. You think, no big deal, searchers will understand it’s the end of a sentence because the second sentence begins on Line 3. Wrong – to some extent. It’s time to get back into the habit of best practice ad copywriting, specifically when using correct punctuation. Here’s why.
- Google has recently started “text wrapping” (think Microsoft Word/Excel) sponsored listings in SERPs (as well as organic listings), as the browser becomes narrower or wider. Depending on the width of a searcher’s browser, your ad may not be displayed in the typical 25-35-35 fashion.
- Additionally, text ads in the top positions (purple box) on Google.com also have a similar issue, as Line 2 and Line 3 of the ad text are normally displayed on a single line regardless of how you have previously configured the characters within the AdWords interface or using AdWords Editor. These ads are also affected by text wrapping.
In some circumstances, an advertiser’s neglect to add the appropriate punctuation may compromise the readability and messaging of a PPC ad. Google’s display of variable AdWords line lengths in SERPs can return confusing, run on sentences to searchers. The last thing you (as an advertiser) want to do is to have your first impression with a potential customer be a lackluster one. Poor use of punctuation, or lack thereof, can rub searchers the wrong way. Your potential customers or clients may dismiss your unpolished ad for a competitor’s ad, which reads more professionally.
Figure 1 below shows ads that are displaying lines of text that exceed the 35 character length as a result of text wrapping:
Figure 1: AdWords Ad Text Wrapping
The current AdWords interface and most recent version of AdWords Editor do not allow advertisers to manipulate how their ad text length will display in variation from the traditional 25 and 35 character limits. The takeaway – it’s up to small business advertisers to create ad text accordingly, using punctuation that reads correctly regardless of what AdWords line length is shown. With the holiday advertising season closing in, now is the time for advertisers to audit current PPC ads and fix punctuation anomalies.