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How to get a higher Click Through Rate from AdWords ads

Recently, Google introduced another variable to the way it presents AdWords ads – the double-length headline (we tweeted about it last week in case you missed it).

Essentially, in the horizontal ad positions at the top of the search results, Google is now showing selected ads with a double-length headline, using Headline and Description Line 1. There’s a reasonable chance that this will work merely by adding a full-stop at the end of Description Line 1.

The first question we asked is this: “is this going to get me a higher click through rate”. Short answer, yes.

Some points to consider though:

  • It won’t work every time. And there’s no specific data that will show you how many times your ad showed in this format or didn’t. Kind of annoying.
  • Split-test the two versions of your ad, one with the full-stop and one without to see what the results are.
  • This only works in the top positions – it will make little difference to ads on the right hand side.
  • The CTR is better because the ads stand out as they’re different from those around them – it will be interesting to see how the CTR changes when everyone takes up this method. Maybe the standard ad will then get a higher CTR?
  • What’s this all about? We suspect that Google may well move to this model permanently in time – this format could be used to display 4 ads across the top rather than 3, which almost certainly means more revenue for Google and more clicks for advertisers.

The results from our short test:

Original ad without the full stop: 600 impressions, 12 clicks, 2.00% CTR.
Identical ad copy, just adding the full stop: 640 impressions, 24 clicks, 3.75%.

A win for the full-stop!


There seems little point in ignoring the opportunity, but test it against your best ad copy so far.

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