Maxed Out on Character Count? Use These 7 Strategies to Optimize Your PPC Ad Copy.
  • June 23, 2021
  • PPC

Maxed Out on Character Count? Use These 7 Strategies to Optimize Your PPC Ad Copy.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

Making the most of the characters allowed on the various lines of a Google text ad is an essential element of managing a PPC campaign. But what do you do when you have more to say and no more characters to say it? There are a few ways to optimize your character counts to maximize your messaging. 


Many of you know the maximum character counts by heart. But for those of you that might not remember, here they are, per Google help:


Character/Length Limits for each part of a Google Text Ad:


FieldMaximum Allowed
Headline 1-330 characters
Description 1-290 characters
Path (2)15 characters each


For many advertisers, these characters go quick. It would help if you wasted none of them. So, with that in mind, let’s look at a few strategies that can help you make the most of what you have.


  1. Refine the message. In a text ad, every word you add dilutes the message. Before you write a single character, you need to know your primary goal for the campaign. Then, using the primary goal as the foundation, use the characters to meet that goal. For example, if you want the prospect to shop for synthetic oil for their motorcycle on your website, leave out the other categories, like the boat, car, and go-kart oil formulations, and save the features and benefits for the landing page. If you focus on what you want the visitor to do, it’s easier to fit within the confines of the character counts. 


  1. Focus first on the headline. The primary goal you identified needs to pass what Trew Marketing calls the 2-second test. In other words, the headline needs to catch the attention of your potential customers in two seconds, or they will be scrolling and clicking somewhere else. The two key adjectives you are angling for in the headline are short and interesting since the headlines are what searchers are scanning before they click. 


  1. Follow up with your unique selling proposition.  Now that you have potential customers’ attention from that awesome headline be sure the following lines let them know what makes you better than the competition. The descriptions give you a little more room to communicate what makes you better than the other ads the searcher sees.


  1. Use substitutions. Whenever possible, substitute character-hogging words with symbols or abbreviations, e.g., “&” instead of “and” or “vs.” instead of “versus.” 


  1. Save the vocabulary for the landing page. Now is not the time to break out the words that got you over 700 on the verbal section of your SAT, unless it is one of the short ones, like apex or vow. Look for the most concise words to communicate your message. For example, try use instead of utilizetalk rather than speak, or call instead of phone.


  1. Always use the numeral instead of the word. You might have learned that in written copy, you should write out the word for the number for numerals 1-10, and that’s true. However, all bets are off for text ads, and one should be 1 and seven should be 7, and so on. 


  1. Skip the adverbs.  The idea here is to use as many action words as you can and save the characters for the “WIFM” (aka, What’s In It for Me) message your searchers need to know. So, leave out any word with an –ly  at the end of it and modifiers like very, pretty, and really. This adverb-skipping suggestion has exceptions, of course. You might want the occasional now or still thrown in there. 


You also have tools that can help you optimize your character counts. Use our own Responsive Search Ads Generator Tool to test if your text is within the character limit.

Your characters count. Make sure you use them to drive your potential clicks to conversion. By refining the message, focusing on a catchy headline, including your unique selling proposition, and using symbols and numbers whenever possible while skipping the multi-syllabic vocabulary words and adverbs, you can optimize your characters to maximize your results. 





Covey, Wendy. “Make Sure Your Ad Passes The 2-Second Test.” Web. 22 June 2021. <>.  


“About Text Ads.” Support.Google.Com. Web. 22 June 2021. <>.


“Write successful text ads.” Web. 22 June 2021. <>.


“Google Ad Character Counter.” AimsDigital. Web. 22 June 2021. <>

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by albert somlith
About author
Albert Somlith

Co-Founder of PPC Ad Editor. I am a leader in digital marketing, specializing in strategic planning, implementation, and optimization.