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Pro Secrets: Beat The AdWords Character Limit – How to Get an Ad Headline to Exceed 25 Characters

Exercise Bike Pedal Straps

Source: iStock

Exercise bike pedal straps.

These are the keywords that started it all. I was writing an ad for a product, and really wanted the keyword in the headline as this practice leads to the highest boost in CTR. Unfortunately exercise bike pedal straps is 26 characters long, just one over the 25 character limit.

I couldn’t figure out how to make the best headline. Any other combination of terms didn’t make sense. Take out the word “exercise” your ad would refer to pedal straps for any type of bike. Take out the word “straps” and it looks as though you are selling pedals. Use  the word “strap” instead and now you are selling just one. I needed to make the ad reflect the keywords as much as possible to increase CTR and improve Quality Score.

I decided to Google the term myself and see how other ads fared. To my surprise, plenty of ads had the title “Exercise Bike Pedal Straps” and one even said “Buy Exercise Bike Pedal Straps” – 30 characters! How was this possible?

The answer was simpler than I ever thought: DKI. I had used dynamic keyword insertion frequently, but always assumed if a keyword would make the headline longer than 25 characters, AdWords would use the default text. But you know what they say about assuming… so I tried it out and it worked! I was now achieving headlines longer than the 25 character limit. Other AdWords account managers I have since spoken with have seen headlines over 32 characters.

Using the following ad that appeared on Google as an example, you can see this technique will work with other parts of the ad as well.

Exercise Bike Pedal Straps

*This ad is just an example and not from one of our client accounts.

So, if you’re trying to write an ad and you have the perfect headline but it exceeds 25 characters, use DKI. You will need to make sure your default text still remains within the limits, but once you’ve done this you will be able to reap the rewards from a headline that matches your ad brilliantly, even if it exceeds the 25 character restriction.

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  • Heath Showman

    Great insight! We regularly have this problem across most of our campaigns so it’s great to find a solution.

    • http://training.cardinalpath.com Bethany Bey

      Thanks Heath! 26 character headlines and 36 character description lines were my nightmare and when I found out this worked I was so excited.

  • CDF

    Useful article, thanks for sharing your skills with us Bethany
    CDF, Italy

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