How to use Punctuation in Adwords

Writing  copy for Adwords can be an intimidating exercise. You want to maximize your clickthrough rates through writing compelling content. A higher click through will drive more traffic to your site and can contribute to better quality score lowering your cost per click. Just like taking time to analyze the best keywords for your ads, there are some tricks of the trade to help make your ads pop. One trick is to include punctuation in your Adwords adcopy.

While a simple period may not seem to be very important, it may actually help you have a more powerful ad than if you kept it out. Here’s how.

Create Complete Thoughts

If your ad has an average position in the top 3 spots it is likely that Google will attempt to combine the first and second line of text for a maximized headline when you end the ad’s first line with a period or other end punctuation.

By adding end punctuation, such as a period, question mark or exclamation point, to your Adwords copy, you’re creating a complete thought rather than a fragmented statement. Not only this, but Google will format your ad differently when you include punctuation.

If you’re in the top two ad spots, Google will automatically reformat your ad and expand the headline to include the first description line, but only if you include punctuation in your adcopy.

Here is an example of an ad without and with punctuation:

Adwords without puct

Google Top Ad No Punctuation

Now here is the same ad when a period is added to the end of the second line:

Google Adwords Copy




Google Adwords Top Spot




Notice that Google automatically extended the headline with the first description line of the ad. When you add end punctuation to your ads (and you’re a top performing ad), Google usually will take the liberty to make your ad stand out a little bit more.

Create Powerful Headlines and Compelling Content

When you include complete thoughts into your Adwords copy, you’ll have more control over how your ad will actually display. As mentioned above, when Google displays your ad, it may pull your first description line into your headline. But adding punctuation will also ensure your ad displays with a powerful punch.

image1 (1)What if you want the extended headline but don’t want to end your first line with a period? As always a question is a great method to grab attention and increase your adcopy’s engagement. What if you want to keep your top line punctuation free? Google’s policy is you can not include an exclamation mark in your first line’s copy. You can utilize this hack by ending the second line with an exclamation point.  When the ad shows on a top slot the ending of the line will be unpunctuated.

Having proper punctuation and grammar isn’t just important for your headline. It creates adcopy that is clear to read and meets Adwords’ punctuation guidelines. Here is Google’s policy concerning improper punctuation.

Punctuation, symbols, capitalization, spacing, or repetition that are not used correctly or for their intended purpose

  • Examples: Excessive or gimmicky use of numbers, letters, symbols, punctuation, repetition, or spacing such as the following: f1owers, fllllowers, fl@wers, Flowers!!!, f*l*o*w*e*r*s, FLOWERS, FlOwErS, F.L.O.W.E.R.S, flowers-flowers-flowers!, f l o w e r s, buyflowershere


While creating Adwords copy isn’t rocket science, there are some formulas and tricks that can help you rank in the top spots. If you’d like to become an expert in Adwords copy writing or work with experts, Seapoint Digital is here to help. We can help train your team on all things Adwords, or be your copywriting team behind the scenes to help you reach as many customers as possible.

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