Leveraging Google Search Ads’ Expanded Format

What are Headline 3 and Description 2? They’re the two newest elements in to Google Search Ads, letting you better reach your clientele. Learn how to take advantage of them.

Over the summer, Google changed the name of its immensely popular pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform, AdWords, to the simpler “Google Ads.” But while making things simpler, Google also added another level of complexity.

Don’t worry. In this case, the added complexity is a very good thing for promoting funeral home websites.

Advertisers used to be limited to two headline “lines” of 30 characters each (including spaces) and one description line of 80 characters (including spaces).

That wasn’t bad, but it didn’t leave much room to get your point across. It certainly didn’t provide much flexibility for differentiating you from your funeral home competitors.

Google Ads addresses that in its recent update, letting you now include a third headline (the “Headline 3” field) and another description line (the “Description 2” field).


Headline length (per headline) remains 30 characters including spaces, but now that you have three headlines to work with, you’re jumping from a limit of 60 total characters to 90.

You’re also getting a second description line to work with, and even better, total length for either description field has been increased from 80 characters to 90 characters. So for total description area, the increase is from 80 to 180.

Add it all up, and you’re going from a total text space of 170 characters to 300—almost doubling the total size of your ad copy.

The extra space provides much more opportunity to fit in specific information about your funeral home or other death care business. It really frees you up to elaborate on why searchers should click on your PPC ad.

Google has stated that enlarged PPC ads receive about 15 percent more clicks. When Google last expanded ad size in 2016, advertisers saw about a 20 percent increase in clickthrough rate.

Granted, any local competitors who also use Google Ads for funeral home marketing will have the same increased text area to work with, so it’s important to use it wisely.

Think about the most important information to get in there. Include it as concisely as possible, but also be sure it’s clear and legible. There’s no point to using some arcane acronym to save space if potential clients have no idea what it means.

One other very important consideration you absolutely must keep in mind: Despite this update, your PPC ad will not always show the Headline 3 or Description 2.

On smaller screens, if there isn’t enough space to show the full ad, searchers will only see the first two headlines and the single description line.

For this reason, your ads must be designed so that all critical information is delivered in Headline 1 and 2 and in Description 1. Headline 3 and Description 2 are where you’ll elaborate, but they’re not for essential info.

When designing your ads, keep in mind how they’ll look in the “full” version (all three headlines, both description lines) and in the condensed version (only the first two headlines and the first description line).

For the most effective funeral home advertising, you need to be satisfied with what you convey in both the condensed and full versions.

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