Which Are the Three Required Parts of a Text Ad?

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When it comes to digital marketing, text ads remain a staple and essential element of advertising strategy. Employed across search engines, websites, and social media platforms, text ads are a straightforward yet potent tool to attract, engage, and convert potential customers. They are simple, concise, and specifically designed to deliver a clear message. But what constitutes a compelling text ad? 

In the following comprehensive guide, we’re going to take a look at how to construct a compelling text ad that generates interest, clicks, and those all-important conversions. Let’s take a look!

What are the three required parts of a text ad?


The headline is the first line of your ad that users see, making it one of the most critical parts of your text ad. It’s your chance to grab the user’s attention and entice them to read more. The headline needs to be compelling and should succinctly highlight your unique selling proposition (USP). It’s also beneficial to include keywords relevant to your product or service as it can improve your ad’s relevancy and visibility in search results. 

When creating a Google Ad, for instance, you can include up to three headlines, each allowing for 30 characters. The first headline usually appears next to the URL at the top of your ad and is the most prominent. Therefore, it should contain your main message. The second and third headlines, separated by a vertical pipe or a dash, offer additional space to include supplementary information or calls-to-action.

Display URL

The display URL, appearing just below the headline, is the web address users see in your ad. It provides an opportunity to include your domain name and up to two additional ‘path fields’ that can be used to showcase aspects of your business or product relevant to the user’s search. 

While the display URL doesn’t need to match the exact landing page URL, it should offer a clear idea of where users will be taken after they click your ad. It is essential to ensure that the path fields used in your display URL are reflective of your ad’s content, contributing to the overall relevancy and credibility of your ad.


The description, situated beneath the display URL, is where you can further elaborate on your offer, product, or service. This section should compellingly communicate the benefits of your product or service, provide any necessary details, and encourage users to take action. 

Google Ads allows two description lines, each providing 90 characters. Use this space to distinguish your brand, highlight unique features, add a sense of urgency, or include a strong call to action. Like your headline, including relevant keywords in the description can further improve your ad’s relevancy.

How to optimize text ads: key principles

Optimizing the headline

The headline is the first interaction potential customers have with your ad, so it needs to make an impact. To optimize your headline, ensure that it is relevant and engaging. Use your main keyword in the headline to match user search intent and improve your ad’s visibility. 

Consider using numbers or special offers in your headline to catch the eye. A/B testing different headlines can also be beneficial to find out what resonates most with your audience.

Enhancing the display URL

The display URL might seem like a minor detail, but it can significantly impact your ad’s effectiveness. To maximize its potential, use the path fields to include additional keywords or provide information about your offer. Ensure that the display URL accurately reflects the landing page’s content. Any disparity can lead to user confusion and a potential decrease in your Quality Score – you can always hire a PPC marketing agency if you want to generate the best display text that converts.

Optimize your ad description

Your ad’s description is your opportunity to persuade users to click on your ad. It should expand on the headline’s promise and compel users to take action. Including a strong call-to-action (CTA) in your description is crucial. A CTA encourages users to click on your ad and guides them towards the action you want them to take. 

Additionally, highlight the unique benefits or features of your offer in the description. Emphasize what sets your product or service apart from competitors. Finally, although you have more characters to work with in the description, it’s important to keep your message concise. Avoid fluff and get straight to the point.

Optimizing text ads: additional best practices

Utilize keyword insertion

Keyword insertion is a dynamic Google Ads feature that allows you to automatically update your ad with the keywords in your ad group that caused your ad to show. This can help keep your ads relevant and increase click-through rates (CTR). However, use it judiciously as it should make sense in the context of your ad text.

Employ ad extensions

Ad Extensions provide additional information and links to enhance your text ad’s visibility and effectiveness. They can include extra text, sitelinks, call buttons, location information, and more. Utilizing these can increase your ad’s click-through rate, providing more value to users and improving your ad rank.

A/B test your ads

A/B testing or split testing involves creating multiple versions of your ad with slight variations to determine what works best. You might experiment with different headlines, descriptions, or calls to action. Google Ads will rotate your ads and gather performance data so you can see which version attracts the most clicks or conversions.

Consider the user's intent

Align your ad copy with the user’s search intent – are they looking to make a purchase? Seeking information? Understanding this can help you tailor your ad copy to better meet their needs and drive conversions.

Regularly review and refine

Effective text ad optimisation is a continuous process. Regularly reviewing your ad performance and making necessary tweaks and refinements based on the data is key to maintaining and improving your ad effectiveness.

The bottom line

Text ads, though simple in structure, can be incredibly powerful in driving traffic and conversions when optimized effectively. Understanding the three required parts of a text ad – the headline, display URL, and description – and knowing how to optimize them is crucial to crafting compelling, effective text ads that drive conversions.

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.