Leveraging symbols in ad text certainly isn’t new to PPC, but it can be a massively effective means of increasing click-through rates. As a result, we’ll walk through some of the best options and methods for using things like trademark symbols in PPC ad text, as well as a series of resources for getting the most out of using symbols in your paid search ad text.

What Symbols Can’t I Use In PPC Ad Text?

First it’s obviously important to understand the symbols you can’t use in your ad text. There are some differences from platform to platform but here is what Google has to say about AdWords punctuation and symbols:

Fundamentals of the policy

Your ad text must not use gimmicky punctuation and excessive or unnecessary use of numbers, letters, and symbols.

Examples

Examples of unacceptable text:

  • Don’t use repeated, unnecessary, or gimmicky punctuation or symbols.
  • Your title may not contain an exclamation point.
  • Your entire ad text may only contain one exclamation point in total.
  • The use of symbols, numbers, and letters must adhere to the true meaning of the symbol.

So What Types of Symbols Can I Use in PPC Ad Text?

Google also outlines some acceptable symbols:

Examples of acceptable text:

  • Punctuation and symbols can be used as part of a company name or when they pertain to a certain industry or language standards.
  • Asterisks can be used in the following cases: “5* Hotel,” “3* Restaurant,” or used to indicate that “conditions apply.”
  • Numbers can be used in the following cases: 24/7, buy 1 get 1 free, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.
  • Double dashes (–) aren’t considered excessive punctuation.

One of the big opportunities here lies with trademark and copyright symbols. To create these symbols, you can often simply copy/paste the symbol into the ad, or you can generate it via the keyboard in the following way:

Registered (®): ALT + 0,1,7,4
Trademark (™): ALT + 0,1,5,3
Copyright (©): ALT + 0,1,6,9

Additionally, there are also some characters that are a bit easier to create within the interface that can have a huge impact on CTR:

  • Numbers - Numbers can be a really powerful way to differentiate your ad, particularly when you use them in the form of price or as a phone number.
  • Ampersand - This symbol can make your ad stand out a bit, but it can also save you a couple of characters while still being grammatically correct and allowing you to craft an attractive ad.
  • Exclamation Points – Exclamation points can provide additional emphasis and in many cases help you to drive higher click-through rates.

Take these symbols and test them out in your accounts. In many cases symbols can create a really attention-grabbing, differentiated ad, and in other cases (as with an ampersand) they can create additional room for you to fit the idea message into the sometimes-cramped character count afforded you by the search engines.

Additional Resources on Ad Text Symbols: