Expanded Text Ads – What You Need To Know

The new text ad format has been around for a while now, but it’s surprising how many advertisers aren’t using them yet.

If you’re not familiar with them here’s a quick overview of how they compare:

Standard Text Ads Expanded Text Ads
Headline (25 characters)

Display URL (35 characters)

Description Line 1 (35 characters)

Description Line 2 (35 characters)

Final URL

 

Headline 1 (30 characters)

Headline 2 (30 characters)

Path 1 (15 characters)

Path 2 (15 characters)

Description (80 characters)

Final URL

Total characters available: 130 Total characters available: 170

This great image from the Wordsream blog illustrates the differences between the standard and expanded text ads in the search results:

As you can see you get a noticeably bigger ad than before!

3 Great Reasons To Use Expanded Text Ads

#1  Get Ahead Of Your Competition

If they’re not using them you can get a step ahead and show bigger, better ads that are more likely to get clicked.  If they ARE using them then they’re taking up more ad real estate than you and those searchers are more likely to click on their ads instead of yours!

#2  Increased CTRs

Although not the case across the board, most advertisers are seeing higher click through rates with the expanded texts ads.  This will be even more noticeable if you’ve beaten your competitors to implementing them and your ETAs are up against standard text ads in the search results.

#3  Say More!

You have 40 more characters to get your message across with extended text ads – that’s 30% more ad text available to persuade and convince prospects to click on your ad.

Don’t Ignore ETAs

From 26th October 2016 you’ll no longer be able to create new standard text ads or edit existing ones.  Ads already running in your account will continue to do so, but any new ads will automatically be created as extended text ads.

Best Practices

Write one ETA that’s similar to your existing ad, to use as a control ad.

Put your most important messaging in the headlines

These are shown in larger font and highlighted in blue so make sure your most important ad copy goes here.

Remember that sometimes the headlines can be spit over two lines and you have no way of knowing where the line will break.  Google can even truncate your second headline so make sure not to have anything vital at the end of that line!

Don’t pause your old ads straight away

It’s not always the case that the extended ads have higher click through rates than the old ones, so keep your existing ones until you know the new ones are performing ok.  That way you can tweak and test until your happy with performance and then pause the old ones.

Write ads for all devices

You can’t create mobile preferred ads with expanded text ads so make sure your ads will work for desktop, mobile and tablets.

Put keywords in the path fields

You can add 2 15 char path fields to how in your display URL – this is a great way of reassuring searchers they’re going to a relevant site and that the ad relates to what they searched for.  It will also improve your quality score by making the ads more relevant and increasing CTRs.

Check your ad extensions

If you’ve added more information to your new ad make sure you’re not duplicating what’s already in your ad extensions.   Make sure you still have unique content in your extensions that will complement the text in your new ads.

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