Google Expanded Text Ads: Tick-Tock
The deadline for changing over (if you haven’t already) to the updated Google Expanded Text Ads in Google Adwords is fast approaching. The deadline set is January 31st, 2017. Many advertising agencies like PPC Town have been working since last summer to get our older accounts switched over to the new format while since it’s launch of Expanded Text Ads, every new ad getting created in the new format. If you have Google AdWords campaigns that are currently in the Standard Text Format, it’s not the end of the world (unless you have OCD). Your Standard Text Ads will continue to run with the Expanded Text Ads, but you will not be able to edit the older formatted ads.
What is an Expanded Text Ad?
According to Google, Expanded Text Ads are different from the Standard Text Ads in some key ways.
- Two headline fields (up to 30 characters each)
- A single, expanded description field (up to 80 characters)
- A display URL that uses your final URL’s domain
- Two optional ”Path” fields, used in the ad’s display URL (up to 15 characters each)
One of the main differences is that your “Display URL” does not need to match your “Final URL”. This makes things somewhat more simplistic for making it easier to add new Ads and reduces the chance of a wrong URL being inputted.
Advice from Google for Expanded Text Ads
We like how Ginny Marvin from Search Engine Land laid out what to look for with Expanded Text Ads (article here) and we just also wanted to reiterate what Google has been saying.
- Test multiple versions of your expanded text ads. Try different approaches with the new space your ads now have. Shoot for 3–5 new ads per ad group. Advertisers who test multiple creatives see better performance.
- Focus your testing on headlines. Headlines are the most important parts of your ads, and you now have an extra line to experiment with.
- Replicate what works in standard text ads in your expanded text ads. For example, if you mention pricing or use keyword insertion in a successful standard text ad, carry those over to expanded text ads.
- Consider shorter headlines on brand terms. Sometimes “Your Company’s Name — Official Site” might be all you need. You aren’t required to use all of your available characters. Test shorter ad copy, especially on terms where someone might not need a lot of additional info.
- Leave your standard text ads running until the new versions are consistently outperforming them. An expanded text ad isn’t guaranteed to be a winner simply because you have more characters.
- Leave your top performing ads running, regardless of their length.
- Review your pre-existing ads for previous success with longer headlines. Consider promoting description line 1 in a standard text ad to you new headline 2, especially if that ad performed well in the past.
- Don’t implement the same expanded text ad across many different ad groups. Your ads should be tailored to users’ searches.
- Don’t blindly insert a new second headline without changing the rest of the ad. Add content that is relevant to the query and fits well with the rest of the creative.
- Don’t write expanded text ads that lose their relevance to a user’s query. Remember that user query in your text.
- Don’t leave out specific benefits or attributes of your product that had proven to be enticing in the past. Test all of your benefits to find what works in the new format.