Expanded Text Ads – All You Need to Know

Expanded Text Ads – All You Need to Know

Anna Kowalska

Since the 2016 Google Summit, advertisers have been eagerly awaiting the official launch of Expanded Text Ads. It is the biggest change to text ads since the launch of AdWords 15 years ago and at long last, the rollout has begun.

Advertisers now have longer headlines and a meaty 80-character description of copy to play with. With the launch of the new extended text ads, it is being anticipated that the traditional ads will be retired within the next couple of months. This means that advertisers will quickly have to learn how best to use the extra characters available to them.

If you are still not sure what expanded texts ads are, we have put together a guide on everything you need to know and what you need to do next.

What are Expanded Text Ads?

Offering double the headline length and 80-characters, the new ads are designed to maximise your performance on mobile search results. Expanded text ads will show across all devices and will wrap automatically depending on the device.

Why the Change?

More than half a trillion of searches conducted on Google per year are done via mobile devices, so Google wondered what an AdWords ad would look like in today’s mobile-first world.
They stopped using side ads on desktops and the extended ads were the natural progression. Google also said that the change was made to give mobile users more information and bump up the click-through rate for businesses. Early reports cited an average CTR increase of 20 percent in early testing.

How much are Headlines and Descriptions Expanding?

Currently, the headlines are limited to 25 characters. This new type of ad will have two headline fields with an allowance of 30 characters each.
The characters in the description line have changed from 35-characters to 80 characters

What Do They Look Like?

Here is a before and after image of what the new ads will look like on mobile and on desktop.

Image 1 expanded-text-ads-before-vs-after

This is the new user interface on AdWords.

Image 2 expanded-text-ads-creation

Display URL Changes

The domain will be automatically extracted from your final URL. Advertisers will be able to add up to two path fields to enhance the URL.

What You Should Do Next

The launch of the extended text ads landed much earlier than advertisers expected. Don’t use this time to procrastinate, instead get your ETAs up before your competitors. This way you may benefit from increased CTRs while others are still playing catch up.

Engaging in early adoption will give you time to test and figure out what works and what doesn’t.
The old tried and tested copy practices may no longer be appropriate for the ETAs. Even though there are more characters, don’t use them to just say the same things. Use the extra characters to supplement your offer and highlight what makes the product unique.

Running different combinations will help you ascertain new best practices in writing for ETAs which will reflect favourably on your CTRs.