Google Begins Expanded Text Ads for AdWords
27th Jul 2016

Google launches Expanded Text Ads for AdWords

If you’re running AdWords, you need to take advantage of their latest feature: Expanded Text Ads, which has now officially launched to all account-holders.

As the name suggests, Expanded Text Ads give the advertiser far more space to get creative; they cost no more than a standard text ad and it’s estimated that the new format will encourage much higher click-through rates (CTR).

What’s different?

Standard text ad, expanded text ad comparison

In the old format (which can be used up to 26th October 2016), traditional text ads contained:

  • A headline up to 25 characters
  • 2 description lines, each up to 35 characters

Total: 95 characters

An expanded text ad contains:

  • 2 headlines, each up to 30 characters
  • A description of up to 80 characters

Total: 140 characters

This is great news for advertisers.

  • If your main keyword is slightly longer than would fit comfortably in 25 characters, the extra 5 characters in the new headline could make a big difference
  • The additional space in the description allows you to include far more information about your product or service

Google has said that the extra copy was specifically designed to give mobile users more information, although ads created for desktop can also use the new format. Tests in the beta phase indicated an average CTR spike of 20%, although some early adopters have seen much higher increases.

What should you do?

You don’t have to make any changes to your ads yet, but why wouldn’t you? It’s free to make the switch and if you don’t, your competitors probably will, making your ads far less attractive to potential customers by comparison.

Google will no longer allow advertisers to create or upload standard text ads after 25th October 2016. We recommend you use the time between now and then to experiment with Expanded Text Ads, testing them against the standard ad format to make sure you’re getting the best out of them. You’ll then be ready to turn off any old-style ads you still have running before they become obsolete.

Creating new Expanded Text Ads

Until 26th October, when you create a new text ad you’ll be given the choice between the two formats, but it defaults to Expanded Text Ads.

Expanded text ad

The order you enter your advert information looks a little different now.

  1. First enter your landing page URL (called the Final URL)
  2. Then enter two headlines, each a maximum of 30 characters
  3. What used to be called the Display URL is now labelled “Path”. This gives potential customers a clear idea of the web page they'll reach once they click your ad, so your path text should describe your ad's landing page. You have up to 15 characters in each path field. This doesn’t have to be the real landing page URL. See our example below.
  4. Finally add up to 80 characters for your description.

Expanded text ad fields

You can preview your advert in both mobile and desktop views before you save it.

Expanded text ad preview

Did you spot the slight glitch in the ointment? On desktop, your second headline might get cut off if Google doesn’t wrap it onto a second line (although sometimes they will – Google is somewhat arbitrary in this).  If desktop is a big referrer for you, you might want to experiment with using fewer characters in ads to ensure it appears in all its glory.

Need help?

If you’re not sure how best to make use of Expanded Text Ads for your campaigns, or you simply have so many adverts that you don’t have time to manually change them yourself, we can help.

Our digital marketing team are certified Google AdWords Partners. Talk to us about a one-off job to rewrite your adverts, or a longer term management solution that will improve your whole AdWords performance.

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