Bigger is Better with Google’s Expanded Text Ads

By — 05.24.16

At the Google Performance Summit today, the search giant officially announced their latest enhancement to AdWords, Expanded Text Ads (ETAs). As an agency that represents one of the five companies selected to the alpha for ETAs, we’ve had the opportunity to learn how to drive performance through this new ad format before it becomes more accessible to other brands and agencies. With ETAs, more advertising space should naturally lead to increases in CTR, and Google has already suggested an uplift of 20% over standard text ads. While we are still testing, we have seen some significant performance improvements with Expanded Text Ads, especially for non-brand ads. In an effort to really leverage the benefits of ETAs, make sure to use all relevant ad extensions. The more extensions you have, the greater visibility your ads will have. With even more reasons to click your ad, the greater the boost will be to your CTR.

What are Expanded Text Ads?

Google Expanded Text Ads

ETAs provide nearly 50% greater ad copy for text ads allowing advertisers more room to highlight their offers via longer creative messaging. This new format features a more prominent headline including space for a second headline, which will wrap to a second line on mobile, and an increase in the headline character limit to 30 characters (from 25 previously). It also ups the character limit for the description line from 70 to 80 total characters and merges these two lines. The display URL now allows for two customizable paths, with 15 characters each. This means that advertisers can specify what they would like to appear in those two paths, up to the character limit, or elect to display nothing at all, and the domain is automatically extracted from the final URL.

Google Expanded Text Ads

ETAs are designed to maximize your presence on mobile search results. With the majority of traffic now coming from mobile, having a mobile optimized text ad that allows for a longer and more prominent headline, along with additional room for creative to highlight products and offers, will only serve to help retailers and improve CTR. While ETAs are mobile-optimized, don’t forget that this update is available on all devices. It’s an ideal next step for Google on desktop now that space has opened up after phasing out right rail text ads on the SERP.

We are excited about this latest announcement from Google and will report back on performance lift we see as the beta continues to roll out.


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