Today Google announced the official launch of Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) on the AdWords blog, allowing advertisers more room to highlight their offers via longer creative messaging. Google first announced the new ad type at their Performance Summit in May and now it’s officially available for all retailers.
Our client, Guitar Center, was one of five companies selected for the alpha. This early access gave us the opportunity to test out ETAs in the early adoption stage. Because ETAs occupy nearly 50% more advertising space, they generate higher click through rates (CTRs). Google’s early projections showed an average 20% lift in CTR.
Over the 4th of July holiday week we ran both ETAs and standard text ads in our top ad groups. Non-brand ETAs saw a 76% lift in CTR while brand showed a 15% increase. Conversion rates (CVRs) for ETAs also grew a whopping 101% for brand and 14% for non-brand, and revenue per click (RPC) increased 61% for brand and 142% for non-brand, all compared to standard text ads in the same ad groups. Keep in mind, however, these results were achieved during alpha and beta stages and metrics will continue to change as Google further rolls-out the beta. Results will also vary by retailer and timeframe used.
“Working closely with our agency Adlucent, Guitar Center was one of the first to adopt expanded text ads. With the additional ad space, we’re now able to highlight our promotions and sales while preserving our core brand message — like we did for the 4th of July. Our non-brand campaigns alone have seen a 119% uplift in CTR.” – Robert Spears, Guitar Center
If you’re just getting started with ETAs, here are a few best practices you can use.
- Be on top
Make sure you are in top position. This is especially important for mobile as text ads on most devices already fall below the fold.
- Be relevant
Use all relevant ad extensions in your ads. This goes for ETAs as well as all text ad formats.
- Get creative
Create new ads for ETAs. Given that you now have nearly double the amount of space to work with, get creative.
- Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
Now that you have the additional ad space, we recommend testing out some longer variations of your ad creative. In some situations, a shorter message may resonate better with your audience.
- Always test
Test and re-test your ad creative and continue to adjust based on those test results.
We want to hear about your experience using ETAs once they are fully implemented, so reach out and let us know! And with any new ad feature or format, keep an eye on CPCs, return, and always test!