Starting last week, expanded text ads are now available to all advertisers within Adwords, but what does this mean for you?
A Quick Overview Of The New Ad Type
Expanded text ads are the next generation of the standard AdWords text ad. This new ad type provides longer, more controllable messaging in your ads. We have been waiting for their official roll out, and as of last week they are now available to all advertisers. The expanded text ad features:
- This ad type has two headline fields. The second headline is concatenated to the first headline field, separated by a dash. On mobile, the combined headline fields may wrap to a second line.
- Both headlines contain 30 characters each, more than standard text ads. Double-width characters such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean allow for 15 characters.
- There is now a single description line with an expanded limit of 80 characters. Truncation and ellipsification have been minimized to make ad display more predictable.
- Instead of inputting a display URL for your ad, the URL is calculated from the landing page and path fields, that indicate to a user where they will be directed on a click. Final URL and tracking URL behavior remain the same.
Here’s an example ad for Interplanetary Cruises in the AdWords user interface, after being uploaded via the AdWords API.
Here is a preview of what they look like on the SERP.
Expanded Text Ads Have Arrived… But Now What?
1. New Ads Need To Be Created As Soon As Possible
Creating new ads as soon as you can will allow you to get ahead of the competition who haven’t already started using this new ad type. Simple.
The longer you wait to start utilising this new ad type, the more time your competitors have to try them out and outrank you. Of course, the performance of these new expanded text ads is still in debate and there is no guarantee that they will improve your overall account performance. Never the less, getting them up and running, and testing them against the ads you already have as soon as you can is the best move you can make.
2. Don’t Just Copy Old Text Ads
Copying your old ads and simply adding in some extra characters isn’t going to get you the most out of this new ad type. The best option (as always) is to spend some
time writing high quality ads that will work with your ad extensions (which may also need updating) to help improve your CTR even more. Make sure you are making use of all the new space and not repeating information in your ad extensions.
3. Keep Old Ads Running… For Now
While you are creating and testing your new expanded ads, keep your best performing text ads going too. Until you are confident that your expanded text ads are performing better, don’t kill them off until the data is clear.
4. Make Sure You Have Your New Expanded Ads By Mid October
Keep in mind though that from October 26th, 2016, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads — meaning you’ll only be able to create and edit text ads using the expanded text ads format after this date. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve alongside expanded text ads but can not be changed after this date.
5. Remember There Is No Mobile Version Of Expanded Text Ads
With old style text ads, you had the option of creating mobile specific ads, this is no longer available with expanded text ads. Make sure that your ad text and calls to action are suitable to show on all devices, because expanded text ads are eligible to show on all devices equally.
6. Don’t Forget About Dynamic Keyword Insertion
Dynamic keyword insertion is a great tool, and it works very well for some advertisers, especially when people are searching for specific products or including locations in queries. Now, we have even more space to work with DKI, so get creative! Think about how you can use it to make your ad as relevant and engaging as possible for every search.
7. Test, Test, Test!
Don’t just create one new expanded ad per ad group, make sure you test different versions (and of course keep on testing over time to continue to improve your CTR) so you can get the best possible results.
For more information on best practices for these new expanded ads, take a look at this great article from WordStream.
You can watch a short video for more on this new ad type below
To Conclude… Get Cracking!
Don’t waste time, make sure that all of your accounts and campaigns are going to make the most of this new ad type, and soon. Those who choose to wait around risk a decrease in performance as competitors begin to make use of this new ad type over the coming weeks and months. So… happy testing!