Google AdWords Unveils Its Much Anticipated New Feature: Expanded Text Ads

 In AdWords, Blog

On July 26th, 2016 Google released a new feature within Google AdWords called expanded text ads. This change was originally announced at the #GoogleSummit in May and is being called the biggest change to AdWords since its inception. This feature is now available in all accounts and Google AdWords editor. The change comes much earlier than anticipated and has an immediate impact on anyone who advertises with Google AdWords.

What are expanded text ads?

Expanded text ads allow advertisers to drive more clicks by adding 47% more characters including a second headline and a longer description.  Below is a chart comparing standard text ads to the new expanded text ads.

AdWords Expanded Text Ads versus standard ads

This chart shows just how much larger the new ads are than the standard text ads. The format of ads has changed as the new ads feature two 30-character headlines and an 80-character description, compared to standard ads which had a 25-character headline with two 35-character description lines. The first headline of expanded text ads is more important than the second headline as it is the first thing the viewer sees.

Beyond the increased character limits, expanded text ad’s also have slightly different display URL settings. Display URL’s now automatically generate when the URL is entered. However, advertisers do still have the opportunity to add up to 2 paths to follow their displayed URL.

Why The Change?

It’s no secret that the world is becoming more and more dependent on mobile devices and people need to have information at their fingertips. In fact, the amount of mobile searches on Google passed the amount of desktop searches in 2014. Expanded text ads are Google’s way of catering to this new mobile dependent world. The near 50% increase in text space allows customers, specifically on smaller mobile screens, to see a lot more information without clicking on an ad.

So what does it all mean?

Expanded text ads have immediate and substantial impacts for anyone who advertises with Google AdWords. Expanded text ads experience up to 20% increase in CTR and that number only increases when they are shown next to standard text ads. So it greatly benefits an advertiser to roll out expanded text ads as soon as possible to take advantage of weaker competition. Over the next few months everyone will be working to convert all ads into expanded text ads, so the window to take advantage of this opportunity is quickly closing.

Expanded text ads allow advertisers to attract customers by giving them more information than ever before. Expanded text ads are like being given free advertising; you pay the same price and have more space to connect with customers. It’s like having a billboard on 95 and then having that billboard increase in size by nearly 50% for free, all you need to do is fill the empty space with useful information.

The future of AdWords

Taking advantage of lower competition and staying up to date with trends has its clear advantages, but soon expanded text ads will be the only option. Starting October 26th no one will be able to write any new standard text ads, however current active ones will continue to run. The already active standard text ads are said to be set to stop in Q4 of this year, but Google has not officially announced anything about this. Google has made it very evident that standard text ads’ days are numbered, so the sooner you are able to convert to expanded text ads the better.

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