Google Expanded Text Ads: What are they and what does this mean for your business?

On 26 July 2016 Google launched the next generation of Google Adwords text ads. This means your ads can now contain more text than previously (47% more text), allowing your ads to communicate clearer and more creative messages which could result in up to a 20% increase in your Click Through Rate (CTR) and more prominence in search results and Google Networks.

We know you probably have some questions about the new format, so we have collated our most common questions below!

How do the Google Adwords text ads work again?

Simply put, a text ad is a form of marketing communication that advertisers can use to promote their product or service on the Google Network. These ads can appear on Google search results pages and across the Google Network.

I’ve included an example below:

Google Adwords Text Ad Example

How do the changes compare to the current text ad format?

Previously the ads were not optimised and sometimes cut off parts of the ad text depending on which device you were viewing them on (e.g. mobile, tablet, desktop). The update has meant that the expanded text ads are optimised to different screen sizes, allowing you to deliver clear messages which deliver better results.

The expanded ad type has two headline fields – separated by a dash. Both headlines contain 30 characters each, more than standard text ads. There is also now a single description line with an expanded limit of 80 characters. Truncation and ellipsification (the shortening of sentences) have been minimized to make ad display more predictable. In practical terms this means that there’s almost no chance your ads will be shortened with the dreaded ‘…’ where multiple wide characters have been used (M’s and W’s, for example, are wider than other English letters).

Businesses also have the ability to customise their display URLs. Instead of inputting a display URL for your ad, the URL is calculated from the landing page and path fields (path1and path2), that indicate to a user where they will be directed on a click. Final URL and tracking URL behaviour remain the same.

Examples comparing the two below:

Google Standard Text Ad
Google Expanded Text Ad

How can my business make the most of these changes?

The upgrade to expanded text ads requires intervention: In many cases, the second headline will need new content, and you’ll need to decide when to enable the new expanded text ad and when to disable the old standard text ad.

Your digital agency (if applicable) will be able to assist with the upgrade, as this can be a time-consuming process but is definitely a worthwhile investment of your time to make the most of the new features available. It could be the difference between someone clicking onto yours or your competitor’s website!

What is Storm IMC doing to take advantage of this update?

Here at Storm IMC we are always looking at new technological advances and trialling them as soon as we are able. If you think we could help you with the upgrade process to expanded text ads on Google Adwords, or want to know more about our services, get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!

Author Chethan C

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