On January 31, 2017, Google AdWords will end the creation or editing of standard text ads to fully transition to the new expanded text ad format. To make the transition easier and to help you understand and optimize your expanded text ads, here are some recommendations for creating impactful expanded text ads.
How Expanded Texts Ads Are Different
To use them most effectively, you have to first understand how expanded text ads work and how they are different from the standard text ads we are all used to. First, instead of one headline, you now have two, allowing up to 30 characters each. The description fields have been condensed to a single expanded field that now allows up to 80 characters. Instead of using the landing page URL, display URLs will now use your final URL’s domain and provides two optional “path” fields, allowing up to 15 characters each. Lastly, the expandable text ad format is optimized for all devices.
Essentially, expanded ads are twice as long, giving you more space and characters in your text ad, the display URL domain is now your final URL domain, and your ads are now automatically mobile-optimized.
Rewrite Your Ads
The temptation of many will to be to just tack on some extra words to your existing standard ads and call it good. However, with the extra characters provided with the new expanded text ads, it would be a waste not to maximize the potential they have. Say something new with your extra space and attract those who may not have clicked on your ads before. More characters allow you to communicate with users in-depth and provides better insight to what you are offering.
While rewriting ads might seem like a chore, it also offers an opportunity to update and optimize your old ads. Expanded text ads give you the flexibility to improve the readability of your ads. Rewriting gives you an opportunity to add more keywords to your ad and replace older keywords with some that have become more relevant since the ad was originally written. In the digital world, everything is constantly changing and being optimized to improve efficiency. Your ads should be too.
Optimize Your Headlines
Headlines are the first thing people read when they see your text ad, so make it enticing. With expanded ads, you have two headline fields that fit up to 30 characters each, separated by a hyphen. The key to this new headline format is creating two headlines that work well together and complement each other, while still making an impact on their own. For example, the headlines “Refreshing Homemade Lemonade – Quench Your Thirst Today” work great together and give the reader a complete idea of what the ad is selling, but they are still enticing headlines on their own.
As it was with standard text ads, you still want to put the most relevant information in the beginning of your headline. This is the part of the ad users will read first and if they see text that doesn’t seem relevant to them, they will likely not continue reading the rest of the ad. This is especially important for expanded text ads because if the user is on a smaller screen like a mobile device, the second headline may be shortened with an ellipsis to make the ad more readable.
This tip is an oldie, but goodie and should be a golden rule in all your digital marketing strategies. Having top keywords in your ad makes it more relevant in the eyes of Google and more relevant to the user. Additionally, in Google text ads, if the user has keywords in their search that are also in your ad, those keywords will be bolded in your ad. The user’s eye will automatically be drawn to the bolded words and they will read and, hopefully, click on your ad. For example, if someone is searching “budget airline” and an ad reads “An Airline For Any Budget.”, the terms airline and budget will be bolded in the ad, and the searcher’s eye will be drawn to the ad.
The expanded text ad format is fantastic for keyword insertion, allowing more space and location options to place keywords is the expanded headline fields. Headlines are the largest text in your ads and the most important in drawing in potential customers. The description continues to be a strong location for keyword insertion and the expanded field allows for a more natural flow of words for improved readability.
A new option for keyword placement is the “path” fields in the display URL. These “paths” don’t have to actually be in the final destination URL, so they are great for putting in extra keywords. For example, if you are selling snow tires and your display URL reads example.com/Tires/Winter, you just added two very relevant keywords to your ad, “tires” and “winter”, even if the final destination URL doesn’t have those exact words in them.
Take Advantage of New Character Limits
Expanded text ads allow for 45 more characters than standard text ads did, so use them! With more character space in all the text fields, not maximizing your character limits is only short-changing the potential success of your campaigns. Headlines are now 35 characters longer than they were with the standard text ad format. Longer headlines are not only more eye-catching and engaging, they also increase the clickable space of your ads. Expanded text ads also allow up to 10 more characters in the description and more flexibility with their placement. Creating an engaging and dynamic description is vital to improving CTR on your ads and bringing people to your website. With 80 characters, you now have the space to do so.
Expanded text ads are here and to keep up with the ever-changing world of digital marketing, you need to know how to use them effectively. Implementing these best practices will allow you to create engaging, compelling text ads that will help improve campaign performance and efficiency.