It’s Time to Test Some PPC Ad Copy and Find Out.
Expanded Text Ads are finally here. This is the first major change that Google has made to standard text ads in over a decade. So, while it may not seem that exciting to some, it is a pretty major change.
What are Expanded Text Ads?
As the name suggests, Expanded Text Ads provide a grand total of about 50% more text for paid search ads. Following Google’s renewed focus on mobile devices, these ads were designed to be optimized for the screen sizes of the most popular smart phones.
The new ad format features two headlines, each with 30 characters, and one long 80-character description line (compared to previous ads with one headline of 25 characters and two description lines of 35 characters each).
It may be tempting to simply try to adapt your current paid search ads to the expanded format, but there are some best practices when it comes to this new style:
Focus on the Headlines
With two longer headlines, you can communicate more to users at a glance. Put most of your energy into the first headline. Depending on the device and number of characters, the second headline may be cut off or dropped to the second line. If your company adheres to any strict legal or regulatory guidelines, you will want to limit your total headline characters to 33 to ensure there is no cutoff.
Rethink Your Entire Creative
It is important not to just add extra characters to existing ads, but to re-write. This helps ensure that the ads make sense and communicate the proper message. With the extra characters, try to highlight unique product characteristics or limited time offers.
Test Multiple Versions
Since this is a new format, testing multiple variations will help find what resonates best with your target audience.
While the “old style” of text ads will still be shown (if active in the account), account managers will no longer be able to create any new text ads from the (old) standard format after October 26.
Early tests have shown that the new ads are providing a higher CTR – some showing as much as a 400% increase! However, with anything new, you can expect to see a higher increase when it is new and different. Advertisers should expect things to slow down as more and more companies adopt the new format. So get on board now and take advantage of the change now!
To help you get a jump start on writing new ad copy, take a look at this “AdWords Call-to-Action cheat sheet” from Luna Metrics.