Expanded Text Ads: Google Adwords New PPC Feature
The wait is finally over. Ever since Google announced the impending arrival of expanded text ads back in May, we have been anxiously awaiting for the feature to become mainstream. While some lucky brands have been putting the expanded text ads to use for a few months, the improved visibility on the SERPs is now available to everyone.
The Deets on Expanded Text Ads
When Google got rid of the right-side ads from the SERPs in February—in an attempt to unify the searching experience across devices—they cleared up a lot of space. To fill this void, they are now allowing advertisers more room in both the headline and description lines. And it’s not just a measly increase:
- Headlines are now allowed to be two lines with 30 characters each, up from the one line of 25 characters that was given before (a 35-character increase!).
- Descriptions can now be one line of 80 characters, which is a drastic change from the two lines of 35 characters allowed before (a 10-character increase!).
There is one more change to the expanded text ads worth noting, and that is that Google has eliminated the option to edit your display URL. Instead, AdWords will automatically extract it from the destination URL. However, you will still be able to add in a path or two to enhance the display URL.
Will Expanded Text Ads Really Help?
While it’s still too early to say for sure, according to Google, this increase in real estate can improve your click through rate by as much as 25%. WordStream believes this is a realistic estimate considering they’ve already seen a 12% increase simply by adding call extensions to their mobile ads, so more words to gets across the message can certainly have a profound impact.
But Search Engine Land points out that the effects of the expanded text ads will vary dramatically depending on the client and the week. Some of their clients saw a consistent 20% increase in CTR, while one of their finance clients was astonished to see a 90% improvement (which soon dropped to a more reasonable 45%). And then there’s the take of Marketing Mojo, who states that from their testing, the click through rate was barely impacted by the expanded text ads.
The Moral of the Story
Basically, expanded text ads can be amazing, and they can also be non-effective—it all comes down to how you use them. As Disruptive Advertising points out, an extra 45 characters won’t make magic on their own. You have to effectively use this extra space to stand out from the crowd, allure your audience, and encourage them to click through.