Expanded Text Ads, the next generation of Google AdWords, are on their way — and it’s a big deal for advertisers.
In what Google called the “biggest changes to our text ads since AdWords launched fifteen years ago,” the search giant announced that Expanded Text Ads (ETAs), now in beta in select markets, will be released to all advertisers later this year.
In a nutshell, here are the major changes advertisers can expect to see with ETAs compared to traditional Google AdWords ads:
1) Two headlines, maximum 30 characters each, instead of one 25-character headline.
2) One 80-character description line instead of two 35-character lines.
3) The display URL auto-extracted from the final URL, and up to two customizable domain paths that can be used to describe landing page content. Currently, the display URL needs to be manually entered, and any discrepancy between display, final and landing page URLs will cause Google to disapprove an ad.
In a nod to the growing clout of mobile search, ETAs will be optimized for screen sizes of the most commonly used smartphones, but will be seen on all devices — mobile and desktop — and will wrap automatically based on the device size.
Google AdWords Ads and ETAs — Before and After
The image below shows what a current Google AdWords ad will look like on desktop and mobile after it’s changed to an ETA:
The Bottom Line
With nearly 50% greater ad copy, a more prominent headline, and enhanced display URLs, ETAs offer advertisers an opportunity to highlight their products and services more effectively. Google reports that some early testers of ETAs increased their clickthrough rates by up to 20% compared to standard text ads.
As the launch date for Expanded Text Ads approaches, advertisers would do well to work on expanding their 25-35-35 Google Adwords ads — starting with the best performers — to take advantage of the updated guidelines. The new format will also make the top positions on SERPs more valuable as each ad will take up a larger share of the limited space available. So Quality Score will take on added significance. As they say (or at least they used to say): Quality is Job 1.
Rob Sanders launched RSO Consulting in 2006 and has over 20+ years of experience working in digital marketing including pay per click, SEO and web analytics. He teaches PPC, SEO and web analytics classes for marketing and business professionals in the San Francisco-Bay Area and throughout the U.S. and is the author of the book “42 Rules for Applying Google Analytics”.