Google rolled out their Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) last month, and they’re great!
The new ETAs or Expanded Text Ads give you more room to advertise your product, service or event, using:
- An extra 30 character headline (you now have 3 headlines to work with) – we’ll call this headline 3
- The existing description field (we’ll call it description 1) has been expanded to 90 characters from 80 characters)
- An extra description which is also 90 characters (giving you two descriptions to work with).
The New ETAs look like this:
Below are two examples of what DriveTraffic could use:
If you do use Google ads, you’ll want to take advantage of this newly available real estate before your competitors grab the advantage! If you are short on time or skill, have an expert at DriveTraffic review your Google Ads campaign for additional opportunities of improvement.
I Don’t Use Google Ads – Just Organic
So you rely exclusively on organic traffic from Google? You may have noticed over the past several years that your traffic continues to decrease (even with all the great content you produce and even perhaps in light of the great conversions you get as a result of this content). This is because Expanded Text Ads will now take up more of the real estate on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), pushing organic listings further down the page. Don’t forget that ads in the maps section are also increasing, further pushing organic pages down the screen.
The History of Google Ads
The current ad size is hugely different from text ads that preceded the roll out two years ago. Expanded Text Ads first went live on July 26, 2016, moving from one 25-character headline to two 30-character headlines, and allowing a consolidated 80-character description line. It was also at this time that the display URL was automatically extracted, and customization of the URL path permitted.
With the 2016 changes, advertisers saw an increase on ad click-through rate of 20 percent. It will be very interesting to see what the increased click through rate will be on Google ETAs 2018!
Taking Advantage of that Extra Text
While the extra headline and description provides you with more opportunity to drive qualified traffic to your website, it won’t actually affect best practices regarding how you write text ads.
Reimagining how to present your product or service in the third headline or extra description is where you’ll want to concentrate your efforts when supplementing existing ads. You can take advantage of long tail keywords with the increased character limits, for example, or target a niche segment in your third headline.
The headline is still the make-or-break text; the description supports those 30 characters, but if the headline is not optimized and compelling, the opportunity is lost. Each headline should include a keyword and be quite distinct from the other two, offering a different solution or benefit and having a unique call to action.
Vary the length of headlines too: longer physically allows more clickable space, but shorter may perform better for people familiar with your brand and looking for a specific product.
Details count: Remember that headlines wrap on mobile devices, so make sure you check how your ad appears on phones, iPads and tablets. If you see your headline wrapping, Google suggests reducing the character count or see if you can replace wider characters (like “m”) with narrower ones (like “i”). Of course you can always show different ads for mobile and desktop traffic!
Get Even More from Your Ad
Ad extensions maximize the performance of text ads by providing greater prominence (ads take up more space) on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). The additional information gives people more reasons to choose your service or product, with ad extensions typically increasing click-through-rate by at least several percentage points.
Perpetually testing ad copy and it’s impact on CTR (Click Through Rate) is the only way to ensure you’re making the best use of Google Expanded Text Ads and getting the best return on your advertising dollar.
Google suggests testing at least 3 ads at any given time and provides you with the option of allowing them to decide which of your ads to show or you can opt to show your ads with equal frequency in your campaign settings.