Expanded text ads for the mobile-first world
Google has realized that accounting for mobile and actually designing for mobile-first are two very different things, which had resulted in their completely changing how they think about and build AdWords.
The announcement by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Ads & Commerce at the Google Performance Summit in May 2016 revealed that Google is taking away right sidebar ads was part of the preparation for this new product, Expanded Text Ads.
Now, you’ll have more room to sell your wares on the SERPs, with two 30-character headlines, 80 characters for description, and an auto-extracted URL with customizable domain path.
This makes Quality Score and relevance even more important, as those top spots are going to take up more prime real estate. This is going to make anything below #2 or #3 pretty much useless.
Expanded text ads are optimized for the screen sizes of the most popular smartphones. Google reports that early advertising tests show up to 20% increases in CTR. Expanded Text Ads are being rolled out as we speak.
Expanded text ads are similar to the standard text ads that you’re used to, but with a few key differences.
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- Expanded text ads have two headline fields instead of one. The extra headline field allows you to include additional text in your ads. Now you have up to 30 characters per headline instead of 25 characters. The headlines will appear next to each other, separated by a hyphen. Depending on the size of your potential customer’s screen, they may wrap to a second line.
- The two description lines have been merged into one field. Instead of the two 35-character description lines you get with standard text ads, expanded text ads have one 80-character description field, giving you more control over your ad’s messaging.
- The domain of your display URL is now based on your final URL domain. With expanded text ads, you no longer have to enter your display URL when creating a new ad. Instead, AdWords will use the domain from your final URL and then give you the option to combine it with up to two new optional ”Path” fields. These fields are added to the display URL after your website’s domain, so you can add text that will help people who see your ad get a better sense of where they’ll be taken when they click it. Learn about what makes up a text ad
- Your text ads are now mobile-optimized. Now that expanded text ads are mobile-optimized, you no longer have to select the mobile device setting when creating or editing a text ad. In fact, a preview of your ad in both desktop and mobile format is generated for you while you’re creating your expanded text ad.
Transitioning to expanded text ads
Right now, AdWords supports the creation of both expanded text ads and standard text ads in both the new and previous experiences of AdWords. When you create a new ad, you will be defaulted to expanded text ads. To switch back to standard text ads, click the Switch back to standard text ad link above the “Final URL” field.
Starting January 31, 2017, AdWords will no longer support the creation or editing of standard text ads. New text ads generated after that date should use the expanded text ad format. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve past January 31, 2017.
After this date, you will only be able to create and edit expanded text ads. However, existing standard text ads will continue to serve alongside expanded text ads.
Updating existing text ads
Opening a standard text ad for editing now brings up the ad in the expanded text ad by default. Your existing ad’s text is used to populate fields in the new format, so you already have a head start in creating the newly expanded ad.
Remember that editing an ad in this way causes the original to be removed. To create an expanded text ad from a standard text ad without removing the existing ad, hover over the ad and select Copy and edit from the drop-down next to the pencil icon.
Using AdWords Editor
You can also create and edit expanded text ads in bulk using AdWords Editor. AdWords Editor supports expanded text ads in Version 11.5.