What You Should Expect From Expanded Text Ads

By Diane Anselmo | @diane_anselmo | Associate Director of Services at Hanapin Marketing

By now, you may have heard a thing or two about Google rolling out Expanded Text Ads. If you haven’t yet heard, Google announced that advertisers will now be able to write longer, more detailed ad copy. This update is something to get excited about, as it will give advertisers the ability to expand their ads and include a deeper level of detail within their copy. If you’ve ever spent hours toiling over ad copy, trying to squeeze everything into the headline and description parameters, you know why this is huge.


Back in February, you might recall Google removing ads from the right hand rail. That was a huge change for many advertisers and it’s taken some time for everyone to adjust. However, the removal of the right hand rail has given Google the opportunity to allow advertisers to expand their ads in multiple positions and across devices.


What They Look Like


The expanded text ads now give advertisers the ability to use two headlines of 30 characters each, as well as one description line of 80 characters. I’m excited about this change because I’ve often felt that my ad copy suffered because of the limitations of the 25 character headline, as well as jamming everything important into two lines of 35 characters each. Among other things, I’m looking forward to not having to invent as many abbreviations as I previously did.


The screenshot below illustrates what the Expanded Text Ads will look like when compared to the previous ad format. As you can tell, there’s a big difference between the two ads, with the expanded ad allowing room for more detail.


Image of expanded text ads
How the Expanded Text Ads will look


You might also notice a change with the display URLs. With the Expanded Text Ads, the domain will be extracted from your final URL, but advertisers will have the option to customize the URL path.


Image of requirements
Expanded Text Ad components


Expected Results


Though no one can say for certain, an increase in CTR is certainly expected to accompany the new ad format. Based on early testing, Google is reporting increases of up to 20% in CTR, when compared to the current ad format. Think about that for a moment. If we can raise our CTRs by 20%, how could that potentially impact our business?


I know that motivates me to use this new opportunity to really think through all of my ad copy and determine what I need to do to ensure that I maximize the additional space. For now, I’m getting started by going through all of the accounts I manage and creating different variations of Expanded Text Ads to see how I can make the best use of the additional space.


Once the ads start running, I’ll be sure to stop and take a close look at how performance has trended as a result of this change. I expect that I will see a higher CTR, more traffic, and more leads/sales, but I also know that’s contingent upon me putting serious thought into this new ad format and using it to the fullest.


Final Thoughts


Having been an AdWords advertiser for the past 13 years, I’ve seen my fair share of changes to the platform. However, Expanded Text Ads might just be the most exciting change I’ve seen in quite some time. Yes, it will take some thought and work, but I believe that this task will be well worth it.