Last week, Bing Ads officially announced that on July 31st, 2017, it will end support for creating new and editing existing standard text ads. To help with the transition to expanded text ads, Bing Ads recently made changes to easily convert standard text ads (STA) to expanded text ads (ETA) via the Bing Ads Web UI and Bing Ads Editor. Since the launch of ETAs, there has been an implementation of this new ad format by many advertisers. Whether you moved this ad type over because you saw success in Google or you just like to be the first on a new launch, you’ve probably seen or tested it.

Do you still have standard text ads running alongside your ETAs, or are they running on their own? It is probably best to start turning them off or breaking the news to reluctant clients that it is officially time to make the switch. After July 31st, Bing Ads customers will only be able to create and edit ETAs, but it is important to note that all your existing standard text ads will continue to serve alongside expanded text ads for the foreseeable future.

While there is no date on when STA’s will stop serving, you can expect an update well in advance once Bing Ads makes the decision to sunset serving STAs. Unless you are seeing particularly amazing performance with STAs vs ETAs, why not get a new round of ad copy up using just ETAs? It is time to give those ads the focus they deserve.

To better prepare for the STAs changes next month, here are some best practices to help improve implementation and increase the performance of your ETAs:

  • Create ETAs within existing campaigns and ad groups along current STAs
    • Use standard text ads as a baseline to measure how well expanded text ads are performing
    • Create a 1:1 ratio of ETA to STA ads in each ad group to maximize ETA impressions
      • Helps avoid impression and click loss while testing ETAs
      • Assures that ETAs inherit all ad extensions and other set ups from the existing STAs
    • Once you are confident in the expanded text ads performance, customers can move to 100% adoption and pause their STAs
  • Take full advantage of the additional character limits
    • Use your best performing STA copy as a starting point when creating ETAs
    • Experiment with messaging (try different length combinations)
    • Remember that headlines are important. Longer headlines help increase the visual space of text ads and help communicate additional information to searchers
    • Think about using content such as domain, display, description, query in ad headline 2

Once you have your ETAs up and running it’s time to optimize! Here are tips for enhancing your ETAs:

  • Review your ad extensions to ensure that they have fresh, differentiated content from your expanded headlines
  • Add your brand in the headline for trust
  • The clearer and more specific your offering, the better. For example, rather than “big discounts,” specify an exact percentage, such as “50% off.”

I encourage you to begin the migration process if you haven’t already.