Following on from the removal of right-hand side ads on desktop back in February of this year in order to make search experience consistent across all devices, Google has now launched Expanded Text Ads to address the consumer shift towards mobile.
Standard Text Ads
To date, search marketing experts world-wide have perfected the art of writing a compelling ad which calls out the product or service’s core features and benefits and makes it stand out from the competition, whilst also including keywords for optimal relevance and incorporating a call to action…in just 85 characters!
85 characters which are split down into:
- 25 characters for the headline
- 2 X description line of 35 characters each.
- 35-character display URL
For savvy marketers the display URL could also be used to increase relevance, by inserting the keyword after the domain URL. If the search marketer could also manage to implement punctuation in description line one then this could serve alongside the headline, increasing CTR.
Expanded Text Ads
Last Tuesday Google launched Expanded Text Ads which have increased the character limit restrictions, giving advertisers the opportunity to show consumers more information before clicking an ad.
Expanded Text Ads consist of:
- 2 X Headlines of 30 characters each
- 1 single description line of 80 characters
- Removal of display URL. The domain URL is now automatically pulled in but now with 2 optional 15-character path fields to append to the URL.
So what does Avenue think of the change?
Excellent news! No longer do we need to try and squeeze in additional punctuation to our description line 1 to show an extended headline. We have seen increases in CTR in these cases, and now with 2 extended headlines we no longer have to attempt this hurdle.
Do beware however that the second headline may break onto the second line or may end up getting truncated so ensure to preview these in the Ad preview tool when analysing results.
1 Description line
An additional 10 characters can almost cover a whole call to action, (Call Now, Buy Now etc.) leaving the rest of the characters to focus on benefits and relevancy. The increase in characters also enable us to qualify traffic further, keeping any wasted clicks at bay.
Domain URL and Path fields:
Again fabulous news! Previously with standard ad text, websites with long URLs could not take advantage of tweaking the display URL to increase relevance to the keyword all within 35 characters. This added relevance has proven to increase CTR and now with more scope to include keywords, the higher the opportunity to increase the ad copy’s quality score and therefore reduce the CPC.
The new ad format will lead to greater visibility on the landscape which along with more detailed information on the service or product, could potentially lead to high click through rates.
All PPC accounts should now be capitalising on these expanded ads. Avenue recommends that old ads are not paused and replaced straight away however. Expanded ads may not out-perform the original ads and as with all things in Paid Search, testing is paramount. Old ads will have a lot of history and it can take new ads a while to build up successful history.
Care should also be taken to ensure that expanded ads are also mobile friendly as they will serve on all devices. There is no option to create mobile-only expanded ads and even if mobile-preferred standard ads exist, there is no guarantee these will show over expanded ads.
Finally, try approaching expanded ads with a new strategy, rather than just making your current ads longer. The new field format can change the way messaging is portrayed. New elements can be tested. Is Brand name more effective in headline 1 or headline 2? Where does price have the biggest impact? Where does a CTA work most effectively?
We are excited to be testing the new ad formats and will update you on learnings in due course!
About Avenue Digital
Avenue Digital was established in 2015 and has fast become a leading digital marketing agency, proving PPC Management, SEO Management, Social Media Management, and Umbraco Design and Build expertise. This strong growth has been achieved through a steady accumulation of consumer and professional service based clients and a significant strategic acquisition.
Existing Avenue clients include GLH Hotels, Ella’s Kitchen, Levi Roots, Shop Direct, Farrell Clothing, Anna Freud Centre, and Blesma.
Although a specialist SEO agency in London, Avenue Digital is performance focused and a provider of digital marketing including:
- SEO Management
- PPC Management
- Social Media Management
- Umbraco Design & Build