Users of AdWords have a pleasant surprise in store for them with the new Expanded Text Ads going live. By converting ad copy to this new format, you will receive on average a 20% increase in CTR. That means 20% more traffic and if you are doing things right, it could mean a similar jump in business.

AdWords Expanded Text Ads

Of course, there is some effort required to this — all your current ads need to be rewritten (unless you have hired an AdWords agency, then it’s their problem to solve for you!)  So, what exactly has changed and what does this mean for you as the advertiser?

The Changes and Their Opportunities

As the name suggests, Google AdWords’ new Expanded Text Ads give the advertiser a lot more freedom in terms of how much information they can post on their ads. The aim of this change is to provide some relief from character limitations, allowing advertisers to include more information in their Ads. Below are the specific changes and what they mean to AdWords users.

AdWords Expanded Text Ads

1. Headline Expansion

Before the Expanded Text Ads went live, AdWords users could only use one headline with a maximum of 25 characters. This follows the old fashioned 25-35-35 character structure. However, with the Expanded Text Ads, users will be able to use up to two headlines with a character limit of 30 characters. This means that you can include more keywords in your headline, which in turns increases visibility and results in a considerably higher click through rate (CTR).

2. Description Line Expansion

The old AdWords system provides the users with a 2 line description structure with a limit of 35 characters. The Expanded Text Ads on the other hand provides a single line description structure with the text now having an 80-character limit. This allows for deeper messaging and more detailed product descriptions and thus increases the chances of potential customers clicking on the ads. The combined character increase from the headline and description gives the advertisers a total of 140 characters which is more than enough to make an appealing ad.

3. Automatic Domain Extraction

Google now allows two 15 character “Path” fields to customize your display URL, giving users more assurance that they will find what they are looking for. Unlike other Google AdWords URL displays, the Expanded Text Ads eliminate the need to manually enter the display required. This automation reduces chances of landing on the wrong page or not going through due to inaccurate entries.

AdWords Expanded Text Ads

4. Righthand Sidebar Ads Removal

This change was done some months prior. This change was only be visible to laptop and desktop user as mobile-friendly website designs did not accommodate the sidebars. The removal of the righthand Ads helps make it possible to now have the expanded nature of AdWords’ newest text structure.

5. Automatic Screen Size Adjustment

This change on the other hand will only be visible to mobile phone users where the mobile-friendly websites are designed to fit the limited space. The automatic adjustment means that users will not have to struggle to zoom in or out to view the ads. This convenience and ease of use greatly increases the Ad’s appeal and increases the CTR significantly. So watch the increase in mobile traffic and compare your numbers after you’ve launched your new ads.

Tips to make the most out of the expanded text Ads

Having understood what changes to expect with the Expanded Text Ads that Google AdWords is rolling out, a smart marketer will have to come up with ways to take advantage of this modification to earn significant returns. Below are a few tips on how to ride this wave to better results and more business.

1. Use a pilot approach with the new expanded approach ads.

The idea of having 50 extra characters to work with might be seriously exciting to us Google ad geeks, but making a 100% change immediately without testing is not always the best idea. For great results, you need to understand how best to work with the expansion to suit your advertising needs and the best way to do this is by split testing ads (simple A/B tests of two versions). This is where you set up a new ad with the extra characters and monitor it in terms of effectiveness compared to your existing ad. Once you are satisfied that it works, slowly phase out the old ads and replace them with the new ones.

2. Give your existing ads a complete makeover.

Once you are ready to go all long with the extra characters, you need to do more than just add words to your existing ads. The best thing to do is to completely restructure what you have to factor in the additional characters in such a way that you get something new and exciting without losing sight of what you were trying to achieve with the older ads. Think how you can now play with relevant keywords in ad copy. You might have had to make some sacrifices when you originally wrote your copy because it was too tight. Dig deep into your search query data and see exactly what users are searching. Test your new ideas against your control ad copy.

3. Make Attention Grabbing Headlines!

The headline is everything with ads. An interesting ad headline with the appropriate key words is very likely to attract internet user and increase your CTR. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that this is good for business. Always be relevant to the keywords you are advertising on.

4. Take advantage of your headline on two side-by-side lines.

Consider making your headline a question in the first line with your answer or solution in the next. Engage users. Take advantage of the fact that the Google AdWords Expanded Text Ads allow you to have the two lines on your headline. Splitting the headline into two in two different lines allows you have all the headline information on the screen without truncation.

5. Make multi-device friendly ads

Expanded Text Ads are not device-specific and appear the same whether the internet user is using a laptop, tablet, desktop or mobile phone. This means that when using this particular ad service you need to come up with an ad that is easy to use on any and every device. An easy-to-use, mobile friendly ad and site usually attract more viewers increasing CTR as a result of your PPC marketing. Consider the nature of someone on a mobile device. If they are searching a restaurant or hotel, add your location as part of that headline.

AdWords Expanded Text Ads

Bottom line

Expanded Text Ads structure from Google and higher CTRs are something to look forward to. Make sure you properly understand what the modifications imply in order to make the most out of the change. Bottom line, when used correctly the expansion will make a significant difference to improving your PPC campaigns.

Too much work for you? Consider having us audit, improve and manage your PPC campaigns.