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Ready or not, the time to convert to Expanded Text Ads (ETA) in Google pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is here.

Earlier this year, Google introduced ETAs, which provide more space for ad text over the standard text ads we’re used to, and they are better optimized for the mobile experience.

ETAs have been available to most advertisers for a few months now and many have already started to make the switch and see positive results. If you haven’t already tackled this project, don’t panic (yet!). Google will continue to support and run your existing ads until January 31, 2017. However, after that you will no longer be able to edit those existing standard text ads or create new ones – you will have to make the switch and create new expanded text ads moving forward.

The Nuts & Bolts of Expanded Text Ads

The new expanded text ads now offer two longer headlines instead of one, one longer description instead of two, and two optional URL path fields in lieu of inserting the full display URL, allowing room for additional characters across the board.

Standard Text Ads Expanded Text Ads
Headline 1: 25 characters
Description 1: 25 characters
Description 2: 35 characters
Display URL: 35 characters
Headline 1: 30 characters
Headline 2: 30 characters
Description: 80 characters
URL Path 1: 15 characters
URL Path 2: 15 characters


How To Create Google Expanded Text Ads

Take a data-drive approach. Start by reviewing the data on your existing standard text ads. What did you learn? Was the keyword insertion tool most effective? Did a certain headline convert better? Did a local angle make a difference? Use that information to craft your new ETAs. You can drop your ad content into this expanded text ad preview tool to see how it will look in a live ad.

After you create your first ETA in a given ad group, create three to four variations of it in the same ad group to test against each other. Over time, the Google AdWords system will automatically begin to run the top performing ads more often*, and then you can go in and pause those that are under performing or create new variations to test out. Let the A/B testing on those new ads run for at least a couple weeks before making any changes to ensure you have enough data to make well-informed decisions with the results.

Make sure you keep your top performing ads running – even if they might be the old standard text ads. Remember, Google will allow them to continue to run, you just can’t edit them after January. So if that old standard text ad is your rock star, leave it turned on along side your new ETAs.

*Check your campaign settings to ensure your campaign is set up this way.

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