How To Get the Most Out of AdWords Expanded Text Ads

So, by now, several of you have been given access to Google AdWords expanded text ads beta, which offers some really exciting and sweeping changes to the length and parameters of ad creative.

The table below tells you some key differences and advantages of expanded text ads compared to their vanilla counterpart.

Some back of the napkin math tells you that the expanded text ads have 45 more characters available for use.  Since the description lines are consolidated you don’t have to do anymore word order gymnastics to get your longer words to fit towards the end of the first line of description text.

Factoring this in expanded ads give you about 50% more space in which to craft your ad messages.

So, knowing that soon all campaigns will have expanded text ads at their disposal, the question is: How can B2B advertisers best utilize the changes to craft more effective ads?

Let’s take a look:

A Compelling Headline Has Never Been More Crucial

The example below shows you how much more emphasis and real estate the header takes up in expanded text ads.

From a pure area standpoint the expanded headline takes up more than half of the total ad space.  The text is larger, more legible, and has much more space to contain key phrases or calls to action.  On desktop, the ad wraps into the right margin as needed, made possible with the removal of right side ads.

You generally want your headline to be eye catching in order to differentiate yourself from the competition.  As fewer and fewer ads are beginning to take up space on the first page we’re headed back to basics: Make sure you have a great quality score and a compelling call to action.

Whenever possible you should make sure that your important keyword phrases are included within the header and description text as well.

As the production and visibility of the top positions improves relative to lower ad positions, controlling costs and improving quality score will become even more important.

One Size Fits All Ad Formats

So we’ve spent a lot of time crafting ads with mobile best practices in mind, and some of them will hold true – but now Google has decided that ad format should be universal on all device types.

You may still want to utilize specific calls to action or extensions on your mobile-facing campaigns, but it’s important to note that Google is starting to bucket all devices together and you should plan future ads accordingly.

Multiple Display URL Paths for Testing

There are now 2 specific fields for Display URL input – meaning you can add in fields at both the category level and a more specific input at the keyword or product level.

The more times you can appropriately insert your key phrase in text, the better and more relevant the ad is, and usually the better the performance is.

No More Text Wrapping

Long gone are the days where you had to expend serious creativity to get high character words to fit on your description line.  This gives you a lot more options on where and how to display important keywords, calls to actions, and information.

So, with expanded ads, you can relax your communication style and focus on crafting one long appropriate description, as opposed to making two independent and sometimes uncorrelated sentences.

It’s much easier to write in free-form without character limits, so I expect to see much more creative, descriptive, and relevant ad messaging strategies take over.

Expect CTR to Rise and Adjust Budgets Accordingly

At KoMarketing, we’ve deployed expanded text advertisements for a number of our programs and we’ve been extremely impressed and a little surprised with the improvement we’ve seen in CTR.

While it’s very difficult to normalize CTR across a number of different accounts, positions, industries, and offers, we can say that we’ve seen an average increase in CTR of more than 25% for keywords in average positions 1 through 3.

Campaigns that are on a tight budget will hit their daily caps more often, so diligent monitoring of the impression share report is required.  You’ll continue to see budget from positions 4 and beyond drop so remember to periodically reallocate and readjust as needed.

Final Thoughts

You’re getting a lot more space, for text, but also on the results page.  It’s important to remember that writing great, interesting, or unique ads can help improve performance, but ultimately this battle will be waged, and won, on fundamentals.

What’s more, you still need to remember to adhere to best practices.

The key is to work to optimize relevance and ad quality, and make sure that you’re taking steps every day to utilize negatives and keyword matching to make sure that you’re only bringing in the best and most qualified traffic possible.

“KoMarketing understands how to present and execute recommendations across the organization, from the IT professional to strategic marketing leadership. They go beyond expectation in working with the client to evaluate, execute, and implement program initiatives.”

— Silvina El Baba, Senior Manager, Web Marketing, EFI

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