Major Change Comes to AdWords Ads

Expanded Text Ads Launch

Likely the biggest evolution within AdWords since enhanced campaigns melding mobile and desktop coverage, Expanded Text Ads (ETA) are rolling out in limited beta this month. Officially announced during the Summit, they will allow for more characters spread across two headlines, a lengthened description and a display URL capable of showing deeper links in the path.

Google claims an estimated CTR lift of up to 20% with this new ad type. Many advertisers are familiar with the term “supertitles,” which allowed the line 1 description to be pulled up into the headline, using punctuation as a trigger. Apparently the shift to ETA has been quantified by more than a handful of AdWords user experience experiments, supertitles included.

The beta is expected to be in play until July 1, when the feature will be available for all advertisers. A few months to work out any bugs is standard practice for such a large shift, but those selected to participate should have a slight edge over their competitors. By Q4 2016, the standard legacy ad type will no longer be an option.

Perceived Benefits

More customization to ad copy in the context of adjacent keyword themes can be very beneficial to CTR, and with some of the data points that AdWords has already touted, ETA should serve up some big wins. However, with more available space to provide detail, position value, differentiation and CTAs – we see a potential huge positive impact on conversion rate. Good alignment from query to landing page with a well-written, expanded piece of copy bridging the gap could deliver significant incremental lift to performance.

What About Mobile?

With no talk of mobile-preferred versions of ETA at the moment, it seems as if Google is pushing harder to merge the desktop and mobile ad experience. This could be viewed as a little contradictory based on the best practice of using mobile-specific ads to deliver an alternative message based on context, but it is too early to tell with the feature just launched into beta. We’ll just need to wait and see how the product evolves.

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