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5 Tips for Switching to Google's New Expanded Text Ads

by Ascedia - October 26, 2016 - 2 minute read

Back in July 2016, Google officially rolled out a new version of their AdWords pay-per-click text ads. These new “expanded text ads” are optimized for mobile users and give advertisers even more space to create compelling ad copy. Here is an example directly from Google of how the different ad formats look on a mobile device:

google expanded text ad

The new expanded text ad format has:

  • Final URL for your landing page URL
  • Two headline fields, up to 30 characters each
  • The display URL (under Path) automatically grabs the domain name from your final URL
  • Two optional “path” fields (15 characters each) that are used in the display URL to give users context of where they will be landing (for example, “www.ascedia.com/Marketing/PPC”)
  • Two previously separate description lines are merged into one long (80 character) description

google text ad setup

You can still create older format ads; however, Google announced that as of January 31, 2017 it will no longer be an option. Here are five tips to help you prepare for this change and get the most out of the new expanded format.

1. Don’t Delete All Your Old Standard Ads Yet!

You have probably have some well-performing standard ads running that you’ve crafted over weeks or maybe even years of testing. Keep those ads running until you feel comfortable with the performance of your new expanded ads. 

2. Take Advantage of Lessons Learned From Older Ads.

Look at your top performing standard ads and use similar elements in the new expanded ads. These top performers will help you create your first expanded ads with confidence, knowing that similar ad copy is already appealing to users.

3. Focus on Testing Headlines First.

You now have more real estate in your ads for headlines and these are the most visible to users. Focus on testing and crafting appealing headlines first. Once you’ve seen success with your headlines, move on to testing different copy in the description area.

4. Test Multiple Versions of Your New Expanded Text Ads.

Just because they are new and have more text doesn’t mean they are immediately going to out-perform your older ads. Be sure to use the tips above to try out multiple versions of your new ads — Google suggests 3-5 per ad group — to see which copy works best.

5. Continue to Take Advantage of Additional Features to Set the New Ads Up for Success. 

Use features like keyword insertion, ad extensions (enable all that apply) and ad customizers (for location or countdowns).

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