You may have noticed that those old-school Google text ads recently disappeared from the right hand side of Google searches. You may have also figured out that they reappeared at the top and bottom of the main search column, looking a lot like regular search results but with a tiny green “ad” icon. Welcome to Google AdWords’ new expanded text ad format, optimized for smartphones and featuring a longer blue headline (two headlines technically).
You now get two headlines of 30 characters each and then one long 80 character description, instead of the old parameters of one headline and two descriptive lines (25/35/35 characters, respectively). As AdWords promotes it, “That’s nearly 50% more ad text for you to highlight your products and services!”
Your existing pay-per-click Google text ads will still fit in this new format (they’ve probably already been transferred), but it’s a great time to try new, expanded creative and target more keywords in the process. Plus, you never know when Google will insist upon (or start showing favor to) text ads that adhere to their new character guidelines.
On July 27, 2016, Google AdWords sent out a courtesy email about setting up the new text ads that included “tips and tricks for creating and optimizing expanded text ads.” Their suggestions included:
1. Rethink your entire ad creative and focus on your headlines to maximize performance.
2. Create and test multiple expanded text ads for each ad group to determine what creative performs best for your business.
The Google AdWords newsletter also announced, “The shift to mobile is no longer happening… the shift to mobile has happened.” And so they launched Three Ad Innovations for a Mobile-First World. We hope you’ll find this informative blog from Google’s Inside AdWords a great resource for understanding the new expanded text ads, as well as responsive display ads and device bid adjustments.
If you want a crash course in optimizing the Google’s new expanded ad format, we suggest this best practices guide supplied by Google Support or you can simply contact Creative Media Alliance. As a full-service Seattle marketing agency, CMA is always up-to-date with current best practices and budget-saving ways to promote your business or product in a fast-moving digital world. We look forward to talking business with you soon.