Nick Rennard
By Nick Rennard | SEM, Video | August 8, 2016

Expanded Text Ads

Expanded Text Ads

Hello fellow advertisers! Today I will be discussing a brand new release from Google: expanded text ads (ETAs). These were originally going to be in beta until 2017, but we now have access to them due to an early release. The new ad formatting is allegedly supposed to be able to increase CTR up by to 12% (probably a big of an exaggeration, but they’re still supposed to be significantly better!). I’ll go over the advantages of the new ad copy and show you how to set them up in the updated AdWords Editor. You can also read more on this topic in this blog post from Google. Enjoy!

Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of my video blog series. I’m your host Nick Renard and today we are going to be talking about something that Google recently have rolled out with called expanded text ads. I’ll get into explaining these here. Lets just go ahead and get started.

All right. Here’s some of the advantages in the new expanded text ads. These are actually something that were in beta for… Actually not that long. They were supposed to be in beta all the way until 2017, but they had an early release. I’d imagine that they worked out all the kinks and everything a lot earlier than expected and you know, the testing that they did went well. Yeah they’re out and they’re live now. What they are is a new way to write your text ads within the editor. The way that you’ve written your ads in the ad words editor has remained pretty much the same for years and years now. They’re really excited to roll this out because it is a brand new way of running ads, so lets go ahead and go over some of the features here.

The main feature and what is gonna most of the advantage… Advantages are gonna fall under this feature is that there’s significantly more room to be writing ad copy. There’s actually almost 50% more room to be writing ad texts, which is pretty significant. That’s good for a few reasons. One it pushes your competitors further down the page. This is very important in these first… Well it’s August now so… I know that early 2017 they’re not allowing you to use the old ads anymore. That’s anywhere from like you know three to eight months lets say. In this time frame right now, if your competitors haven’t updated their ad copy to the new expanded text ads, which there is an extremely high likelihood that they haven’t done it yet. If they haven’t done it yet and your ads are 50% bigger than every other competitors ads, I know that they talk… I talked with one of our senior Google reps about this.

In the tests that they did of showing the old ads against the new ads, you can see… Actually I’ll jump down on this third bullet point here, it says that their internal studies have shown up to 12% increasing click to rate with the new ads. Now that 12% is comparing the new ad to the old ad, so once everyone’s updated that 12% is going to be significantly higher than what it’ll actually be. The truth is is that the new ads are going to have a higher click to rate, so as an advertiser why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that? Even once everybody, everything’s equal and everyone’s running with the expanded text ads, it still pushes the organics further down the page. If you are bidding on keywords where maybe you’re the only person that shows up under paid ads or maybe there’s you know, another one person or two people showing up. It still pushes those organic rankings down further, makes your ad bigger, makes it more likely to click on. You can see the second bullet point on this, the subscript bullet point on this.

This first bullet point says bigger ad equals higher CTR. Yeah, so that’s all pretty straightforward. One of the things that I like about it is the third bullet point here says more opportunities for creating… For creative ad writing. I have an example here of asking and answering questions within ads, which is something that I’ve really liked to do. I found that to be pretty effective for certain products and services for clients. What I mean by that is if you’re… Lets say you’re promoting like a summer apparel sale or something like that. You could propose a question like you know, getting ready for summer? Lets say you sell like school supplies for kids you could say like you know, late on getting kid back to school stuff or something. You know some kind of question like that. I’m just coming up with examples off the top of my head so they may not be the greatest. You get what I’m saying.

Then in the following description line you can sort of answer that question so that way if you know that most of your customers kind of go through the same process of oh I need this, so I need to go do that. You can do that in a question answer sort of form and having up to 50% more ad copy just gives you so much more room to be writing those because you used to have to squeeze that in with the old formatting, which is pretty tight. Yeah.

Another advantage here they’re already optimized for mobile. They actually came out with these because of mobile. They work on both mobile and desktop and they found that having bigger headlines increases the click to rate on mobile significantly, which is why now instead of only having one headline, there’s two headlines like this where headline one and headline two. Both of those actually show up in the ad itself. Yeah it’s pretty cool. Bigger headlines, again it’s more of a mobile thing, but you know users are kind of transitioning more from desktop to mobile devices. These are definitely… If you are targeting mostly mobile users or if you’re mobile first on whatever you’re trying to sell you definitely want to get on this as soon as possible. Yeah and we already went over the third note here, so I wanted to show you what the formatting of the old ones versus the new ones look like.

Here’s a blown up version of both of them. You can see the old formatting on top here. We only get one headline. That headline is 25 characters long. With the new formatting, we actually get two headlines and both of those headlines are 30 characters long. That means that the old one had 25 characters and the new one has 60 characters combined. That’s a pretty big increase. It gives us a lot more room to be writing in the headlines. Some people have like really long brand names or you know whatever. Just their keyword terminology can use long words like communication is a really long word to try and squeeze into a headline. This gives you more breathing room to be able to do that.

The description lines… It actually merged the description line into one description line and you still get more characters out of it. With the old formatting we got two description lines, so you had to break it up between the top line and the bottom line. Now there’s only one description line. This is something that you’ll use to… Actually Bing does it this way where they have one description line where I think the character limits like 72 or something like that. Now with Google they’re kind of doing what Bing does. We’re just keeping it simple with only one line. Makes it a little simpler because sometimes you’re writing your first sentence and you have a long word that you know trails past the 35 character limitation. Now we don’t really have to worry about that. We can just write it all in one sentence and on top of that we also get ten more characters. Yeah it’s a… The new formatting is strictly better in terms of both the headlines and the description lines.

The way they did the display URL… The display URL is also strictly better with the new formatting than the old formatting. With the old formatting you had to have… You only got 35 characters and your website had to fit within those 35 characters. Normally with a display URL the point of these is to be able to make your website look like it’s something that it’s not. Lets like… Lets pretend that we own a website called www.shoes.com and we sell shoes online. Well we probably sell a bunch of different kinds of shoes, so lets say like high heels is one of our departments. What we can do is if we… If like leather high heels… It’s a great example. If leather high heels is a category where we make a lot of sales in, what we can do with our display URL is we can make it look like it says www.shoes.com/leather/highheels.

Putting those keywords within the display URL has proven to give higher click to rates, which is one of the reasons why we, in terms of best practices for writing ad copy, will always say to make sure that you’re using the keywords that are being triggered within your ad group, also in your ad copy. You also want those keywords to show up on your landing page. This is kind of the same… It’s the exact same strategy, but they’re doing it in the display URL. One of the problems that always frustrated me with the old formatting is since we only get 35 characters, sometimes just to the name of the website would be more than 35 characters if people had a really long website name. You wouldn’t really get much room with certain people to be able to write anything at all. Yeah so if you’re www.nameofyourwebsite.com was lets pretend like that… That alone was 27 characters, that means that you only get you know, however many more characters until you hit that 35 character limit to write. It doesn’t… A lot of times it can’t give… It doesn’t give you a lot of room.

Now with the new formatting the way that it works is it just automatically inserts whatever your domain is automatically. That doesn’t count towards the character count. That means that… Well I’ll just go over… What they did is they broke it up into two things called paths. They have path one and path two. It’ll automatically insert the domain in the beginning and then you can do a backslash path one and then a backslash path two. Like in the shoes example, path one would be leather and path two would be high heels. The website will show up as www.shoes.com/leather/highheels. Now that’s cool because it… The length of our domain doesn’t hinder us from being able to write more or less, we just get those two 15 character slots automatically. Even though it looks like that the old display URL gives us 35 characters and the new URL gives us two…. Gives us a total of 30 characters, sounds like the new formatting is less, but is actually more because it already includes the domain. Anyways I think that’s pretty straightforward.

Yeah overall between the headline, the description lines, and the display URL, and every single spot on that ad you can see that we get more ad copy. Which gives us huge advantages over our competitors, especially right now. That you know, they’re still running the old ad copy. If you can get your ads updated then you have a big advantage these next few months. Yeah jump on it.

Next thing I want to go over here. I want to show you this in the ad words editor really quick. It’s actually going to look a lot like this, but I just want to make sure you know where to find this in your editor. You can also do this in the browser itself. I recommend doing all changes within the editor. Here you have your editor.

The first thing that you need to do is you need to update this and I put a link in the blog that… At the beginning of a link to the new ad words editor, the new updated version of it. Go ahead and make sure that you’re updated and click on whatever campaign it is that you want to create an ad for. Lets do this one here and if we go under ads it’ll show up right… Originally there was only one that said text ad here. Now there’s another 1 that says expanded text ad. Now if we create a new text ad right here you can see the formatting that you saw… Go ahead and expand this a little bit. The formatting that we saw before. The 25 character headline, so it’s 25, 35, 35, 35 with the expanded text ads here it’s the exact same process. It’s really, really, really easy. You just hit plus ad expanded text ad here and then again you can see that formatting with the 30 character, 30 character, 80 character, and then the double 15’s on the display URL here.

Yeah this is really straightforward. I don’t really have to explain it too much, but you know if we’re… Buy leather shoes online. If we’re you know, get great deals this summer. Look hotter than all your friends. Shop online today. Oh you know it… There’s just so much room to write. That was only 55 characters and I feel like I’ve wrote like multiple sentences there. Then you know we can do the same thing with the path here. Where we do path one as like leather and then high heels and so that way when you see the ad, you can see the double headline how buy the… Buy leather shoes online. Get great deals this summer. The headlines much, much bigger than it would’ve been being the only the 25 characters like this ad here that you see. Then we still get more ad copy in the description line and then we get the path one and path two to show the leather and high heels. When people see that in their head, when they look up their keyword and they see the keywords that they put into their search create… They see that in the ad and bolded and highlighted within the ad itself. The likelihood that they’re going to click on that and that you get higher quality scores is going to be significantly better.

That’s pretty much all I had for today. I hope you guys enjoyed this video. I recommend that you get the expanded text ads updated for your company as soon as possible. I will plan on seeing you guys in my next video blog. Thanks for watching.

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