Using Google AdWords’ new expanded text ads

Date: Monday, 15th Aug 2016 | Category: Consultancy, eMarketing, Internet Services

What do the changes to Google text ads mean for you?

Google recently announced “expanded text ads” – essentially, doubling the size of AdWords text ads. Why? It’s the latest in a string of changes to the search results page that emphasises ads over non-paid search results, which include:

  • doing away with the right hand side ads (supposedly to homogenise the mobile and desktop visual experience)
  • adding “ad extensions” such as Call Outs (=non-linked text to highlight benefits)
  • and telephone numbers, locations and site links (=linked text to other pages on your website)

Here’s our guide to what you can – and should – be doing:

Expanded Headlines

  • was 1 x 25 character line
  • now 2 x 30 character lines

You now have more opportunity to match your headline to a search query – long proven as a way of maximising click-through and conversion.

And the second headline allows you to highlight a killer benefit or USP as a strong call to action

  • “15% Off In August”
  • “Free Delivery This Week”

It also means no more ambiguity with the first line of the old description, which became the second headline, if you managed to get a full stop in at the end and the ad was running in the right place.

Longer Descriptions

  • was 2 x 35 character line
  • now 1 x 80 character lines

Instead of trying to force your features and benefits into two short, unnatural lines, you can now have a more narrative – and human – line of copy that gives a more compelling reason for a user to click on the advert

Simplified Display URL

  • was a field for your Display URL (the url on the advert) and a Final URL (where the ad actually linked to)
  • now a field for where the ad links to
  • and you can choose up to two paths of 15 characters

The Display URL is now automatically populated from the link you put in – no issues with the ad being disapproved due to a mismatch any more.

So you can use the two path options to give users a clear idea of where they’ll be landing on your page – and clearly show them what other products or services you offer, eg

example.com/garden-furniture/tables/ shows they’re going to a specific garden tables page, and that you probably sell other types of garden furniture too.

With AdWords ads now 140% larger than they used to be, and with more opportunity to communicate features, benefits and a strong call to action, Google’s expanded text ads are something to be used straight away.

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