Goodbye Standard Text Ads, Hello Expanded Text Ads!

by Mike Tyler | November 1, 2016

Are your ads fully switched from standard to expanded text ads? January 2017 is the ETA for your ETA (Expanded Text Ads); this update presents an opportunity to dominate your business results with bigger and better ads.

Expanded Text Ads are the way of the future – period. They’re bigger. They’re better. They give you more of an opportunity to convince viewers to click-through and convert!

Bringing us to an important point: as of January 2017, AdWords will no longer support the creation or editing of standard text ads anyway!

Bringing us to an important question: are you prepared?

Whether you’ve already revamped your text ads or have yet to do so, here’s your go to guide for maximizing success with your Expanded Text Ads.

Photo by Crew on Unsplash

The Big Differences Between Expanded vs. Standard Ads

You’ve now an additional 45 characters to work with, to get the point of your product/service across, the unique value proposition, etc. It’s fuel for you to build a compelling case towards consumers clicking through on an ad.

As of January, all standard text ads will be retired; currently, we live in a paradoxical world where standard text ads and expanded text ads co-exist on Google, which means two things:

  1. Now’s your chance to capitalize on ETA’s while the rest of the competition is behind.
  2. It’s a unique time to learn anything and everything about ETA’s before everyone hits the market with them.

There are 3 obvious differences between STA and ETA:

  • Headlines 1 + 2
  • Descriptions
  • Display URL

ETA are especially important for mobile advertising, considering the screen size compared to a desktop; with less surface area to display images and wording, it needs to count! Having two headline spaces ensures all your valuable text gets read, as well as having extra characters for the description for added value to end users.

More characters for the Display URL also allow you to direct users to specific landing pages with longer hyperlinks, as opposed to just a homepage! This way, you can help bump up conversions by directing ad viewers to pages where they can engage with services/products.

How To Take Advantage Of Your ETA

You have the opportunity to optimize your clicks and conversions at no extra cost, so why wouldn’t you?

Many of us have the 25-35-35 character counts engrained in our minds from the standard text ads, but soon they’ll be expanded into the 30-80 split, with one consolidated description line.

There are 3 main things you can do to improve your ETA game, right now, are as such:

Take advantage of everyone NOT taking advantage of ETAs

Look – not everyone’s as smart as you (or as good looking); while you’re chipping away at every nook and cranny of your ad campaigns to improve your CTR/conversions, most people are just sticking with the same standard ads, the same approach, and the same results–period.

Truthfully, think about leaving your top performing ads alone, and letting them do their thing in the interim, before ETAs are the new standard. Why? Because you can focus on improving the ads that weren’t performing as well with extended copy options.

As always, test, test, TEST!

Now with even MORE characters available for witty and uber-compelling copy on your ad, you have even MORE of a reason to test variations of your ETAs.

A/B testing is as important–if not more–for ETAs than it was for standard text ads, considering the number of variations that are now possible with headlines, descriptions, and the display URL.

Additionally, ETAs are a chance to replicate the strategies that have worked in your previous standard text ads. Power words like “Free”, “Exclusive,” and “__% off” work for previous display ads? Include em’ in the new ones. If users are searching for certain terms, give them just that!

DON’T forget to optimize your ad extensions!

These are still text ads, and as such you can optimize their success to the T with ad extensions! If you need a quick refresher on how awesome ad extensions are, click here for the full guide.

Otherwise – here are some examples of ad extensions in action:

Sitelink Extensuions

Sitelinks are the most general of ad extension types, but the most effective! These act as extensions to direct pages in your website.

The unique advantage comes to brands and companies that have top-sellers, and go-to-products/services customers are buying; if there’s a single service or product that people are looking for, then sitelink extensions can help to direct them to that page for higher conversions.

Additionally, you can highlight specific pages or products that you’re looking to put in front of consumer eyes.

Callout Extensions

Need a little additional text on the bottom of your ad, to seal the deal?

Any seasoned copywriter knows that even as little as two words can completely influence someone’s decision to engage with your brand.

Callout extensions add little snippets of text that can give just the push your PPC ad needs to have potential customers click-through. Phrases like “No Booking Fees” and “Lowest Price Guaranteed” help reassure customers that they’re making the right decision with your product or service offered.

For more resources on ad extensions, check out our guide here!


What Have We Learned?

Boom. 3 easy ways to make sure your ETA efforts are up to speed, and garnering the conversions they deserve. Stay tuned for more information on Extended Text Ads as developments occur! Till’ then, mark your calendars for January 2017. 


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