Last Tuesday was a big day for AdWords. During our annual Google Performance Summit Keynote, we introduced a wide range of exciting new stuff. What got me most excited was expanded text ads. I think it’s one of the most significant updates to AdWords since the invention of Quality Score.
To recap, we’re currently testing ads that have two 30-character headlines and one 80-character description line. These test ads also contain two customizable 15-character path fields that will be appended to your Display URLs automatically. Compared to your existing ads, it’s 45 extra characters in text, plus an additional URL path field.
To someone unfamiliar with PPC, 35 characters in a headline and 10 characters of description text are basically nothing. To us in the industry, though, those 45 characters are everything. They’re freeing. They’re Andy Dufresne in the rain at the end of The Shawshank Redemption. More characters = better messaging; more chances to highlight why your business is the best; an extra clickable headline. The good news goes on and on.
Earlier this year, we removed ads from the right-hand rail of results. That was to improve the search experience and make it consistent across devices. That newly-established consistency meant that ads no longer needed strict character limits to fit in that right rail, which paved the way for expanded text ads. It allowed us to rethink and rebuild for mobile-first. In fact, expanded text ads are designed to fit beautifully on the screens of the most popular mobile devices.
I should probably mention that this should be a big boon to performance. Based on early testing, some advertisers reported increases in click-through rates of up to 20 percent compared to current text ads.
Now, exactly how big a boon to performance this will end up being is still up in the air. Our systems are still learning about expanded text ads, so metrics like percent served and CTR will continue to change. Be patient when judging results, but take advantage of these new ads as soon as you can.
It’s a brave new world out there, and you can now write about that world with two headlines. So what does this mean for your campaigns?
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