In 2015, Google's tools for advertisement and search contributed to $165 billion worth of economic activity across the United States, so it's easy to see why Google Adwords remains the platform of choice for businesses and organizations looking to capitalize on the advertising possibilities of the internet.
As a platform, Adwords has evolved over time, by adding new features, removing old ones, and working towards the development, and maintenance of value for all users. The latest innovation to Google Adwords - and the most extensive change since it first launched - is Google's new Expanded Text Ads.
These expanded text ads provide an opportunity for marketers to include more characters for the first time since the Adwords launch. Designed to refine the experience for a mobile-oriented world, the new options provides more space for companies to showcase information about services, and products within their ads. From longer description lines, to more prominent headlines, and clearer display URLs, expanded text ads are changing the face of the Google SERP.
What Makes Expanded Text Ads Different?
Statistics show that consumers have adopted mobile as their primary platform for accessing the internet. This means that if businesses want to keep up with their market, they also need to approach advertising from a mobile-friendly perspective. The new expanded text ads come as a natural progression after the elimination of right-hand ads back in February, with Google fighting to stay ahead of, and even shape, the coming trends. In the next couple of years, more updates focused on mobile-centric performance will emerge as market attention shifts wholly to perfecting mobile monetization.
The format of the expanded text ads maximizes the performance of ads on mobile and desktop search results, while improving user experience for consumers. Because the additional space allows more ad copy, consumers benefit from a greater understanding of the link they're about to click on.
When compared to the older Adwords composition, the major changes include:
A display URL that's automatically extracted from the destination URL: PPC managers can set up two path fields such as "marketing", and "content": e.g.: www.website.com/marketing/content
A longer description line: Instead of two 35-character description lines to help you explain your product or service, there is one 80-character line.
Longer, more prominent headlines: Rather than a single 25-character headline, there are now two 30-character headline spaces. That's a 240% increase on the traditional format.
The changes are huge, as they represent a fundamental shift away from the traditional Adwords format that has been in place for more than a decade. As a result, in order to remain current, every Adwords user will need to rewrite their content to be expanded text ad compatible.
The Benefits of Expanded Text Ads
Google rolled out the changes to the existing text advertisement formats as a way of helping ads to have a better impact across every screen - particularly mobile. The additional space maximizes ad presence on mobile search results. In fact, according to early testing, the new ads lead to a 20% increase in click through rates when compared to the older text ads.
The new structure provides:
Extra real-estate, with more prominent headlines to showcase products and services effectively.
More information, so that consumers make informed decisions about which links they click on for a satisfying online experience.
The ability for marketers to adjust their messaging, and format ads to connect successfully with their target audience.
A capacity for increased click-through-rate, and the ability to showcase and test CTAs and PODs.
A consistent feel and look across devices.
With the new expanded text ads, PPC managers have the opportunity to create more enticing ad copy, design messages to better answer consumer searches and even conduct more effective testing. Needless to say, the new format should be welcome to businesses and consumers alike.
How to Use Expanded Text Ads
If you're running a lot of ad campaigns, you've got a lot of creative refreshment to catch up with if you want to maximize on the latest AdWords opportunity. Fortunately, adjusting creative strategies for expanded text ads shouldn't be too difficult.
In order to use expanded text ads, companies need to create a new set of ads using the new template and choose high-traffic groups from their campaigns where they can text the key messages and extended headlines they develop.
The aim with new expanded test ads is to raise your quality score as high as possible in order to earn the top spot on search engine results pages. This means devoting time and resources to:
Using keyword research and negative keywords appropriately: Companies will need to identify irrelevant search terms, and discover long-tail opportunities that can contribute to additional traffic.
Refining advertisement and description text: The expanded text ads give companies plenty of opportunity to expand their creative wings when it comes to catching the attention of prospective customers. This means that the additional space should act as a beacon where advertisers can offer value, relevance, and insight to their target market.
Organizing, and segmenting keywords: Keywords can be adjusted for alternate campaigns in order to create better results.
Optimizing landing pages: Landing pages should provide a consistently high-quality experience for consumers as they move through the sales funnel.
Expand Your Advertising Potential
PPC Managers and marketers need to start making changes immediately if they want to keep up with the latest AdWords development. The expanded text ad format will be essential to maintaining high rankings for your ads in the SERPs, which means that companies need to start thinking of engaging, eye-catching ways to make every extra character count.
Like always, condensing sales messaging to fit the Adwords format will be something of an art form. However, the opportunity to make strategic, tactical use of the additional space should have companies excited by the possibility of accessing a new way to make a persuasive case for their services and goods.