Google’s New Expanded Text Ads
At their Performance Summit this May, Google announced what they are calling the “biggest update to ad creative since the introduction of AdWords more than 15 years ago.” With mobile usage rates steadily on the rise, Google has transformed standard text ads with the, now live (as of July 26, 2016), Expanded Text Ads. This new update is designed to cater to the multi-screen world we live and increase efficiency and effectiveness across all devices.
What’s Been Updated
One thing that has remained constant in Adwords over the past 15 years is the 25-35-35 character rule in text ads. But now, Google has redesigned Adwords with new character limits that provide more space for users to utilize in text ads.
The new character count for Expanded Text Ads is 30-30-80, and consists of:
- two headlines, each with 30 characters of text; and
- one long description line of up to 80 characters
Another updated feature that gets less attention is the two optional 15-character path fields for the display URL. Ads will also display the same on desktop and mobile, but the text will automatically wrap to fit the size of a user’s device. Essentially, Google’s redesign is aimed to create a consistent experience on both desktop and mobile.
What’s Will Happen to Standard Text Ads?
Starting October 26, 2016, the creating and editing of standard 25-35-35 ads will no longer be supported in Adwords. Users will only be able to create and edit text ads using the expanded text ads format after this date. Until then, both standard and expanded text ads will run alongside one another until the date approaches. After October 26th, any existing standard text ads will continue to run until dismissed.
According to Google, AdWords users are expected to A/B test expanded texts ads for the next few months. This will allow users sufficient time to test standard and expanded ad formats against each other for proper optimization.
New Opportunities with Expanded Text Ads
While it might sound like a hassle to have to rethink copywriting fundamentals, one of the biggest opportunities expanded text ads bring is testing brand new strategies for ad copywriting. With 45 additional characters, Adwords users can place more information in texts ads to drive better performance. Now, it is also possible to make ads sound more natural and conversational.
Like it or not, this change is here and time is already running out. Adwords users that take advantage of this new opportunity will be ahead of the competition when Google requires migration to this new ad format. What’s more, Google even recommends that AdWords users take advantage of expanded text ads as soon as possible, especially with the holiday season right around the corner.