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Google AdWords Expanded Text Ads: Best Practices For The New Format


Expanded Text Ads (ETAs), announced in July of 2016, are considered by most industry observers to be the biggest change to Google Adwords in 16 years.

Google’s new ETAs provide for an increase of 50 percent more ad space. Plus, ETAs pack in a few other exciting features as well.

Numerous strategies and best practices have been developed over the years for the standard text ad format, but unfortunately, most of these don’t translate to expanded text ads. And, businesses are now having to scramble to update their ads before Google stops supporting the old format in January.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to best handle expanded text ads, let’s get to know them a bit better.

Dissecting the Expanded Text Ad
Below is a comparison between the expanded text ad format and the standard text ad format.

Social media agency
Source: Google

The components of the expanded text ad are as follows: Two Headlines (Shown in lavender in the left side of the image above)

As opposed to standard text ads, ETAs have two headlines — a main headline and a secondary headline. Each headline can use up to 30 characters, as compared to the prior format of one headline with 25 characters.

Display URL and Path Fields (Shown in Green):
When creating ETAs, the final URL has to be entered first (above the headlines) and the display URL is created automatically based on that. There are two optional path fields available to extend the display URL by up to 15 characters each.

Description (Shown in Gray):
ETAs have one long description field with a maximum length of 80 characters. This compares to two fields of 35 characters each with standard text ads.

Now that we’ve gone over the guts of what makes ETAs, let’s get started on some best practices in order to take full advantage of them.

1) Use Keywords and Convincing Copy in Your Headlines

2) Utilize the Description to Differentiate Your Product or Service

3) Make the Best of the New Display URL

4) Mobile Ad Guidelines

5) A/B Test Your New and Old Format Ads

6) Increasing Quality Score with ETAs

7) Changing Old Ads to the New Format

Source: Hubspot Blog, Author: Andy Beohar
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