Expanded Text Ads & What It Means For You

Recently Google has been revamping the way they serve ads on their search engine.  We have seen many improvements and changes to the way ads are being shown to the public, including changing the amount of ads on the search results pages as well as removing the sidebar ads altogether.  Google has been busy and now they are rolling out their biggest change to date, Expanded Text Ads.

With the introduction of Expanded Text Ads, as well as Multiple Device Bidding AND Responsive Display Ads for native, we are seeing Google make big moves in the digital marketing space.  So the question to be asked is, how will this affect your digital marketing campaigns and your AdWords account specifically?

Expanded Text Ads

With the introduction of Expanded Text Ads, agencies are going to have their hands full rewriting the majority of text ads, messaging and angles, given the fact that there will now be more room and space to work with.  The standard text ads of yonder will slowly be phased out, however, Google has not yet given us a timeline for the removal of standard text ads.  All we know is that as of Oct. 26th 2016 you will no longer be able to create, edit or upload the relic of standard text ads.

So you may be asking yourself, what are Expanded Text Ads anyway?

Google is on a mission to make the web a better place and they are looking to combine the experience for users on Desktop, Tablets, and more importantly the smartphone user experience.  The path these days of the average internet user begins on one device and finishes on another quite often.  Expanded Text Ads looks to bridge the gap by providing a universal experience across all device types.

  • Expanded Text Ads are sporting two headlines instead of one, each with up to 30 characters.  This is a huge change from the old standard text ads and will allow advertisers much more leeway and flexibility with their ad copy and angles.
  • Expanded Text Ads will have only one single description line, of up to 80 characters.  This is also giving a bit more space to work with and should allow for better marketing copy and messaging from within the ad space.
  • The Display URL will now be based on your Final URL domain and Google will give you the option of combining it with up to two path fields.


By nature the Expanded Text Ads are going to be specifically optimized for mobile, so gone are the days of selecting the mobile device setting when developing the ads.  The ads will already be optimized and this is the goal of Google, to ensure that as the internet matures towards smartphones, they stay ahead of the curve.


So what does all this mean for advertisers and agencies alike?

The introduction of more ad text space for developing and crafting unique creative angles will allow advertisers more flexibility with their creative and descriptive ad copy, and hopefully increased click-through rates for that compelling messaging.  It should allow advertisers more fluidity with their ad copy and improvements to Quality Score and CTR’s alike.  Gone are the days of squeezing in short forms and acronyms just to fit your message into the ad copy restrictions.  Given the 50% increase in ad messaging space we should see a lot more creativity from advertisers and agencies.

The advertisers that will benefit the most from this update will take full advantage of the extra space and will use that to their benefit when developing creatives and angles for their messaging.  Generally speaking, the more descriptive and detailed your ad is, the higher your CTR will be as well as the Quality Score and relevancy of your copy.

With two headlines instead of one advertisers should look to include not only angles and compelling messaging, but also incentives and discounts as well as direct calls to action within the headline.

As with anything in online marketing it will take testing and optimizing to the find the sweet spots and get the most out of your marketing dollars.  Good practice for agencies and advertisers will be to run the Expanded Text Ads alongside the legacy standard text ads to split test the results and take the positives from each to find the ideal winning combination.

So get out there and dive right into the new Expanded Text Ads and see how your advertising on Google can be optimized, especially for those on mobile devices.

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