Few months ago, Google had introduced expanded text ads, claiming that it would improve performance of ads on mobile devices. The standard format that AdWords has followed since its induction is of 25/35/35 characters within its text ad. The expanded text ad required all advertisers to transition completely into the new and longer text ad (ETA) format on or before the 26th of October this year. However, Google realised soon enough that advertisers still need to “learn” how to use the new feature effectively and hence has extended the deadline until 31st January 2017.
The reason for the extension is mainly because advertisers were (and are still) unfamiliar with the new ad format, and hence the quality of ads was compromised in many cases. The added space for text ads did not result in the intended result for improved quality; on the contrary, advertisers were unable to use the extra headline to provide added and relevant information to their customers.
Google reports that, “To make sure you have ample time to test and iterate your expanded text ads for the holidays, we are giving advertisers more time to upgrade your creatives. You now have until January 31, 2017, to make the transition to expanded text ads (instead of the original date of October 26, 2016). This means starting on January 31, 2017, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads.”
The whole idea behind the extra three months is to enable advertisers to test creative new expanded text ads and instill best practices for extended text ads within organizations.
Few suggestions by Google AdWords to take advantage of ETAs
- Experiment with different approaches for the new space in ads, and create & test with 3-5 new ads per ad group.
- Experiment with headlines as they draw most attention. Use shorter headlines on brand terms.
- Adapt into the new format, whatever worked well with STAs.
- Leave STAs running until the new versions are consistently outperforming them.
- Use “description line 1” from STA as “Headline 2” for ETA if it has been effective in the past.
Things to Avoid with ETAs
- Avoid using the same ETA in the different new ad groups you create to test.
- Avoid inserting a second headline without making appropriate and relevant changes with the rest of the ad content.
- Avoid creating ads that are not relevant to the search query.
- Avoid leaving out specific benefits or attributes of the product for which the ad is being created; further, test the benefits separately to see what works in the new format.
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