The rollout of the biggest change in Google AdWords since its launch 15 years ago has begun.
Expanded text ads are finally here, opening up a whole new world of possibility for AdWords users.
There have been a number of improvements and functionality changes within AdWords over the years but a fundamental change of this size has not been experienced for some time. The implementation of the longer text ads feature is easily one of the biggest changes in AdWords the industry has seen since about 2011.
What has changed?
Previously you had one ad header and two description lines. You could expand your headline with the use of a full stop. Your headline could only be 25 characters and your two description lines were 35 characters.
If you check your AdWords accounts now and try to create a new text ad you will discover the ability to create an expanded text ad, or ETA as they are being called, instead. You can now have two 30 character headlines and one 80 character description line.
This gives you a lot more words to play with and it offers so many possibilities. More characters means a greater chance to articulate yourself in your ad, tell your target audience more and take up more visual space in search. It will also help you stand out more from competitors as you can include more description about your product or services.
Display and final urls in your text ad have also changed with AdWords now automatically extracting domains from the final url for accuracy.
These changes come in response to an increasingly mobile orientated world where users want as much information as possible at their finger tips, on the go. The changes come as an interesting development following the removal of right hand sidebar ads back in February.
How will this affect your PPC campaigns?
Google AdWords is encouraging everyone running PPC campaigns to experiment with the new ad format. Apparently in the early testing stages before the roll out some advertisers were reporting increased CTRs of up to 20% compared to the old standard ads, so this could be a big opportunity for advertisers.
Of course this means a little extra work but well worth it as from October 26th standard length text ads will no longer be accepted by AdWords.
Don’t panic though. Fortunately a date has not yet been set for when standard text ads will no longer run, but we all know Google, so take advantage of the time you have and run some A/B testing to get the right effect.
Another advantage is less need to separate your mobile and desktop campaigns. In fact AdWords no longer advises doing this, which will be a big time saver. These new ads are responsive so don’t bother duplicating and mobile optimising.
The new ETAs are just one of several new features. Back at the May Google summit the most exciting highlights of the upcoming changes were announced. These included:
Extended Text Ads – now live
Separate device bidding – Base bid adjustments will be available for mobile, tablet and desktop (this feature was lost with enhanced campaigns but is returning). This rollout will take a few months.
Responsive Display Ads for native inventory – These will be able to be auto generated from a headline, description, image and url and will be available on the GDN and native ad inventory too. This feature is being rolled out now and should soon show up as an option in your accounts.
What else can you look forward to?
Promoted pins in Google maps and local search ads – Google has been experimenting with several new local ad formats. Have you spotted a purple promoted pin yet or increased information on Google Business Pages brought in by maps, such as offer and local inventory?
Significant improvements to the AdWords dashboard – The AdWords dashboard is getting a well deserved facelift, which should come as welcome relief to advertisers. Although we all worry about having to learn something new and getting used to a new display the changes could be a big improvement. Over the years AdWords has added new features but not really redesigned the basic structure of the AdWords dashboard. The result is cluttered space with many features hard to find.
Overviews in a graphical form will be available in Campaign, Adgroup and Ad level, a bit like your home screen dashboard. You will quickly be able to pick out top performing ads and view performance across device with clicks and conversions highlighted.
Instead of many features being lost in settings you will find them brought in under the left sidebar navigation e.g. devices and site links. Only the relevant navigation you are currently viewing will be surfaced to avoid confusion. It is hoped the new design will be complete and fully rolled out by the end of 2017.
If you are considering running an AdWords campaign or would like advice on the changes, please get in touch with us on 01244 310140.