First, Twitter increased its character limit from 140 to 280 characters, and businesses rejoiced. Now, Google has followed suit by expanding the text ads on its pay-per-click advertising platform AdWords, and businesses are celebrating again. Well, some of them are. Before we look at what is separating the delighted from the dejected, let’s take a step back and focus on what’s new and why it matters.

Google’s New Expanded Text Ads

More Precious Virtual Real Estate

In the virtual world, the digital landscape populated by Google AdWords is valuable. Especially for businesses that solely rely on high quality, targeted leads from the Internet. Indeed, don’t underestimate the potency of those little ads that dot the header, footer, and margins of a Google search results page. Those ads drive more than $100 million a day to Google’s coffers, and they generate profitable customers for businesses that utilize Google AdWords best practices.

Yet until very recently, there was a common — and valid — complaint from even the most successful AdWords advertisers: there simply wasn’t enough room to create an ad that was both compelling and informative. Fortunately, Google listened and agreed with that feedback, because they introduced new expanded text ads.

What’s Changing?

There are eight elements that comprise an AdWords ad, and Google has loosened the reigns on four of them:

  • The number of headlines shown has increased from 2 to 3
  • The number of descriptions shown has increased from 1 to 2
  • The description length has increased from 80 to 90 characters
  • The total maximum length has increased from 170 to 300

For reference, the elements that are staying the same — at least for now — include:

  • Headline length (30 characters)
  • Domain (taken from an ad’s final URL)
  • Display URL path field length (20 characters)
  • Number of display path fields shown (2)

Better Performance

Google has analyzed performance across thousands of live search ad campaigns, and found that marketing agencies and advertisers who take full advantage of this new enhanced AdWords real estate generate on average 15% more clicks vs. the previous format. On a pay-per-click landscape where even a 5% increase is a major improvement, the possibility of boosting traffic by 15% — and without spending a penny more — is simply too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Best AdWords Practices: How Our Digital Marketing Agency Leverages Expanded Text Ads

If your business is currently running AdWords search ad campaigns or has been outsourcing to an external internet marketing company — or if you plan on launching campaigns in the future — here are 10 Google AdWords best practices on how to leverage expanded text ads:

  1. Don’t take a wait-and-see approach. Get out in front and lead the way — or risk falling behind and being forced to play catch-up.
  1. Check out your competitors to see what they’re doing (and how they’re doing it). As they say in the investment world, follow the smart money.
  1. Don’t immediately pause or remove your current ads. Instead, run your best as simultaneously with your new, larger ads. Eventually, you can migrate everything to the larger version.
  1. Write brand new ads to take advantage of the larger space. Don’t just increase the size of your old ads. You might overlook critical opportunities.
  1. You may be using a 30-inch monitor to design and optimize your campaigns, but many of your target customers may be using small smartphone screens. Keep this in mind when visualizing and creating your campaign.
  1. Although the new expanded ads support three headlines, the first is still the most important. Make it your best!
  1. Insert your most important and best performing keywords in your path fields and your display URL — this can increase your AdWords quality score, which improves placement and lowers your cost-per-click.
  1. While you’re reviewing your ads and creating new ones, pay attention to your ad extensions and ensure that they’re optimized. Remember: Google won’t run an extension if it repeats information in the ad copy itself.
  1. Stay on the optimization train and give your landing pages a fresh look. There’s a good chance that you’ll need to adjust existing landing pages and write new ones to support your enhanced ads — especially since you have a third headline to work with now.
  2. Put all your ads to the test by running A/B splits and seeing what works, when, how, and why. Remember that the numbers usually only tell part of the story. You need to dive deeper and understand what your target market wants and expects, and how you can position your ads to be in the right place at the right time.

Ready To Launch Your New Search Ad Campaign To Boost Your Business? Contact The Experts At Measure Marketing Results Inc.

Take your Google AdWords search ad campaigns to the next level by partnering with a digital marketing company that has the insight, knowledge, and experience you need to succeed. Contact Measure Marketing and discover how to leverage expanded text ads to generate more customers, increase online leads, grow sales, and succeed! Book a complimentary consultation today and learn how we can get your business results you can measure.

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