One of Google’s biggest summer announcements was the introduction of Expanded Text Ads (ETAs). The news became bigger still when they rolled out in August – nearly one month ahead of schedule.
There was a sigh of relief at the early release too, because Google set an October 26 cut-off point, after which you would no longer be able to create standard text ads. The early release of ETAs meant advertisers had some extra time to get acquainted with Expanded Text Ads before they became the new norm.
And there’s more good news, because Google has now extended that October 26 deadline until January next year.
More time to master Expanded Text Ads
The new cut-off point for standard text ads is January 31st, 2017. After that you’ll no longer be able to edit standard text ads or create new ones. You can read the full announcement from Google here, which explains the following:
“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 — you’ll only be able to create and edit text ads using the expanded text ads format. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve alongside expanded text ads.”
First of all this gives you more time to get used to the new format but it also gives you some breathing space for the holiday season. If Google had stuck to its October 26 deadline, you would be forced to adopt ETAs or lose the freedom to edit your existing standard text ads.
The change means you can now focus on creating the best ads possible throughout the holiday period. Don’t take this as an excuse to wait until January to master Expanded Text Ads, though. Use the added time to test your ETAs so you’re better prepared when standard text ads are no longer available. Here are some extra tips from the Google announcement on creating Expanded Text Ads:
- Test multiple versions of your expanded text ads. Try different approaches with the new space your ads now have. Shoot for 3-5 new ads per ad group. Advertisers who test multiple creatives see better performance.
- Focus your testing on headlines. Headlines are the most important parts of your ads, and you now have an extra line to experiment with.
- Replicate what works in standard text ads in your expanded text ads. For example, if you mention pricing or use keyword insertion in a successful standard text ad, carry those over to expanded text ads.
- Consider shorter headlines on brand terms. Sometimes “Your Company’s Name – Official Site” might be all you need. You aren’t required to use all of your available characters. Test shorter ad copy, especially on terms where someone might not need a lot of additional info.
- Leave your standard text ads running until the new versions are consistently outperforming them. An expanded text ad isn’t guaranteed to be a winner simply because you have more characters. Leave your top performing ads running, regardless of their length.
- Review your pre-existing ads for previous success with longer headlines. Consider promoting description line 1 in a standard text ad to you new headline 2, especially if that ad performed well in the past.
And be sure to get in touch with us if you need any more help with making the most of Expanded Text Ads or any new AdWords features.