The changes to Google’s search results have accelerated since Mobilegeddon. As apocalyptic as the update sounds, it’s important to remember that Google’s goal is mobile friendliness. Dramatics aside, Google’s Mobilegeddon Update and favorable ranking of accelerated mobile pages prove that “mobile is still a big deal for Google,” and this doesn’t seem like it’s going to change.
In fact, supporters of Google recently participated in a secret roll-out of expanded text ads, a mobile friendly change to PPC. Advertisers have been awaiting an inevitable AdWords update since the 2016 Google Summit in May, and (surprise!) here it is.
What Are Expanded Text Ads?
Expanded text ads are, of course, expanded versions of standard text pay-per-click ads, meaning they allow for more characters in the headline(s) and description. The new text ad format features two headlines with 30 characters each and one description line with 80 characters. They are designed to increase ad click space on large smartphone screens.
The New Standard
Google eventually intends to do away with standard text ads altogether. Beginning on October 26, you will no longer be able to edit or create new standard text ads. However, your standard ads will still run alongside expanded ads, for now. There’s a catch, though. Google already seems to be prioritizing expanded text ads. So, as time consuming as the task may seem, you need to expand your text ads.
Some Positives and Negatives
Okay, so you may be thinking, “It’s taken me years to develop a ‘good’ standard text ad for this campaign. What do I do now?”
The positive side is: You now have more characters and can be more creative. Tell a new narrative for your campaign. Don’t just add a second headline and call it a day.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to completely ditch your standard ad. Run it alongside your expanded ad and experiment with A/B testing while you can. As I mentioned before, Google is prioritizing expanded text ads. Simply adding an extended ad to your campaign could increase your ranking before others hop on the train.
The negative side is: Google is still playing around with formatting. Your second headline may appear in one of three different ways:
- Both headlines can appear on the same line
- The first and second headlines may appear on separate lines
- The second headline may be truncated or shortened by ellipsis
This may be frustrating if you have important info in your second headline. So, for now, it may be best to reserve the most important info for headline one and the description.
A Final Thought
AdWords is an evolving art. Before, we asked, “What can I say with less?” Now, we have to ask ourselves, “What can I say with more?” Only time will tell where expanded text ads will go from here. For now, though, it pays to get on board.