Google Expanded Text Ads, Responsive Ads, and Device Bid Adjustments

Updated Post: Analyzing Early Performance Results of Expanded Text Ads

In May, Google announced what they are calling the biggest update to ad creative since the introduction of AdWords more than 15 years ago. Standard text ads are seeing a substantial transformation with the implementation of the, now live, Google expanded text ads.

With mobile-usage rates steadily on the rise, the new Google expanded text ads are designed with mobile platforms in mind.

Providing more space to utilize than standard text ads, Google expanded text ads are structured to increase efficiency and effectiveness on mobile devices.

What’s Happening to Standard Text Ads?

Starting October 26th, 2016, AdWords will no longer support the creation or editing of standard text ads, which will be completely replaced by the new Google expanded text ads format.

Until then, both ad types will run alongside one another until the date draws nearer. At that point, any existing standard text ads will continue to run until dismissed.

What Are Google Expanded Text Ads?

The new Google expanded text ads are similar to standard text ads in a number of ways, but are highlighted by a few key differences:

  • Two headline fields instead of one – The additional headline field, which now permits up to 30 characters instead of 25, allows you to include additional text in ads. Separated by a hyphen, the headlines will appear next to each other. Depending on the size of a user’s mobile screen, they may wrap around to the second line

 
google expanded text ads

  • The two description lines have been merged into one field – Standard text ads allow for two 35-character description lines. The new Google expanded text ads now support one 80-character description field, giving you more control over your ad’s message

 
google expanded text ads

  • The domain of your display URL is now based on your final URL domain – When creating a new ad, entering the display URL is no longer needed. AdWords will use the domain from your final URL and give you the option of combining it with two “Path” fields. These fields, which are added to the URL after the website’s name, are meant to assist in giving users a better idea of where they’ll be taken to after clicking the ad

 
google expanded text ads

  • Text ads are now better optimized for mobile – When creating or editing a text ad, you will no longer have to select the mobile device setting. Google expanded text ads are already mobile-optimized and provide a preview of the ad in mobile and desktop formats during the creation process

 
With a nearly 50% increase in text space, advertisers now have the ability to highlight products or services more extensively than ever before.

As the holiday season approaches, the introduction of Google expanded text ads should be a welcoming sight for advertisers utilizing the ad format.

Getting the Most Out of Google Expanded Text Ads

The ability to place more information in text ads will give advertisers the ability to drive more qualified clicks to their websites. It’s important optimize and make the most of your content to harvest the most value from Google expanded text ads.

  • Rethink your ad’s messaging – Google expanded text ads give you more room to adjust how your company is presented. With additional real estate to work with, rethink how you can change the perception of your brand in the ad’s display
  • Utilize the increased character limit – Additional text space gives you the ability to say more within a single ad. Use that space to communicate what value your site can provide users if they decide to click through
  • Optimize headlines – The headline is the first part of your ad a user will see. And now, with Google expanded text ads, there are two of them. Take advantage of this and be sure to consider how your headlines are displayed on different devices
  • Use ad extensions – There’s no reason not to. Adding information, such as deep links to your website, below your Google expanded text ad can assist in boosting your ad’s performance

 

Expectations for Google Expanded Text Ads

The new ad type should open up a lot of new opportunities for businesses looking to utilize the new ad format.

“This is a pretty important change for advertisers. One of the biggest challenges in text ads is stephenbeing able to fit your value proposition within the character limit,’ said Stephen Kerner, Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy.

“The additional space for creative on an ad is huge. Not having such a strict limit definitely opens up the ability to be more thorough with the call-to-actions and value propositions advertisers are trying to get across in their ads.”

Considering Google expanded text ads are still fairly new, it may be difficult to fully understand how effective these ad types are until performance results from a larger sample size are available.

JoshGoogle has stated that the new ad format is designed with mobile platforms in mind. And while they may be better optimized for phones and tablets, advertisers may see a larger bump in performance on desktops initially.

“Mobile click-through-rates are typically much higher than desktops to begin with,” said Josh Brisco, Retail Search Operations Manager at CPC Strategy.

“Mobile ads automatically take up more of the initial above-the-fold SERP than that of desktops. Because of this, measurable lift on mobile platforms may be less.”

“It’s also important to focus on ad copy. Advertisers need to find new best practices in terms of understanding how to utilize the additional character space to maximize CTRs.”

Responsive Ads

Responsive ads are unique in the sense that, after providing specified information, Google will automatically design ads that can be incorporated onto apps and websites on the Google Display Network.

The ads generated are based on assets such as 25 and 90-character headlines, a 90-character description, an image, and URL. Responsive ads will then automatically adjust the ad’s size, appearance, and format to assist in making sure they fit in available ad spaces.

Because responsive ads are designed to work in a number of different layouts, there is no singular design for display. A responsive ad may show as a native banner ad on one site and a simplified text ad on another.

The goal is that these ads will automatically be presented in a way that suit the look and feel of the website or app they’re using.

Set Device Bid Adjustments

The final mobile-oriented update is the implementation of new device bid adjustments. The new feature helps in maintaining your overall campaign while giving you more control over individual bid adjustments across device types – mobile, computer, or tablets.

Google is offering automatic bidding to help in optimizing at scale. Smart Bidding utilizes the data accumulated by Google and helps in making more informed bids, ultimately aiming to get the most return out of your budget and spend.

In addition to already existing Smart Bidding features, Google is also bringing forth the ability to set device-specific CPA goals with Target CPA Smart Bidding in AdWords in the coming weeks.

The company is also hosting a live Q&A on August 9th, 2016 covering device-specific bid adjustments. Registration can be found here.

For more information on Google expanded text ads, responsive ads, or device bid adjustments please contact jlommer@cpcstrategy.com

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