Google has just announced a new Expanded Text Ad beta, which allows advertisers to extend the length of the copy in their ads. The final specs are as listed below with a screenshot of the implementation to the right:
Headline 1: 30 characters
Headline 2: 30 characters
Description Line: 80 characters. The description line is where advertisers will see the biggest impact of this beta. Whereas previously, ad copy was restricted by a 35-character count limit the space will be doubled in size. This gives the Advertiser the ability to add more color to the message they are sending to the customer.
Display URL: Domain auto-extracted from final URL. Auto-extracting the domain URL falls in line with Google’s recent efforts to expand into more dynamically generated ads with DSAs and DKIs.
Path Fields: 2 fields, 15 characters each. Advertisers will have the choice of appending two path fields to give the customer a more granular look at specifically where they will be landed on the site.
What is the Expected Result?
Previously, limited space in the 35-character Description Line 1 and Line 2 forced advertisers to sacrifice compelling ad copy in favor of the bare minimum to fit the length restrictions. With an extended headline, as well as a whopping 80-character limit for the description, advertisers will have much more creative control with the messaging in their ads. Google is hoping this creative control will allow advertisers to create more compelling ads, which will in turn boost click-through rate drastically.
Continuing the performance from our follow-ups when Google removed right rail ads from the SERP, we’ve seen NonBrand CPCs improving slightly. We expect this Expanded Text Ads update to continue this trend. In theory, a higher quality ad will increase overall relevancy and CTR, adding to the quality of the ad. Each of these metrics improving contribute to an overall decrease in CPCs.
This beta offers unique value in different ways for NonBrand vs. Brand. For NonBrand, the increased ad space in allows you to educate potentially unaware customers with compelling value-adds from your product. Alternatively, advertisers will be able to engage with their brand aware customers in a more conversational manner. In the end, with this beta it will be possible to adapt a Brand ad into an Organic look-a-like.
Speaking of Organic results, another point to keep in mind when adjusting your digital strategy for these changes is that SEM will continue to push SEO further down the SERP. This is especially true on mobile, where organic results now appear fully below the fold. Paid search ads will start to take over as the norm on the SERP pages. As ads become lengthier, they will appear more like organic listings, thus blurring the line between result types.
What Has PMG Seen So Far?
Currently the Expanded Text Ads program is a closed beta, with PMG being one of the first agencies testing out the possibilities of the new format. Preliminary results for our retailers running this new ad format are excellent. We are seeing Brand CTR increases around 10% and Non-Brand CTR increases around 80%. Obviously, these are early results and will need to be monitored more closely as the new format gathers steam, but we are extremely excited about the potential this beta brings to the table.