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In a recent announcement Google revealed several important AdWords changes – most notably expanded text ads. This means that, with the introduction of new expanded text ads, text limits will soon double, allowing businesses to maximise their presence, particularly in mobile search results. Expanded text ads will soon be available across both desktop and mobile devices.
Why is Google making this change?
This change follows on the heels of a prior Google change which killed off right side ads on desktop. The move is thought to be part of a broad strategy to create a unified browsing experience across both desktop and mobile devices.
Given that half of the trillions of searches conducted on Google every year now come from mobile, Google is simply keeping pace with the technology and preferences of searchers in today’s mobile-first world.
What are the upgraded ad components?
There are three main upgraded ad components. The first is a more prominent headline. Currently Google AdWords allows for one 25-character headline, later this year this will change allowing advertisers two 30-character headlines per ad. This is an increase of 140 percent on headline space!
In addition, there will be a longer description line. Currently advertisers are allowed two 35-character description lines. This will change to one consolidated 80-character description line.
Finally there will also be a significant change with display URLs. AdWords will automatically extract the domain from the final URL (as opposed to having to be manually entered). Advertisers can then add up to two paths to customise the URL.
This is a huge advantage on the current system where any mismatch between the display and destination URL could cause the ad to be disapproved.
Will this improve my click-through rates?
In short, more text equals greater visibility. Analysts are predicting an increase in click through rates by up to 20 per cent.
When will this change be rolled out?
An official release date for the Expanded Text Ads has not yet been released, however keep watching this space. We will endeavour to let you know as soon as we hear anything.
What are the other changes?
Google is also planning on modifying its ad auction process. This will allow advertisers to bid differing amounts for individual platforms within a single ad campaign. This will mean that businesses will need to decide how much of their advertising spend is going to target desktops versus mobile.
This will require testing and comparison of the different conversion rates for desktop and mobile. You will need to pay close attention to this and be willing to set up new campaigns if performance on one device increases or decreases significantly compared to the other.
What can I do to prepare my business for this change?
There are two major things you can do to prepare for the changes. The first is to focus on improving your AdWords quality score. Quality Score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads.
It is used to determine your cost per click (CPC) and multiplied by your maximum bid to determine your ad rank in the ad auction process. This is going to become even more crucial soon as businesses that get the top spots in the search engine results pages will dominate commercial queries.
It could mean that falling outside the top three – particularly on mobile – decreases your market share considerably.
The second way to prepare for this change is to focus on ad text optimisation. The increase in text space will soon give you more words to get your message across so they need to be used wisely. Invest time, research and money into quality copywriting through attention grabbing headlines and captivating calls-to-action.