Google Ads

The Benefits of Using Expanded Text Ads in Google AdWords

By Nikki Powley| 4 Min Read | August 26, 2016
Expanded Text Ads

Editor’s Note: Effective June 30, 2022, Expanded Text Ads are going to be phased out of Google Ads as an ad type. Instead of reviewing these ad headline types, we suggest you take some time to fully understand Responsive Search Ads so you can take full advantage of an ad type that Google suggests produces a 7% increase in conversions.

We have already talked a lot about expanded text ads.

But just to be clear, this is one of the biggest changes Google Ads has launched in the last 15 years!

Expanded text ads, or ETAs for short, now offer advertisers the ability to have:

  • Two 30-character headlines
  • One 80-character description line
  • Two 15-character paths in the display URL

Woah! Just for reference, the standard ad format looks like this:

  • One 25-character headline
  • Two 35-character description lines
  • One display URL path

Benefits_Larger Image

Between the new headlines and longer description line, that’s 45 more characters to describe the details and benefits of products and services.

Big win.

Working for a Premier Google Partner agency, I’ve been lucky to test and measure the results of these ads for several months now as many of our clients participated in the beta launch.

(File that under perk of working with us.)

If I haven’t already convinced you to go launch ETA ads, I’m now going to dazzle you with results.

1. Added Copy Space

Maybe the addition of 45 characters doesn’t sound like much? So let’s actually look at the results.

Two clickable headlines in blue clearly make the ETA ad stand out above the standard text ad. It’s really just that simple.ETA


2. Increased CTR

When the Google beta began, we were told that a major benefit would be increased click-through-rate (CTR). That made sense because your ad is going to take up more space in search results and have more detailed information.

However, after 60-days, I was astonished by the results for one of my clients who sells industrial equipment for both B2B and B2C.

Equip Table 1

Now let’s look at an e-commerce client and some campaigns where we struggled with CTR due to some short-tail keywords the client wanted coverage on:

Table 2
Even just looking at these two examples, it is becoming pretty obvious that Google made the right move by providing advertisers with more space.

Best Practices – So Far

As early adopters of this format, we’ve been able to learn a few things, and I’m excited to share them with you!

  1. Create an initial ETA variation that is similar to your current standard ad. This will give you a closer baseline to compare performance. Don’t forget to pause your lower-performing ads to give the ETAs a chance to get impressions and switch your ad rotation to “rotate indefinitely.” If you have “rotate for clicks” or “rotate for conversions” selected, AdWords will skew impression share and not give you clear results.
  2. You should be constantly testing ad copy and features like keyword insertion, but now you have even more opportunities to test. Does keyword insertion work better in the 1st headline or the 2nd? Should your brand name be the 1st headline and your special offer the 2nd or vice versa?

The only way to find out is to test and measure. Then test again. We’re running even more tests right now, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter and like us on social media to see our next round of results.

If you would like to speak with DOM regarding our PPC services, contact us now!

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