In May of 2016, Google announced its largest update to Google Adwords. This update overhauled support for viewing ads on mobile devices as well as expanded the features and character limits of text ads as a whole, giving advertisers much more control over their target message and audience. Google Expanded Text Ads have revamped and added to many of the features of standard text ads as well as simplified the entire AdWords ad creation process.
Changes Introduced by Google Expanded Text Ads
Two headline fields- The first key difference with this update introduces an extra headline field, as well as upping the character limit from 25 to 30. Allowing for more than double the character limit of standard text ads gives the advertiser much more control over their message, and separating the lines with a hyphen allows the headlines to appear next to one another, like a longer version of the previous standard ads.
One description line- Secondly, the previous dual description lines have been combined into one, as well as upping the character limit from 35 to 80, adding 10 more character spaces to use from the Standard Text Ads.
Display URL now uses the final URL domain- This change simplifies the ad creation process and provides more transparency to ad viewers by eliminating the need to enter a display URL. Instead, AdWords now simply displays the domain of the final URL, and even gives the advertiser the option to combine it with up to two “Path” fields, which appear after the URL and give more information about where the ad is backlinking to.
Optimized Mobile Viewing for Text Ads- Again simplifying the ad creation process, this change removed the need to choose a mobile device setting when creating the ad. Google Expanded Text Ads have been overhauled, already being optimized for mobile viewing. A preview of the ad in both desktop, as well as a mobile format, are even displayed during the ad creation. This optimization is a big deal, since a large percentage of web browsing is done by mobile devices, and as such mobile users account for a much larger percentage of text ad click-through-rates.
Device Bid Adjustments – This new addition gives advertisers more control over their ad campaign by offering new device bid adjustments for phones, computers, and tablets.
What About my old ads?
As of writing this, Google AdWords continues to support the standard text ads along with the new expanded text ads. Creating a new ad defaults to the new expanded text ad but you can still switch back to the original style. However, Google announced that beginning January 3, 2017, AdWords support of the old non-expanded text ads will be dropped. After this date, already existing standard ads will continue to serve their function, however, you will only be able to create and edit expanded text ads, which will be taking over from the standard ads. However, given the added benefits and advertising possibility with the extended ads, the old format should not be missed much.
How to Take Advantage of Google Expanded Text Ads
The much-improved addition of characters limits and spaces give advertisers the power to really specify and drive their message and in turn get more traffic back to their domain. An added headline more than doubles the amount of space to optimize for SEO off the bat, and the expanded description line can give viewers a much better sense of what kind of service you are offering and where exactly the ad will direct them to. Also, don’t forget to take in mind the improved mobile support and most likely, traffic, and make sure your website you are linking to is fully mobile-optimized as well.