Starting on January 31, 2017, advertisers will no longer be able to create or edit Standard Text Ads (STA) or GDN Text Ads.
To clarify, existing Standard Text Ads and GDN Text Ads will continue to serve, but cannot be edited & advertisers will only be able to create and edit text ads using the Expanded Text ads and Responsive ads format.
The initial deadline (which was set for October 26th, 2016) was extended to allow advertisers ample time to test and iterate expanded text ads and upgrade creatives.
According to Google, “You now have until January 31, 2017, to make the transition to expanded text ads. This means starting on January 31, 2017, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads — you’ll only be able to create and edit text ads using the expanded text ads format. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve alongside expanded text ads.”
About Google Expanded Text Ads:
Last year, Google announced the introduction of Expanded Text Ads.If you missed it, to recap, the new Google expanded text ads are similar to standard text ads in a number of ways, but with a few key differences including:
1) 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.
2) 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
3) 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.
4) 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
According to our experts, it’s important optimize and make the most of your content to harvest the most value from Google expanded text ads by:
- Rethink your ad’s messaging
- Utilize the increased character limit
- Optimize headlines
- Use ad extensions
Want to learn more? Check out our initial announcement post: A Look at the New Google Expanded Text Ads
Performance Results for Expanded Text Ads:
Back in September, we analyzed our internal data and compared performance between expanded text ads and standard text ads. We took a variety of metrics into consideration including Click-Through-Rates (CTRs), Average Cost-Per-Click (Avg CPC), and conversion rates.
In our first example, performance of expanded text ads and standard text ads were compared over a 30-day period in which both formats were running simultaneously. For the most part, ETAs presented improvements across the board compared to its standard counterpart.
We saw significant increases in CTRs, Conversion Rates, and a bump in ROI. Additionally, we noticed a decline in the Average Cost-Per-Clicks across all devices.
Although ETAs in this client example performed incredibly well, we did see a bit of mixed results in other case examples.
To view all of our early performance case examples, check out our blog post: Expanded Text Ads: Analyzing Early Performance Results
According to our in-house experts, the big takeaway is that expanded text ads aren’t guaranteed to be successful simply because there are more characters.
One of the most important things you can do in any type of advertising is test as much as possible to see what’s most effective.
Best Practices for Testing Expanded Text Ads:
In addition to our own suggested best practices, Google offers up several tips for expanded text ad optimization including:
- Test multiple versions of your expanded text ads: Try different approaches with the new space your ads now have. Shoot for 3-5 new ads per ad group. Advertisers who test multiple creatives see better performance.
- Focus your testing on headlines: Headlines are the most important parts of your ads, and you now have an extra line to experiment with. Replicate what works in standard text ads in your expanded text ads. For example, if you mention pricing or use keyword insertion in a successful standard text ad, carry those over to expanded text ads.
- Leave your standard text ads running until the new versions are consistently outperforming them: An expanded text ad isn’t guaranteed to be a winner simply because you have more characters. Leave your top performing ads running, regardless of their length.
- Review your pre-existing ads for previous success with longer headlines: Consider promoting description line 1 in a standard text ad to you new headline 2, especially if that ad performed well in the past.
For more on Expanded Text Ads, email firstname.lastname@example.org