Google has recently announced yet another impactful change to their ad format. In 2016, expanded text ads were unveiled, essentially revolutionizing the basic paid search ad. With these ads, advertisers were granted a second headline, along with a longer description line of 80 characters. Now, Google has come out again and revealed that the format of newly launched Responsive Search Ads will also be available to regular text ads. Users are now allowed to create an additional headline 3 and ads can contain 2 description lines. That’s right…get excited paid search advertisers. Let the ad copy testing games begin.
What is Changing:
The goal of the new text ads is to give advertisers an opportunity to have more “real estate” in the search engine results page and to have a greater opportunity to deliver their message. The changes will entail:
- A 3rd headline consisting of 30 characters
- A 2nd description line
- Both descriptions will have a 90 character limit as opposed to the historical limit of 80 characters
This means that these new ads can contain up to 300 total characters which makes them double the size of an expanded text ad. Essentially ETAs on steroids. While these additional headlines and descriptions are optional, the extra features provide a great opportunity to gain a competitive advantage in the SERP.
What Impact to Expect:
Not only will the ads be inherently larger than the original expanded text ads, but they also will likely drive stronger CTR and overall conversion rate due to the added messaging available. Back in 2016, when ETAs were first available, we saw significant incremental lifts in CTR for the new ads across various clients. Not only is CTR likely to improve, but the option for more content will help to improve quality score. With 2 description lines advertisers have a greater opportunity to enhance ad relevance by using relevant keywords and messaging. Consider the findings below that document performance when the historical expanded text ads were launched back in 2016.
The expanded text ads drove in a 11% higher CTR than the original ads. More importantly, overall volume grew by 37% which is expected due to the incremental lift in quality score. The enhanced quality score also helped to reduced CPC by 10%.
The notion of the additional headlines and descriptions in search ads came from Google’s latest ad unit, Responsive Search Ads. Earlier in the year Google announced that users will now be able to enter multiple combinations of descriptions that will be rotated automatically by Google’s new machine learning. The idea is that, over time, Google will interchange these headlines and description to find the best optimized ad combination. Advertisers will soon turn away from A/B testing, which is becoming more and more difficult, and rely on Google to automate their ad rotation. While that may be a very scary thought for advertisers, responsive search ads are still in beta and will be rolling out slowly over the next couple of months.The New Future: Responsive Search Ads
In the meantime, users can test out the messaging on their own using the additional headlines and descriptions available within the expanded text ads.
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