If you start to feel like the ads in Google’s Search results are getting longer–you’d be exactly right. Google’s new Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) can now total 300 characters, doubling the original ad size.
The devices we use on a daily basis, and the way we search the web, change consistently. Not only have most smartphones grown in size, but people search the web in a much more specific way than they ever have, and expect relevant, accurate results. This is supposedly the reason behind Google’s latest update to their Search Ads. Google has recently given advertisers the opportunity to utilize an additional 130 characters in ads, and will continue to roll this out to advertisers over the coming weeks. These changes include:
- A third headline with 30 characters
- A second description
- The ability to use as many as 90 characters for each description
This isn’t the first time Google has increased the character limit of search ads. Cause Inspired Media’s COO, Sean Kerr, explains:
The last update of this kind, the switch from standard text ads to ETAs that included a second headline, was a major opportunity and undertaking. While most organizations were slow to make the change, we had every ad group testing an expanded text ad within an month, and the results were staggering. Because of this change, along with the optimizations we were already making regularly, we saw that the average client experienced a 50% increase in their click-through-rate (CTR) over the next 3 months.
Because more and more people are searching specifically on the web, and expect highly targeted results, Expanded Text Ads are extremely effective, especially for nonprofits. Now that nonprofits can use this space to really set themselves apart from their non- and for-profit competitors, tell their story, and compel people to engage with their mission like never before, they should expect increased conversions, and overall web traffic.
Be sure to keep in mind that the addition of the third headline and second description are not guaranteed in every ad impression. Google says it will display the additional characters when there is enough space, depending on the device in use. For example, smaller smartphones do not have the screen space to display such large ads, and are more likely to display the traditional ‘2 headline, 1 description’ format. Yet the opportunity to expand ads and get clicks from even more relevant users is something that marketers everywhere are excited to try out.
In addition to the large Expanded Text Ads, Google will be releasing Responsive Search Ads from beta. Similar to ETAs, Responsive Search Ads show three 30-character headlines and two 90-character descriptions. However, for Responsive Search Ads, advertisers must provide Google Ads with 15 possible headlines and 4 possible description lines. Upon auction, Google will decide which headlines and descriptors to show the user. Google automatically tests different combinations of headlines and descriptions and, over time, starts to show only the best performing combinations to users, tailored to the device and past browsing behavior.
These new ad formats seem promising, but COO, Sean Kerr is erring on the side of caution. “while I don’t expect quite so drastic of an improvement this time around, I am optimistic that this will bring about more traffic and more conversions for our clients.”