Expanded Text Ads – What They Are And How You Can Use Them To Optimise Your AdWords Performance


Google recently released their long-awaited Expanded Text Ads. This update to their AdWords PPC advertising platform introduces a second headline and higher character limits to the adverts that you can create. So what I hear you ask! Well, these new Ads have the potential to increase what matters to you as a business the most, clicks (which represent interest in your product or service) and ultimately conversions/leads. As always with such developments, those who adopt the change at the start are highly likely to benefit the most. In my article, I’m going to explain what an Expanded Text Ad is and how you can use them effectively to improve your businesses performance on AdWords.

What Is An Expanded Text Ad?

An Expanded Text Ad is a new advert format that has been introduced by Google for their AdWords advertising platform. They are currently another advert format option and it is possible to continue to use the previous standard ad format. However, Google have announced that from the 26 October 2016, it will no longer be possible to create a standard text ad.

The new Expanded Text Ad format offers the following:

  • Two headline fields (up to 30 characters each)
  • A single, expanded description field (up to 80 characters)
  • A Display URL that uses your Final URL’s domain
  • Two optional ”Path” fields, used in the ad’s Display URL (up to 15 characters each)

This differs from a Standard Text Ads in the following ways:

  • Additional headline field – providing additional space in the most important part of your advert. It also provides a more mobile-friendly layout when your adverts are served on a mobile device
  • Higher character limits – the headline field character limit has been increased by five characters and the description field by ten characters (in a standard text ad a total of 70 characters were available across two description lines)
  • Consistency between your display URL and Final URL – previously, the display URL did not necessarily use the domain of your Final URL
  • Two new Path Fields – The new path fields provide an opportunity for you to indicate to searchers what they are likely to find on your landing page

How You Can Use Them

To take advantage of the new Expanded Text Ads you need to create new adverts. By default, when you create a new Ad within AdWords you will be prompted to create an Expanded Text Ad (although there is currently the option to default back to a Standard Text Ad). I have introduced Expanded Text Ads into every one of my client accounts and I have seen a strong uplift in CTR in every case. While this is to an extent anecdotal evidence, many other advertisers have reported similar results. In my view you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by making the switch.

I recommend creating a new Expanded Text Ad to replace every Standard Text Ad within your AdWords account. By doing so, you will be preparing your account for the future and placing your business in a position to take advantage of the likely uplifts in your CTR, which should also help you to maximise your conversions.

Using The Additional Headline Field
Having an extra headline field is a prime opportunity to capture the attention of searchers. I have found this additional field to be useful for highlighting the core USP of a business or outlining a strong call to action. For example, if you have an online store, a great additional headline may be – Free UK Delivery On All Orders.

Utilising The Higher Character Limits
Taking advantage of the higher number of available characters is absolutely essential. In many cases, re-writing your advert copy may be best. Use the 80 characters to improve your description keyword placement and to highlight why a searcher should visit your website.

Two New Path Fields
The introduction of path fields allows you to demonstrate the relevancy of your landing page to what is being searched for. Ensuring that you have a strong keyword placement here is key, so think about using relevant product/service keywords here. Also make sure that your landing page is representative of the content of your path fields because a mismatch here will be to the detriment of your quality score, user experience and ultimately your likelihood of facilitating conversions.

Google’s Guide To Expanded Text Ads

If you have not seen it already, Google’s Guide To Expanded Text Ads is very informative and worth reviewing before you start creating your ETAs.

Did you find this post useful? Do you have any tips for using Expanded Text Ads that you would like to share? Leave a comment in the section below.

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