So we have 45 more characters in AdWords text ads… Now what?
Expanded text ads recently went live in AdWords, so what's the next step? Columnist Pauline Jakober explains how to strategically expand on your existing text ads when making the transition.
The one thing that’s remained constant in AdWords over the past 15 years is the good ol’ 25-35-35 character rule we worked with in text ads. And we’ve become pretty good at it.
But in May, it was announced that the old way of doing things would be changing to cater to the multiscreen world we live in. And on July 26, AdWords rolled out new character limits that change the way text ads display content.
The new character count is 30-30-80, and consists of:
- two headlines of up to 30 characters of text; and
- one condensed description line of up to 80 characters.
For many of us, the 25-35-35 thing has been engrained in our brains, and this change represents a huge shift.
No matter how hard I try, I can’t get the numbers 25-35-35 out of my brain. I feel like Hurley from Lost.
— Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk) July 22, 2016
As we’re in uncharted territory, there’s sure to be lots of testing to come. In the announcement over at Google, it was reported that tests have shown that “some advertisers have reported increases in click-through rates of up to 20 percent compared to current text ads.”
From the announcement here at Search Engine Land on July 26 (linked to earlier), we see that Google is expecting advertisers to A/B test expanded text ads for a few months, allowing them to optimize these new ads to be just as effective as standard ads. And then the standard 25-35-35 ads will no longer be available:
As of October 26, 2016, however, advertisers will no longer be able to create or upload standard text ads. Google has not set a date when standard ads will no longer run with ETAs [expanded text ads], but Jain noted advertisers should have sufficient time to test standard and expanded ad formats against each other to ensure they are properly using ETAs. In other words, the expectation is that advertisers will run A/B tests with standard and expanded text ads for a period.
So what do you do when you have a vast landscape of 45 additional characters? Add more stuff? Sure, but strategically. Now is the time to be thinking about how you’ll use that extra space, and I’ll share a few things to consider next.