Getting to the bottom of Google expanded text ad CTR and CPC
Google has rolled out expanded text ads to all advertisers, so how does this new ad format compare to standard text ads? Columnist Andy Taylor shares some data from a recent Merkle study.
Since July 26, 2016, expanded text ads (ETAs) have been live in AdWords. This new ad format, which was launched with mobile users in mind, allows advertisers to create longer text ads with two headlines of up to 30 characters each and a single 80-character description line.
Advertisers have been testing the new format alongside standard text ads, and dozens of analyses looking at click-through rate (CTR) for standard vs. expanded text ads have been published across the industry, with varying levels of detail. (Google’s July announcement also came with its own assortment of impressive case studies touting massive CTR spikes.) We even included some data points in our Q2 Digital Marketing Report, though we now have much more data to work with in establishing meaningful comparisons.
Here, I hope to provide the deepest look yet at how CTR differs for ETAs using data from dozens of large Merkle advertisers using the new format across thousands of ad groups. The details of our own results will hopefully also shed light on why so many in the industry are reporting such wildly different performance, and how you should view ETAs moving forward.