TL/DR? – you can import your longer ads from Google Ads to Bing Ads!
Bing has updated text ads to include a third headline and a second description in a move that will have Digital Account Managers everywhere rejoicing. Back in August, Google Ads did the same thing and it was widely welcomed – giving regular expanded text ads the same number of characters as Responsive Search Ads.
This move is great for those who are using Bing Ads – don’t forget, we recently published a really helpful article about finally cracking how to increase Bing Ads impressions. And great timing ahead of the Christmas madness. It will mean that expanded text ads can be directly imported from Google Ads to Bing – or indeed created from scratch in Bing Ads. If you’re able to get a handle on these in good time, you’ll be ahead of the competition on Bing. Make sure you have a strategy with your extra characters – hopefully you’re already using them on Google Ads, so this will be an easy exercise. However, if you’re new to all this extra wordage, make sure you’re making it all killer and no filler!
This should improve your ad engagement and it couldn’t come at a better time. Yes, there’s a bit of admin to do but it’ll pack a real punch in rankings if you’re able to get it done in time for the Christmas rush.
With this format, each of the headlines can be up to 30 characters long (up from 25) and the descriptions can each be as long as 90 characters (up from 80).
The ad copy appears the order it which you write the headlines and descriptions.
There is no new name for these longer ads expanded text ads, which were themselves a big change from standard text ads.
Extended Text ads provide an increase of 50% more ad space, as well as a bunch of other exciting features, as we mentioned when they were first released (read more here). Google will be swapping to this format on 31st January 2017, so you don’t have too much time to make the switch if you haven’t already. And if you have – here’s how to make them even better.
How They Look
Expanded text ads have a new format, as compared in the image below. There are:
two headlines (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’ – these show users where they will end up on your website when they click through
Expanded Text Ads Set Up Tips
This is where you need to use keywords and compelling text to entice customers to click. The secondary headline should provide supporting information – that could be your USP or the deadline of an offer.
TOP TIP Remember that not all of your headline will always show. This is because Google are counting pixels as well as characters and letters such as “W” take up more space.
Back up your claims, provide supporting information that leads into a call to action.
You can boost conversions by showing users what to expect when they click on the ad – will they go through to more
Differentiate your product or service from competitors. This is your last chance to grab users’ attention.
BUT! Don’t waffle for the sake of using every available character – if you can keep it short and sweet and enjoy the same great results, do that!
Use compelling words that are emotive – i.e. they grab your customer’s attention because they appeal to something that person is experiencing – a problem, a solution, a deadline. We’ll be providing our top 100 list of compelling words in a future blog, check back!
These are optional, but it’s best practice to utilise this new feature. You can use it to add in more keywords.
You can break up a long tail keyword by splitting it up across the path fields.
TOP TIP Google doesn’t allow you to use trademarks or competitor names in the headlines or description, but you can use them in the URL path fields.
Always ensure that your ads are mobile friendly.
ETAs don’t differentiate between devices, unlike their predecessor, the Standard Text Ad.
In the ad editor, make use of the mobile preview feature to check headlines make sense if they are broken up into two lines.
Split Testing ETAs
As we showed in our previous blog about the results of ETA so far from our Beta Testing (as a Google Premier Partner we get to test cool new stuff first), overall the average Clickthrough Rate (CTR) was a lot higher than standard text ads. Ours were enjoying a 188% increase. This might not always be the case.
For that reason, we highly recommend testing out the new ads in the ad groups that have performed well for you in the past.
As you may be aware, ETAs will replace standard text ads from 31st January 2017. Pre-existing text ads will continue to serve past this date. Now is the time to test the two alongside each other.
Don’t just pause your standard text ads. Work on your ETAs until they are achieving the same or better results as the STAs.
Can ETAs Increase Your Quality Score?
As with all things Google, relevance is key. That’s why ads should serve the search queries that users type in. Achieving a high CTR signals to Google that your ad is useful to users. Use the keywords you are bidding on in the text – including competitors’ names if you have used them in the path fields.
Using helpful ad extensions can help improve quality score because, when used with an ETA they take up more ‘real estate’ on the search engine results page (SERP) and are likely to receive more clicks. The extensions can be used to provide more helpful information that supplements what is already in your ad text.
What About My Old Text Ads?
Don’t fret, you’re not going to have to spend the rest of the year rewriting a bunch of ads. You can add new ads in bulk.
In your AdWords account, click the Campaigns menu, then click on the Ads tab
Make sure the “All Enabled Ads” option is selected
Click Edit > Download Spreadsheet.
Choose Excel .CSV format
Click “Advanced editing” and uncheck all boxes except “All Editable Columns”. Then click Download and save the file on your machine.
Open the CSV file in Excel
For each ad that you want to create an expanded text ad for, add values in the Headline 1, Headline 2, Description, Path 1 and Path 2 columns. You can use values in the Ad, Description line 1 and Description line 2 columns (in the same row) as a guide since these represent your current ad.
Delete the Ad, Description line 1, Description line 2 and Display URL values from the same row.
Go to the Ad Type column and change “Text ad” to “Expanded text ad”
Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 for each expanded text ad you want to create. NOTE: If you are new to this process, it will be best if you try and add only one expanded text ad the first time. In this case, you should just delete all rows other than the row you just edited.
Save the file as a CSV
Import Your New Ads
In your AdWords account, click the Campaigns menu, then click on the Ads tab
Click Edit > Upload Spreadsheet
Choose the file you saved and click Upload and Preview
Google will now show you the number of ads that will be added. This should be the no. of new expanded text ads that you added in step 2 of the Make Changes section above. If there are any problems with the data you added, it will be shown in this box.
Click on Preview changes. Even if you had any errors in step 4 above, you should do this to determine exactly where the problems are.
Verify that each expanded text ad is shown correctly in the preview
If everything looks good, click Approve changes to add your new ads. If you see any problems here, click Reject changes. Go back to your CSV file in Excel, fix the problems and then try again.
by Dan Pillay, Head of Operations, Broadplace Advertising
Earlier this year we reported on the introduction of Google’s Expanded Text Ads. Here at Broadplace, we’re seeing that the average Clickthrough Rate (CTR) of Expanded Text Ads is 188% higher than standard text ads across our client base this September.
This is great news for all the advertisers we’ve been working with testing and iterating through ad variation. The future looks bright and we’ll keep testing and working on these ad variations over the coming months.
It’s not just CTR that’s doing well though as we’ve seen advertisers Increase Position by up to 15% the improved CTR is having a knock on effect on conversions and position – meaning more real estate and more awareness.
We’re excited by these initial results from Expanded Text Ads and are looking forward to further roll out of products like expanded dynamic search ads, responsive ads and other betas.
As a Google Premier Partner, we have extremely high best practise adoption amongst our clients fulfilled by our highly trained account management team and our ever expanding technology suite CampaignHub which uses the latest intelligence and techniques to optimise and implement features in our clients’ accounts.
Our Top Tips for making the most of Expanded Text Ads:
Try different versions of your long-form text ad. Aim to try out 3-5 ads per group to really hone it.
Test headlines – with the extra headline to play with, you can try all sorts of variations
If it worked before, try it again. Successful ads can simply be expanded with more useful information for users
You don’t have to use all the extra space – brand terms for instance might just need your company name
Don’t get rid of your existing text ads. You still have time to test the ETAs alongside these, so keep them running. Google recommends leaving them running until your ETAs are consistently performing better.
Make sure that you tailor the ETAs across ad groups – don’t just copy and paste.
Shoehorning in an extra headline without adapting the rest of the text won’t work. Remember – you don’t have to put in an extra headline if it’s not necessary.
Make sure the ETAs are still aligned the user’s search query.
Remember the product information that has enticed customers before and reuse that. Test it multiple ways.
As you may be aware, Google removed right hand ads earlier this year. This has freed up space on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), so Google has now introduced expanded text ads. It’s a big deal because this shift to a more mobile-friendly experience is the biggest update for AdWords since it was started 15 years ago. Google wanted to update itself for a world where over half of the trillion searches a year take place via mobile.
Expanded Text Ads Before and After
Expanded text ads move away from the traditional vital statistics of a standard text ad 25-35-35.]
They allow for two headlines – both 30 characters long – and one long 80 character description line. They automatically wrap the text when viewed on different devices.
That’s 47% more text for your buck!
You can stand out even more and provide users with more of an overview of your business’ offering before they click. You can highlight your key selling points, such as free shipping or security features of your site. The domain will automatically be extracted from the final URL. You can also add two paths extra (using up to 15 characters).
Expanded Text Ads Best Practices
Google have published a best-practice guide, the three main pointers that they’re giving to advertisers are:
To create multiple expanded text ads for each ad group and test them – evaluate their performance before deleting or pausing your existing ads.
Remember to include the successful aspects of your existing campaigns – include important information about your business and services/products
Focus on your headlines – they’re the first things that customers see.
We’d advise you to take this opportunity to create something new, rather than just tacking on an extra headline. Think about what you can say with all that extra text. Test out offers, emotive descriptions and calls to actions.
You can create and edit your ads in bulk to save time (AdWords Editor and AdWords API both support expanded text ads). From 26th October 2016, you won’t be able to create the old, standard text ads so it’s best to jump on board and start using them now, as our Broadplace team members are doing right now.
Watch Out For Headline Appearances
Because the ads are now being served on different devices, the way they appear may change depending on the device they are being viewed on and the screen size of that device. So headlines might share a line if short, they might appear on different lines, or if they’re too long, Google might just truncate them leaving a … at the end of the headline. Bear this in mind.
Update Your Ad Extensions
Some of the information in your ad extensions can now go in your headline or extended description, freeing up space for other items. Don’t simply repeat key points – Google won’t serve the ad extension if it’s repetitive.
Expanded Text Ads Case Study
We have been testing expanded text ads for a number of our clients, including a key account which is a national retailer with over 300 branches. For them we have been focusing on enticing offers and discounts. We have been running Expanded Text Ads since the 23rd June and the positive stats to come out from this so far are that:
Clicks have increased by 108%
CTR improved by 37%.
Conversion increased by 85%
Cost per conversion has come down by 14%.
We have been focusing on the Brand retail stores campaign and looking to push Click and Collect and now will be introducing these to our Generic campaigns.
If you’d like to get ahead of the game (and many of your competitors) get in touch with us today to find out how we can use our expertise to grow your business.
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