Google AdWords: Extended Text Ads
Google’s launch of Extended Text Ads via the AdWords platform has been attracting some attention, with the search giant having decided to make some changes to the deadlines for implementation. What are Extended Text Ads and how should they be used? Our search engine marketing team have all of the information that you might need:
As the name suggests, Extended Text Ads enable advertisers to increase the size of the ads that are displayed across Google’s network. In particular, the rollout is aimed at increasing the overall visibility of AdWords ads for those searching on mobile devices. Google have been encouraging advertisers to create all new ads using the extended format, but take-up has been slower for existing customers (primarily because of the work involved in updating ads within an existing account).
How much bigger are the new ads?
The key difference, when compared to standard ads, is that it’s now possible to have two lines of headline text, rather than one. This has a dramatic impact on overall visibility, particularly when combined with the other modifications:
- The description line can now contain up to 80 characters of text
- Rather than having the Final URL separated from the Display URL, the Display URL will match the Final URL
- Optional path fields enable advertisers to offer an indication of where visitors will end up on the site
What sort of impact is being witnessed?
There have been various reports on how much more likely a searcher is to click on an extended ad, rather than a standard text ad. But some caution does need to be applied to data that has been released, since there are clearly variations depending upon types of keywords and ad groups. A report published by Search Engine Land, for example, has suggested that extended text ads (shown at the top of the page) on brand terms are actually producing lower Click Through Rates (CTRs). At the same time, they report an uplift in CTRs on non-brand terms where ads are shown at the bottom of the search results, but suggest that the same impact is not seen on ads shown at the top of the results.
There are other factors to consider too, with the suggestion being that Cost Per Click (CPC) levels are slightly lower for extended text ads. But other agencies are reporting that, although they have seen an increase in CTRs, this hasn’t necessarily been related to an uplift in leads. We’ve seen this too: in some cases, the use of extended text ads appears to be leading to a lower Return on Investment. In short, more visitors are being attracted to the advertiser’s site, but these visitors are not necessarily proving to be converting into customers or clients.
Extended text ads offer the opportunity for increasing CTRs, reducing CPC levels and maximising visitors. But it’s not guaranteed that this will lead to more incoming leads, or that the cost per acquisition will be acceptable. For client accounts, we continue to experiment and to monitor results closely. There is no “one size fits all” answer and it’s important that changes should be based upon accurate data and analysis.
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