If you haven’t updated your ads to Expanded Text Ads yet, firstly you aren’t updating your ads often enough. They have been out since July last year, after all.
Either way, they represent arguably the biggest change to Adwords since ‘Enhanced Campaigns’, so you should be making the most of them.
Below are some of the tips which we have found helpful at MVF when looking to successfully expand text ad (ETAs):
1. Test versus old ‘legacy’ ad creatives
While we have often seen improved performance with the new, longer ETA’s, it hasn’t always been the case. Sometimes it’s hard to beat your battle-hardened existing ads, so trial different ETAs until they are beating the legacy ads. Google is still saying that ETAs may not be eligible for 100% of impressions (although they should be for >98%) so you may not want to pause legacy ads unless performance is much better if you want to ensure 100% impression share (e.g. on your brand).
2. Segment by search partners when reviewing ad tests
When reviewing performance vs legacy ads, it’s worth segmenting by search partners (if live) as we have seen some cases were legacy ads are showing a higher proportion of the time on search partners vs ETAs. The average-lower CTR on search partners means the top-line CTR makes ETAs look much better. Remember search partner CTR doesn’t affect quality score.
3. Use Headline 1 to maximise relevancy and Headline 2 to test
We are certainly not recommending you limit yourself to this model, but it’s a good place to start. It allows for quick testing to find what sort of headline 2 works well for your campaigns. We have had success with a more specific headline 1 and an open headline 2 e.g. ‘Which EPOS System To Get?’.
4. More paths aren’t always better
Normally, more text = more space = more clicks right? Not always. We have seen that sometimes using only path 1 has given us a higher CTR, especially if the domain is already long.
5. Ad customisers
These are slowly getting more and more powerful. While not specific to ETAs, the increased character limit does make using them much easier.
In summary, these are a few tips which have helped us but keep testing and keep reviewing. However, it’s worth remembering that what works for someone else may not work for you. Testing and iterative improvement is, as ever, the key to success here.