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Understanding Google Expanded Text Ads

Google Expanded Text Ads - Tillison Consulting

Google expanded text aads were recently introduced to allow businesses to elaborate on the messages they present to potential customers. Available across both Search and Display Network campaigns in Google Ads, expanded text ads have introduced several new elements, most notably additional text fields.

Google’s expanded text ads template

Google text ads previously comprised two headlines and one description field, but with expanded text ads you can now also include a third headline and a second description field. The expanded text ads character limit allows for each headline to be up to 30 characters in length, while you have 90 characters to work with for each description field.

It is compulsory for your Google text ads to include two headlines and one description, whereas the extra fields are optional. However, Google is likely to give preference to ads which utilise the additional headlines and descriptions.

Path fields in Google expanded text ads

As part of this update to Google Ads, your display URL – the one shown in green text under your ad headlines – is now based on the root domain of the final URL – the page you would land on if you clicked the ad.

Another feature of Google expanded text ads is the option to add up to two additional ‘path’ fields to your display URL. Path fields are the element in your display URL which gives customers an idea of where they are clicking through to on your site (i.e. /blog, /contact, /store). This takes the total amount of path fields you can add onto the end of a display URL up to four.

These path fields don’t have to be an exact match of your final URL, so you can use them not only for additional keyword insertion, but to give further clarity to your users in terms of what they will be clicking through to.

If your final URL already has a sub-domain (i.e. tillison.co.uk/blog), you can choose to include this in your display URL. It will appear in most situations – one of the rare cases where it may not appear is if it mentions a trademarked item.

There’s one caveat to using these additional path fields in expanded text ads – make sure that any terms you use are relevant to the landing page. If your ad becomes misleading the user experience of your site, as well as your Google Ads quality score, will probably be affected.

Google expanded text ads visibility

Google expanded text ads are mobile-optimised, and a handy feature which is available when creating your ads is the ability to see a preview of the ad in both desktop and mobile format.

All of the text in your Google expanded text ads should be visible when your ad shows, but there’s no guarantee. It ultimately depends on the space available – on mobile devices, your headlines may wrap across two lines and in some cases, Google Ads need to truncate ad copy with an ellipsis. Google has even said that the second headline may not even show if your expanded text ads appear on the Google Display Network.

Other scenarios which may cause your headlines and ad copy to be affected in such ways is if you are using additional features like call extensions, or even if the characters you’re using are wider than the space permitted by the browser – for example, ‘m’ is a wider character than ‘i’.

With this in mind, we would advise you not to include any essential information in the additional fields in your expanded text ads. Ideally, treat these fields like an ad extension and the opportunity to promote an additional incentive for your customers. If you offer free delivery, it’ll be worth mentioning this in your third headline, similarly if you’re holding a sale or running a special offer for a limited time.

Because Google expanded text ads are still relatively new, we are not yet able to collect enough data to make an informed decision on extended text ads and how effective they are for Google Ads campaigns. However, we are open-minded about the prospect of having more room to play with and optimising text ads even further in the long run.

Have you tried using Google expanded text ads yet? Have you noticed any impacts on your Google Ads campaigns as a result? Let us know in the comments, or click below to get in touch with one of our PPC specialists and find out more about our bespoke Google Ads training packages.

Picture: Zooming Photography

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