The New Expanded Text Ads

The New Expanded Text Ads

Written by: Danny Daley ()
Categories: Paid Media, PPC

Everything you need to know on the Google Adwords Expanded Text Ads Update

On January 31st 2017 Google Adwords will update its ad format for every Adwords customer. Expanded text ads were released in beta testing in 2016 and as of February 2017 every Adwords customer will require using the new and upgraded ad format.

How do expanded text ads differ from the traditional standard text ad?

The new Expanded text ads differ from standard text ads in a few different ways:

  1. The new ads have two headline fields up to 30 characters each. The older advert had just one headline with a 25 character limit so Google is now giving you more space to cover your service or product USP’s and the core search keyword that you’re trying to target in SERPS
  2. The old standard text ads had two descriptions of up to 35 characters each. In the new format, Google is providing you with just one description but it is 10 characters longer and therefore up to 80 characters long.
  3. The old display URL had a single path of up to 35 characters. With the new display url’s Google has attempted to make these more pretty by allowing you to segment the url structure into two paths with up to 15 characters each.

What does a successful Adwords Expanded Text Ad look like?

Writing a successful text ad has always been a hot topic and whilst it may seem simple, lots of businesses are still missing the trick!

Make sure that in your new ads you follow the simple approach below:

Who’s it intended for

Think about who the message is intended for and what makes your product or service unique. Once you know this you can start to tailor the messaging to offer that competitive edge

Prices and exclusive discounts

Offering a special price in your ads is likely to help to convert your target customers. Think about what would make them purchase from you instead of your competitors and highlight this in the ad copy.

Drive action

Tell the users what exactly you are offering as a service or what you are selling to them. Don’t forget to let the customer know how to contact you and always use a call to action at the end of your ad copy. Call to actions can come in many forms, here are a few – Call Now, Browse Online, Sign Up, Get A Free Quote.

Ad Copy Relevancy

Make sure that any ad you write contains your target keyword at least once if possible. Relevancy helps to aid quality score which of course lowers your cost per clicks in your advertising campaigns. For example – If you are selling iphone cases, make sure you include “iphone cases” in your advert.

Landing Page Relevancy

Landing page relevancy is a massive part of what makes up your quality score and again what helps to lower your CPC’s. If you’re targeting a specific set of keywords make sure that they are relevant to the page not just for Google’s sake, if the user does not find what they need then you are likely to experience a bounce straight away, which of course can negatively impact the health of your Adwords account.

Ad Extensions

Make sure you have all the relevant ad extensions in place to support your advert. The new expanded text ads update will give you a good chance to recap your performance on your campaigns and also make sure you have the best practice elements in place.


Make sure when you are creating the new expanded text ads you create at least three to four variations in each ad group and use different messages for each one in order to see which performs the best. Adwords will automatically rotate to the best performing ad however you should also look to optimise this as you advance with your new shiny ads.

Common mistakes

Make sure your adverts align to the professional and editorial standards that Google has put in place. This means making sure you have no extra spaces or strange capitalisation or signs (!) (@) throughout the ad copy. Trust me, reading this will save you lots of time if you’re a noobie and want to avoid lots of back and forth amendments.

Why is Google making this change?

Google is naming this as the biggest change to text ads since Adwords was launched 15 years ago. In February 2016 Google made a big change to right column ads in an attempt to change the cross device experience. This change seems to be the next evolution of a mobile first approach and this is why Google is leaning towards making the big change to Adwords.

What Happens if I can’t get it updated?

Adwords are stating that “Starting on 31 January 2017, AdWords will no longer support the creation or editing of standard text ads. New text ads generated after that date should use the expanded text ad format. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve after 31 January 2017”.

How Can I update my ads as quickly as possible?

If you are looking at your account thinking holy c*rap, I’ve got a lot of ads to update and the manual process seems scary then fear not! It might still take a long time to get your ads in place however you can use Adwords Editor to bulk upload your new adverts which saves you lots of time manually creating these in Google Adwords itself. If you are stuck with this tweet @matt_daley_uk or contact the team here at Circulate and we review this for you.

Need support with your PPC?

If you’re looking for support on your PPC accounts or are completely new to Adwords and want to see how it can grow your business then get in touch.

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