Just last week, Google announced support for a new format of text ads, called Expanded Text Ads, or ETAs. For those of you unfamiliar with this update, it’s a big deal. Google is saying it’s the largest update to ads since the AdWords interface launched over 15 years ago! I know, crazy.
As a business owner, I know you’re thinking “So what? What does this mean for me?” Plainly, it means a lot! In this post, we’ll get into some specifics on what ETAs are, how this update can benefit your organization’s visibility, and overall success in search.
1. What the heck are Expanded Text Ads?
A valid question. Expanded text ads are still very similar to the basic text ads that AdWords supports, except they’re now 2x bigger (that’s 2 times bigger).
Every ad can support up to 140 characters compared to the original 35. Below is an example of what these ads look like now, compared to the original text ads.
New Expanded Text Ads Regular Text Ads
As you can see, the ETAs are much larger, and hold much more text in the headline. It is still possible to expand ad real estate further with ad extensions just like before.
It’s going to be beneficial to jump into writing new ad copies for your text ads quickly, as Google will continue to run both ETAs and regular text ads until (most likely) regular text ads get phased out. So take advantage of your lazy competition and steal some extra real estate while you can!
2. What Does This Mean for The Performance of My Account?
Theorectically, more real estate in ads should result in an increase in Click-Through-Rate (CTR). However, like any new ad format, testing and re-testing is necessary. Stay tuned to our blog for more on this new ad format once we gather data on all of our accounts. Many beta users on this program (including our friends over at Wordstream) actually saw a dip initially in CTR until they were able to find what worked for their accounts. Since Google is (for the time being) mixing ETAs and regular text ads, it may take awhile for data to become statistically relevant before making any over-arching conclusions.
3. Wait…Do I Need to Re-Write ALL Of My Ads?
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t update your text ads to ETAs, so yes, you will need to optimize all of your ads (or have Bevelwise do it for you, of course). Just remember, it’s important NOT TO DELETE your existing text ads, so that performance between the existing ads and new ETAs can be compared.
4. But I Like The Way My Ads Are…Google, What Gives?
As I said before, it’s likely Google will phase out regular text ads at the beginning of 2017, meaning ETAs are the way of the future. It’s important that you start writing and optimizing ETAs now, to be ready for the October 26th, 2016 deadline. On this date, Google will no longer allow addition or editing of ads in the old format. The old format ads will continue to run likely into Q1 2017, so you do have some time to update, but we recommend jumping on them as soon as possible in order to start testing. It appears that Google dropped this update as a result of an increase in mobile search usage. Google first removed the right-hand column of ads earlier this year, leaving a seamless presentation between mobile and desktop.
ETAs are the most recent update to the AdWords system, but I don’t believe they’re going to stop there. Keep an eye out on our blog for more updates as they become available.
Get Pay Per Click Marketing Help, Save $112,000?
Although pay per click ad performance can be dependent on several connected aspects of a business’ digital media presence, there are few better ways to get immediate clicks to your website. If you have the right pay per click marketing help, you can see great return-on-investment. However, if you are just winging it or working with the wrong partner, it can get quite expensive. Few have publicly demonstrated this better than José Javier, a 12-year-old musician from Spain.
In short, there is nothing wrong with wanting to promote your business (or your band or your brand) with AdWords (or Bing). We simply recommend a mechanism for bringing money in to pay for it. Usually, this is in the form of transactions or other revenue-generating conversions. Unfortunately, José was a little confused about his Google products.
“José Javier, who is a trumpet player in a band called Los Salerosos, was hit with a €100,000 ($112,000) bill from Google after he signed up for AdWords instead of AdSense, according to Spain’s El Pais.
Javier apparently signed up for AdWords, thinking he would make money when people clicked on his advertisement. However, the service actually charges the account holder every time someone clicks on their advertisement.” (NBC News)
Call it a hunch, but we’re betting that the young man was not even AdWords certified.
As a deeper look into his situation revealed, he actually wanted to use the Google AdSense program, a separate (revenue-generating) program from AdWords. He somehow set up pay per click marketing in AdWords, resulting in quite a large bill.
Naturally, we’re wondering what keywords he bid on, how many clicks he got, and what his click-through-rate was. Hypothetically, if he had the correct website and calls-to-action, would he have a future providing pay per click marketing help to others? In any case, we digress.
For your business, be sure you are working with AdWords marketers who are properly trained and have the right credentials to work effectively on your account. Without that, you could be worse off than Javier. We have seen it first-hand, especially as revenues fail to replenish the business. Such an unwatched expense can really cost you. It can also sour your opinion on what should be a great tool for your business.
Lucky for Javier, Google actually canceled his bill. Don’t count on this for your business though, especially if you pre-pay. Many have learned the hard way that getting a refund from Google is incredibly difficult, if not impossible.
What Pay Per Click Marketing Help Do You Need?
To find the answer to this question, take a look at your understanding of the concept, platforms, and your goals. Just remember: Bevelwise can help!
Check out more information we’ve published about search engine marketing.