Expanded Text Ads AdWords Interface

This week has seen a few momentous changes to the Google AdWords platform. Yesterday, Google announced what they’re calling the biggest update to their ad format since AdWords launched over 15 years ago: expanded text ads.

What Are AdWords Expanded Text Ads?

Expanded text ads feature two headlines – each 30 characters, itself an update from the 25 character limit of the now-vintage AdWords headline – and a single 80-character description line. This new ad format leaves extensions and other newer AdWords features intact, but increases the available space for ad copy by nearly 50%.

Why Is Google Making The Change?

According to the official AdWords blog post, the change is one of the bigger steps in an overall trend toward mobile-first advertising in Google search results – as was the shift away from sidebar ads, which were removed earlier this year.

Google is not pulling any punches in emphasizing the importance of mobile-friendly design and advertising, and that attitude is reflected in this rather dramatic update. According to their own research, longer ad headlines like those in expanded text ads are much more useful to mobile users – giving them more information to help them decide whether or not to click.

What Will Happen To Standard Text Ads?

While the update will be permanent by October 2016 – after which users will only be able to create expanded text ads in AdWords – Google reports that standard ads will continue to function as usual. So you won’t necessarily need to revamp every ad in your account, but based on Google’s research so far, it might be worth revisiting your most popular ad groups to take advantage of the new format.

How Do I Create Expanded Text Ads?

Expanded text ads can be built within the AdWords interface just like standard ads. Concurrent with the update announcement, Google has released a best practices guide for expanded text ads, providing some recommendations for how to best take advantage of the new character limits and ad format. That guide is available here.

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