Google Adwords is constantly changing. You could go away for a week and return to find the entire layout has changed, so you’ll have to work your way around it from the beginning all over again. An example of this is that on Friday 19th February Google effectively ‘killed off’ right side ads, and now only shows ads at the top and bottom of the SERP. Additionally, on February 23rd Google announced that the normal text ads on AdWords were gaining a better sibling – the expanded text ad. If you currently have no idea what I’m talking about, and you are now looking at your screen in confusion – do not worry, I will explain.
First off, the right side ads have gone bust. This removal has affected Google users greatly and aligns the desktop and mobile experience. The right-hand space will still be used for Product Listing Ads (PLAs) as well as Knowledge Graph Boxes, meaning that the difference probably hasn’t been too noticeable. However, the continual ‘pushing down’ of the organic search listings that Google show, means that organic space is now like gold dust. This sudden dismissal of the Right Side Ads is causing the greater focus on SEO for businesses.
Google’s reason for this sudden change, seems to be commercially driven. Google have established that the average click-through-rate for Right Hand Side ads is poor across verticals, therefore this change that Google have made is going to be more profitable in the long run.
And then to top it all off, less than a week later Google announce the new Expanding Text Ads for GoogleAdWords. The new ads will be much larger, and all old ads will have to be re-written and optimised for this. However, converting all of your normal ads to expanded ads can take a lot of time. If you have fifty different ad groups, with four ads in each, that is 200 new ads you need to re- write – it’s not a nice job.
So is it worth it? Yes, it is. And I am going to explain why.
Google have finally plucked up the courage to allow users to have a larger headline. Google have always been known for being stingy with their character limits within ads however, they now have seemed to become more generous. You get two thirty character headlines, rather than just one twenty-five character headline. Use the extra characters that Google have practically handed to you on a plate, and make the ads that you have perfected even more convincing. Most advertisers see at least a 28% gain when using the new expanded text ads, it’s proven that they work.
Still not convinced? Well, you get a longer description line! Yes, you heard me. You now get one consolidated eighty character description line rather than two thirty-five character ones. Although it is said that the headline is a lot more important than the description, if a customer is interested – they are going to read it. You get more control over the message you want your ad to create, and this additional space allows you to communicate what value your site can provide. You can’t go wrong.
Plus, the ads are just bigger in general! You are now able to have an advertisement that is nearly 2x bigger than the normal text ads you are used to, meaning you have more room to convince someone to click your ad. Bigger ads means more space on the search results page, therefore, more potential clients. More potential clients mean better business for you. So expanded ads really do work in your favour.
These new ads will almost definitely improve your CTR, as more text means greater visibility. Early reports of the new expanded text ads are seeing an almost 20% CTR increase – so they obviously work.
Hopefully, Google’s new changes this year now make sense to you, make sure to use them to your advantage.