Expanded Text Ads: Everything a Marketer Needs to Know

A favorite tool of marketers, expanded text ads offer an innovative way to reach your target audience via pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. If you’re looking to use expanded text ads, however, you need to know what they are and how to use them to your advantage.

Keep reading to learn all about expanded text ads!

What are expanded text ads?

Expanded text ads are a type of search ad, available through Google Ads. They appear in search results on Google, unlike display ads which show on sites within Google’s advertising network.

With an expanded text ad, you can create three headlines, two descriptions, and a display URL. These features allow you to share additional information with viewers, which can lead to a click from a qualified member of your target audience.

What do Google’s expanded text ads look like?

As you can see in the image below, expanded text ads take up a lot more space in search results, compared to previous search ads. The additional information, however, makes the ad intriguing to users and provides valuable information.

An example of a Google expanded text ad

Why use expanded text ads?

A few quick reasons to use expanded text ads in your PPC strategy include:

  • Maximize your presence in search engine result pages (SERPs)
  • Ensure your advertising strategy appears on all devices
  • Give your target audience more information via additional headlines and descriptions
  • Test your headlines and descriptions to find the option that performs the best

With the multiple benefits of expanded text ads, your company can drive valuable clicks and traffic to your website. This traffic can result in qualified leads, high-value purchases, and additional revenue for your business.

7 best practices for Google expanded text ads

If you want the best results from your expanded text ads campaign, then you need to use the best practices for this ad type. When you use proven tips and strategies, you can drive your revenue and advertising return on investment (ROI) up.

Here are the seven best practices for writing your expanded text ads:

1.       Use increased character limit

Text ad character limits used to sit at 25-35-35 — 25 for headlines, 35 for descriptions.

Now, the character limit is 30-30-30-90-90. You can now have three 30-character headlines and two 90-character descriptions. Companies can also utilize the two 15-character path fields in the display URL to their benefit as well.

The increased character limit comes with great responsibility, however.

Expanded text ads can have three headlines and two descriptions, plus a display URL

You want to make sure you utilize the characters to their highest potential. In ad copy, every word counts and should appeal to your target audience, motivating them to click and act on your expanded text ad.

Brainstorm a variety of ad copy options, then have your team review it. If you come up with a better idea later, you can always modify your expanded text ad. This ability to update your ads throughout a campaign is a significant advantage of Google Ads.

2.       Include the most important information in the first headline

Next, you want to make sure that your most important information is in the first headline. Your first headline is read first by users, so you want viewers to see the most critical details first.

Your first headline should refer to the content on your landing page.

This headline can tell the searcher if your website’s relevant to them. If you’re targeting the right keywords, your site should match a user’s intent. A low click-through rate (CTR) can signal that an ad doesn’t match user intent.

3.       Prioritize the first headline

This obvious statement goes along with why your most important information should appear in your first headline. The first headline plays a significant role in whether your page shows up in a search result.

Another reason to prioritize your first headline?

Your third headline may not show in some results, which means your first and second headline need to make sense without headline three. This design feature makes headline one and two more critical than headline three as well.

For the best results, make sure each headline can stand alone.

4.       Keep old ads

Running new ads is exciting, especially with expanded text ads offering more room for copy.

Don’t forget about your old ad campaigns, though. You have optimized these ads to get not only traffic but also conversions. That’s why it’s best practice to keep your old text ads until assessing the performance of your expanded text ads.

Start by keeping all your ads active while launching your new expanded text ads.

Keep existing ads live while tweaking the performance of expanded text ads

Once your Google expanded text ads have run for enough time to produce enough data, you can begin modifying your expanded text ads to maximize their performance. Once you’re satisfied with their performance, you can start pausing your old text ads.

If your expanded text ads take time to perform, you have your old text ads to drive results.

5.       Develop ads for every device

With expanded text ads, you can reach users on any device, from tablets to desktops to mobile devices. Due to the ability of expanded text ads to appear on any device, it’s essential for your team to have a mobile-friendly landing page.

Your ads should also consider every device.

For example, if you’re running an expanded text ad for your quote calculator, then you need to ensure that the calculator works on every device. If it doesn’t work on mobile, that can result in clicks that don’t lead to anything.

6.       Use keywords in the display URL path

Adding keywords to your display URL path fields also shows the relevancy of your website.

For reference, a display URL allows your team to create a different, yet relevant version of your actual URL. As an example, the URL “https://www.webfx.com/ppc-management-services.html” may have the display URL “https://www.webfx.com/PPC-Services.html.”

In most cases, companies use the display URL to insert relevant keywords.

Create a relevant display URL that features your targeted keyword

The previous example, for instance, may target “ppc services” with its display URL.

Use this strategy for your expanded text ad campaign. Add keywords to the end of your domain that coordinate with the keyword of the landing page. For reference, you can have two display URL paths that allow 15 characters each.

7.       Redo ad extensions

Your ad extensions are another factor to consider when creating new expanded text ads. Companies often forget about their ad extensions because they set them when creating their old text ads.

You want to go back and review them before launching your expanded text ads, though.

What’s the point of going back and checking your ad extensions?

Making sure they’re not redundant with your ads. Now that you can put more content into the actual ad, you might find the ad extensions repeat what you already said. Redoing your ad extensions or ad copy ensures your ad doesn’t repeat itself.

If your ad copy overlaps an ad extension, consider revising your copy. With a proactive approach to your ad extensions and ad copy, you can maximize the performance and impact of your ads.

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