Big news this summer in the pay-per-click advertising world - In July, Google announced the launch of a new ad format: Expanded Text Ads (ETAs). As the name implies, these new ads significantly increased the available characters in search ads, allowing advertisers to include clearer and broader messaging. They also restructured how headlines and descriptions worked. Below is what you need to know and what we here at iMarket have been doing to adapt to the change for our clients.

Why change the current ad format?

In a world where 60% of searches now occur on mobile devices, Google is optimizing ads for mobile screen size on the most popular smartphones. This ad format change comes on the heels of two other recent major changes for advertisers to adapt the AdWords platform for an increasingly mobile user base.

  • In February 2016, Google made a world-wide announcement that ads will no longer show on the right side of desktop search results.
  • In May 2016, AdWords begins to allow bid adjustments for desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

What will your ads look like?

ETA ads feature longer more prominent headlines, relevant display URLs and a longer description lines. With over 45% more characters to work with than standard ads, advertisers have more room to get messages across more clearly while using up more real estate in the search results page.


Google AdWords Text Ads


Google AdWords Expanded Text Ads

What results should I expect?

Google has reported that advertisers are seeing as much as a +92% increase in click-through rates with ETAs, over standard ads.  

In August, iMarket began a strategic rollout of ETA ads to our clients and have already seen a strong +22% click-through rate improvement.

Ad Type iMarket Click-Through
Expanded Text Ad 2.33%
Standard Text Ad 1.81%

What's happening to standard ads?

Don't panic - if you still have standard ads running, nothing is going to happen. As of January 1, 2017, however, you will no longer be able to create standard or edit text ads:

You now have until January 31, 2017, to make the transition to expanded text ads (instead of the original date of October 26, 2016). This means starting on January 31, 2017, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads — you’ll only be able to create and edit text ads using the expanded text ads format. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve alongside expanded text ads.

By why wait and risk playing catch-up in the new year? As stated earlier in this posted, we've begun a project to roll ETAs out to all of our clients and phasing standard ads right out of our campaigns.

If you'd like to learn more about how expanded text ads, and pay-per-click advertising in general, can help drive leads to your home services business, call us or schedule your free consultation online today.