Is Your Hotel Ready for Expanded Text Ads?

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Alex Corral
Alex Corral
December 22, 2016
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Is your hotel ready for Expanded Text Ads? Do you run paid search ads on Google? Do you feel 100% confident that you are up to date with all the changes that have gone on this year on the platform? There were ALOT. They ranged from small changes to the interface, to completely changing the layout. They removed right-hand side ads, they put an emphasis on mobile, & they introduced expanded text ads.

Expanded-what-now’s?

Google introduced Expanded Text Ads around July 26, 2016, and many of us have been using them for some time now. I personally think they are 10 times better than the old format. They offer so much more room! Lucky for you, the cut-off date has been pushed back to January 31, 2017. This means that there is still time for you to get your expanded text ads ready for the coming new year.

TL;DR

The standard: 25 characters for a headline + 2 x 35 character description lines are on their way out. They are being replaced by 2 x 30 character headlines & one 80 character description line. Since the change is near, make sure that you are prepared. 

Standard Text Ads v. ETA’s

Why the change? Weren’t things going well? I mean standard text ads have been around my entire digital marketing life. Why mix it up now? Well, the easiest way to sum it up is with one word: mobile. ETA’s were introduced because of the shift in consumers behavior. There are more searchers using mobile devices now than there ever has been. So, it made sense for Google to optimize their ads for the most popular smartphone sizes.Things that you should be on the lookout for:

Since the new ad format was made with the intent of having a uniform, mobile first design, you should always keep that in the in mind when making the transition to ETA’s. What I mean by that mobile first language should be at the forefront of your mind when you are coming up with your headlines – see micro-moments.

  • Focus on the headline, it is the most important part of the new ads. When you are coming up with your headlines, you need to make sure that you are providing your potential customers with most value. One of the last things that you want to do is seem overly pushy.
  • Some of the lessons learned from standard ads will be applicable. Don’t throw all the history away just because there is a new format.
  • You need to make sure that you are speaking directly to the user’s needs when you are crafting your new copy.
  • You don’t want to sound repetitive, so make sure that you check your structured snippet and site link extensions so that there is no overlap between your new ads and other snippets.
  • Run similar types of experiments like you have been with standard text ads.

Keep In Mind

You probably spent a ton of time getting your standard text ads to perform at the level that they are performing now. You will need to build up your Expanded Text Ads in much the same way. Remember what you learned during that testing and apply it to your test for the ETA’s. Google recommends that you test 3-5 new ETA’s in your best-performing groups.

It goes without saying but you should label all your tests to see what is working. Set a testing schedule and make sure that you stick to it. If you don’t then it will take you longer to come up with a conclusion on what works and what doesn’t. If you waited this long to change your ads, then time is of the essence.

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