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How to Optimize for Expanded Text Ads

How to Optimize for Expanded Text Ads


Expanded Text Ads are here and they are huge!

Google finally rolled out the AdWords changes they purposed at their Performance Summit.The first expanded ads started popping up Tuesday and they are giving us double the text space! This is the biggest change in AdWords since it was developed over 15 years ago. Early adopters of the expanded text ad are already saying it’s been a positive for their business. Let’s find out how the traditional text ad has changed with the new and improved expanded ads and how to take advantage of the new space.

What do Expanded Text Ads Look Like?

Expanded Text Ads now have two headlines, each are 30 characters and a description line that is 80 characters. This differs from the standard text ads that have one headline that is 25 characters and a description line that is 35 characters. Expanded Ads also have upgraded the display URL by automatically taking your domain from your final URL (instead of you manually entering it) and giving you two paths to customize it. This is a 47% percent increase in space for marketers to create more engaging ads.

Let’s see a visual.

standard text ad vs expanded text ad

Guitar Center is one of the early adopters of Expanded Text Ads and they report that “Our non-brand campaigns alone have seen more than a 2x increase in CTR”, after using the expanded ads.

How to Optimize Expanded Text Ads

Immediately we will want to fill up that new space with all the great things about our product, but keep in mind the landing page. Try incorporating more language from your landing page into your description, for a better correlation and hopefully a better Quality Score, since there is now ample space to do so. This should also be applied to your new paths, choose paths that are relevant to the final landing page so users are comfortable clicking through.

Quality Score has a big impact on how much money you end up spending on your keywords and Quality Score is greatly affected by your CTR. So ultimately you should really focus on not just being served in the best position, but how many people click through to your ad.

Try different methods to up your Quality Score and enhance your click through rate like uncovering a very lazy SEM manager’s mistakes. Have you ever seen paid ads that look very very similar without any real marketing creativity? Ad copy can start to look very homogenous with their CTAs.




Does the Expanded Ad stand out? Are their CTAs more compelling than the rest? Did they take advantage of the extra space? Sometimes it can be challenging to find that one stand out element when you offer the same type of products, but even using different synonyms than competitors and then testing your ads could uncover a winning formula.

Assess your competitors ads and really try to use the space to differentiate yourself from what their offering. All competitors will claim to be the best, #1 in their niche, but what value propositions set you apart from your competition. What are you potential customer’s pain points? What are your company’s unique advantages? Use the space to stand out with CTAs answering these questions.

But the most important optimization is testing. Although there are early reports of expanded text ads being successful, do not replace your standard text ads with expanded ads right away. Test your expanded ads with your standard ads and label each distinctively so you can see how they are performing. Just because expanded ads are bigger does not mean they will automatically be more successful. You should still collect data and tweak your expanded ads according to how well they perform alongside your standard ads.

Hally Darnell

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