Google Increases Character Limits for Text Ads and Adds New Price Extensions

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

It may seem unbelievable to some, but the small text-based ads that people see through Google ads are often very effective. The secret to a successful PPC ad campaign is making the most of the limited space available. But just because something is effective doesn’t mean that it can’t be better. Google seems to agree with this assessment, as they recently announced several changes to Google Ads to give marketers more space to entice their target audience.

Google has increased the number of characters available for text ads by 47 percent. Instead of a 25-character headline and two 35-character description lines, we’ve got two headlines (two!) of 30 characters each, plus an 80-character description line. The new larger headline doesn’t come at the expense of description lines. Everything has been increased in size.

As well as increasing the character limits, display URLs have also changed with Expanded Text Ads. Rather than manually entering any URL you like, it’s now automatically extracted from your final URL, and you can customize the rest of it with up to two paths (e.g., /Clothing/Dresses).

According to an analysis from Merkle|Periscopix, the company has been implementing Expanded Text Ads in our accounts as soon as they’re available and keeping a very close eye on performance. The analysis compared expanded text ads to standard ads, as well as at how often they were appearing.

According to Merkle/Periscopix, “The percent of impressions for Expanded Text Ads varies dramatically from client to client and from week to week. We’ve seen it vary from as little as 20 percent to around 90 percent for one finance client — although this soon settled to a less dramatic 45 percent.”

However, some of the initial results have been mixed. According to Search Engine Land, one travel client found that CTR on Expanded Text Ads was 32 percent higher when appearing in the banner but only 10 percent higher when appearing at the bottom of the page. But it should be noted that some clients have even seen worse CTR from Expanded Text Ads, though this has been rare and the changes were dramatic

Price Extensions - Rows_framedAdditionally, Google is launching a new price extension for AdWords text ads that will give advertisers a new way to showcase their services, products and prices. The new price extensions show as a list below the main ad copy on mobile.

This goes beyond the typical price range information one typically seems on some ads. These extension take up a substantial amount of space on the ad and can list several of the retailers most popular items.

The new ad changes can have huge effects for business owners who are using PPC ads. Just a few more characters for the headline and description can lead to more engaging messages and increased click through rates.

These are currently being rolled out and it’s something that business owners and marketers should considerably using in their ad campaigns.

For more news about changes and updates to Google, read this article on changes to ads on YouTube and other Google AdWords products.


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