It’s a brand new day in the AdWords world!  Expanded text ads recently went live.

The old 25-35-35 rule is out the door, ushered in is the new 30-30-80 rule which consists of TWO headlines of up to 30 characters of text each, followed by an 80 character expanded description.

With the old format it was possible to get an extended headline by adding a period to the end of the first line but the new extended ads make the longer headline standard – each and every ad will have it.  Combined with the 80 character description box there is now almost 50% more space for ad copy.

In Google’s Inside AdWords blog they describe the Expanded Text Ads as

“the biggest update to our ad creative since we introduced AdWords more than 15 years ago.”

Google is making these changes so that the ads are optimized for mobile phones.  Their research shows that longer headlines are more useful to mobile users.  And now that search is becoming a mobile first world — this change is a very important one for advertisers.

Here’s how Google visually shows the change in their blog:

What to do now that the format has changed?

Take advantage of the new description box

What to do? What to do? First, its important to deliberately think about how best to use these extra characters. The description box now has 80 characters of space so brands can now use this space to provide additional information to consumers on the attributes and benefits of products and services.

Grab attention with the new headline format

Google emphasizes that the most time should be spent testing headlines. Google wants to see your best work in the headlines and so do internet surfers! The new headline format not only is longer but also has more options for displaying ecommerce terms like “free shipping”. Catch searchers eyes by picking your words strategically – to get the most from them. There are people that spend their time searching Google not for items but for terms like “free shipping”. Make their jobs a little easier! Continue to use your main keywords as part of the headline, but now you can include items like “free shipping”, coupon codes for percentages off, and other terms of the sale or event you are promoting.

Don’t overlook your call to action!

Want people to download something, read something or buy something? Tell them! Sometimes they’ve been at it a while and need a nudge. Don’t forget to let them know.  Say things like; “Download your coupon here.” or “Download your 25% off coupon here!” If I had a choice between an ad with at CTA versus one without one — I know which one I’d choose!  Don’t just add info, add useful info.

Test the new extended ads

Long story short: Test the new extended ads to see what happens. Try various headlines and descriptions to see what catches the eye better. Maintain your keywords in the headline. Finally, ask them to do something. Click, Download, Read and Get are some of the helpful action terms that you need to consider.  Focus on the Headlines. Focus on the Headlines.  Focus on the Headlines!

Plan Ahead

As of this October 26th, Google will disallow creation of ads under the old format. No date has been set for removal of old style ads, but you know it’s coming, so get ready now. Really, given how much this change positively impacts performance, take advantage of this new ad real estate as soon as possible!  And for more information, check-out Google’s Best Practices on how to create these new expanded text ads.