With the release of AdWords and Bing Advertising’s Expanded Text Ads (ETAs), which launched on July 26, 2016, search marketers have been eager to get out there in the last couple of months in order to test, optimize, and refine their own strategies. This has resulted in a whole new list of “Best Practices” that we here at Hall Internet Marketing have been excited to test and implement, as we prepare for the final switch over on January 31, 2016. Below is a list of several best practices that we have found through our own testing as well as through research among other search marketers.
1.) Test Early and Often
If you haven’t already, we highly recommend crafting and implementing your new ETAs into your AdWords or Bing account as soon as possible. This will give you time to run the new ETAs against the current standard text ads to ensure that you are getting an equal, if not better click-through rate (CTR). If the CTR is not where it needs to be for the new ETAs, this time will allow you to iterate and further optimize your ads.
Once you have achieved at least parity old ads, it is perfectly acceptable to phase them out and continue testing with the new ETA ad format.
2.) Take Complete Advantage of the Extra Character Limits
If testing has shown us anything, it’s that you can’t simply take your old text ads and mash a second headline on and expect it to perform better. Rather, you should work on rewriting your ad copy so that it enhances your offer, avoids being repetitive, and provides a strong value proposition.
3.) Focus on Your Headlines
As with standard text ads, your headline provides the most influence on the performance of your CTR. It’s safe to say that this is where you will want to spend a large portion of your time in terms of call-to-actions and testing. However, keep in mind that Google may truncate your second headline, so it may be best to include your most critical information, such as a call-to-action in the first headline.
Again, these are just a few of the best practices that we have come developed in our testing and research, but there are many others to consider. For more information on this topic, check out Google’s blog post on the subject here: Create Effective Text Ads: Google Best Practices