How to get the best from the new Google AdWords expandable text format

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AdWords Expanded Text Ad

The Google AdWords expandable text format went live on the 26th of July and many PPC account managers are yet to take advantage of this excellent ad format. I finally spared some moments yesterday to implement this ad format on a few clients’ accounts and will share some few thoughts on how to structure these ads for maximum results.

Tips on leveraging Google AdWords expandable test format:

  • AdWords Editor Compatibility: AdWords editor is a lifesaver for most AdWords tasks such as ad copy creation. The new expandable text format is now compatible with AdWords editor and you can easily add expanded text via the interface and post them to your AdWords account.

AdWords editor expandable text image


  •  Don’t use foreign characters in the expandable text URL path: One of the big advantages of the text format is that it allows for more characters in your display Url. It has two pathways- the first and second pathways allow for a maximum of 15 characters each. It will be advisable to have the first pathway contain the name of the product or service category or subcategory and the second path to be the actual product name or a compelling USP. A good example for a fashion retailer could be: ‘WeddingBags/50%off.’ AdWords does not allow for the inclusion of special characters like slashes in the pathway as the format has an automatic forward slash.

AdWord Expandable text image

  • Allow for both and optimise for mobile: At this stage, I am combining the standard and expandable text ads in each AdGroup. The idea behind this is to evaluate the performance of both formats and optimise accordingly along key metrics of CTR, conversion rates and quality score. You should be aware that expandable text does not have device preference whilst standard text ads have a mobile device preference. It is important to have at least an ad with a mobile preference and optimise accordingly. Although, the expandable ad formats are optimised for the screen sizes of most popular smartphones, at this stage it will be great to have a mobile preferred standard text to run concurrently and evaluate accordingly.
  • Ad Rotation options: It is not necessary to change the ad rotation of a campaign after adding a new expanded text ad to an existing ad group. I added a couple of expandable text to an existing ad group and left the ad rotation settings the same way and after 24 hours the click through rate of the expandable text was better than that of the standard texts. The expandable text was served more on some ad groups within 24 hours.
  • Use your best-performing text ads: PPC account managers are quite used to creating concise ad copies due to the restrictions of the standard text format. The introduction of the expandable text format provides many opportunities to add more characters that will compel users into taking action. In creating your new expandable text ad, it is important to adapt ideas and text format from your successful standard text ads.Adwords expandable textIf you do insist on changing the ad rotation to rotate evenly for at least 90 days to ascertain the early performance of your expandable text, my advice will be to ensure this setting is changed after a few days to give your ads the best opportunity to perform at an optimal level.

Overall, the expandable text format will make the life of PPC account managers a lot better. Gone are the days of spending hours on Thesaurus looking for shorter synonyms of words. This is one of the key AdWords changes announced by Google during its performance summit. It is a game changer for performance marketing and it will be great to hear the early results from other marketers and business owners.

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