You Asked, Brad Geddes Answered: Google Expanded Text Ads Solved

Google Expanded Text Ads are taking over from the Standard Text Ads, as of now and will be mandatory by the end of the year. That means, marketers far and wide are transitioning from the old to the new. In our webinar, hosted on November 2nd, Brad Geddes of AdAlysis and myself, Richard Beck at Acquisio teamed up to lay out testing and migration strategies to help marketers move quickly and effectively to the new Ad format. With over 250 listeners on the line, we had a slew of valuable questions and thought those answers would be best served in a blog post for all to read.

And here they are; asked by you, answered by Brad.

Is better to test the performance of the ETAs in terms of Click Through Rate or Conversion Rate?

The better metric to actually use is the number of *conversions per impression* as it gives the ratio of opportunities for conversions (impressions) to the actual number of conversions you received. The higher this ratio, the better the performance you’re achieving. The exception would be for retail where we recommend using revenue per impression. Learn how to calculate CPI here.

Is it possible to include question marks in Expanded Text Ad’s Headline 2 field?

Yes. A question mark is allowed in a headline 1 or headline 2 field. It’s mostly exclamation points and excessive symbol usage in the headlines that will cause an ad to be rejected.

How do you think this new long description line affects the kind of content you would include in a callout extension?

The description line is complementary to callout extensions. If you want something displayed across all of your ads, then use a callout extension as these are displayed pretty consistently these days. Then use the description line for a more promotional text. If your callout text is included in your description, Google may not show the callout.

Are you seeing any trends for fields that are seeing more traction for desktop vs mobile?

So far we’re not really seeing huge mobile vs desktop trends. Of course, using specific mobile copy such as ‘Mobile Only Offer’ still works with ETAs as it did with mobile preferred ads; and often ‘Call Us’ vs ‘Contact Us’ works better on a phone as that’s an easier place to initiate a call; especially with the call extension. Outside of the obvious answers, we’re not seeing huge mobile vs desktop trends with respect to using different fields in completely different manners.

I am seeing across the board Cost Per Click increases with Expanded Text Ads and a drop in position. Most of my ETA are based from STA so far. Any ideas?

This depends a lot on how you created your Expanded Text Ads from STAs. In most cases, poor results are due to problems with the migration and you should review your strategies to see how they can be improved.

How many ads per Ad group do you suggest on average?

This is a volume question. If you have an AdGroup with 1000s of clicks per month, you can test multiple Ads, versus a group with 100s of clicks where you can only really test one. Remember that you need to achieve a statistically significant number of clicks in order to make any inference from the experiment. The maximum for any AdGroup should be five Ads, but 3-5 Ads is a good guideline for high-volume AdGroups and 2-3 is appropriate for lower volume AdGroups.

Do you recommend leaving one STA in all ad groups until Google has fully migrated in Q1?

Yes, it’s a good idea for the moment, especially if you are using Search Partners as they are not all ready for Expanded Text Ads.

In terms of checking data for multi ad group testing, are you using a custom report to see H2 data?

There are multiple ways to do this. You can you AdWords labels and download to Excel, use AdAlysis reporting, or within Acquisio, *Headline 2* is available in the ReportCenter’s Pivot table which is probably the simplest way to report on this.

How can I use Dynamic Keyword Insertion into ETAs? As you know ETAs have 2 headlines instead of 1 and I wonder whether to use Dynamic Keyword Insertion in headline 1 or headline 2 or both or not to use it?

This is one of those scenarios where testing your idea is the best solution. Try one ad using DKI and one that is custom to the keywords in that ad group and see which performs best.

Why do like adding a period after H1? Is not the idea by AdWords to be: Xxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxx – Xxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxx with a hyphen in-between the thoughts?

This is only necessary to help Google display STAs in a more Expanded Text Ad format. With ETAs, it’s not necessary.

During ad testing, should I have them on an optimized rotation, or should they be rotating evenly?

It’s preferable to rotate evenly when watching the tests so that all ads get equal impressions and you can get results quicker. If you aren’t monitoring your tests very well (either manually or with software); then using one of the optimize features is fine; just know that it’ll take longer to get statistically significant data and you’ll still need to pause the losers.

You can use Acquisio’s Bulksheet Management feature to set Ad_Rotation to “ROTATE_INDEFINITELY’ across all the campaigns you are testing.

What recommendations would you have for ETAs pertaining to high priced items (RVs, boats, & powersports for example), where conversions are lead form submissions?

In these cases, it’s best to first layout a few ideas for testing; such as a benefit of owning such an item ‘See the world in luxury’ versus a strong call to action ‘Discover how easy it is to own a Jetski’ and then test these types of ideas against each other.

Are Click Through Rates better because of new text copies and extra space? So, when all advertisers will be upgraded, will rates come back to “normal”?

What we’ve seen in mature industries where the transition has been done, Click Through Rates are higher than before, however it is less than the 20% expectation set by Google.

How can I use Expanded Text Ads to improve search impression share?

ETAs don’t have a direct relationship with impression share. You should first look at why you are losing impression share. If you are losing IS due to budget issues; then you need to either raise your budget or potentially lower CPCs if you can get more clicks for less money. If you are losing IS due to rank; then using ETAs can help as they usually have higher CTRs than STAs and thus can help improve ad rank so that your ads show more often and therefore end up increasing your impression shares.

How would you recommend improving ETAs for e-commerce from your testing experience?

With ecommerce you’re often starting tests to see what works best such as: prices, discounts, free shipping, etc that can work across your ads. Then you focus on benefits of categories of products; finally, focus on tailoring benefits to the high selling products. You always need to balance your time with ecommerce as you don’t want to waste time customizing ads for products that are rarely sold (hence using category descriptions in these cases) and focusing more on your top products.

Are ETAs serving equally with STAs?

This can depend upon many different factors. On the Google Search network you should see equal serving, however on the Partner Network you might see more STAs being served because not all partners are ready yet to serve ETAs. However, this situation could change at any moment if Google so desired.

We manage multiple accounts and have noticed that besides CTR increasing 15-35% among the first month, we also noticed an almost immediate increase in avg. position (even before CTR starts highly increasing). Do ETAs give better rating when the Google algorithm calculates ranking or it’s just they achieving better quality levels on Keywords thanks to being able to include more information in each Ad?

Right now, Google isn’t favoring ETAs vs STAs in the auction. If you’re seeing better positions, it’s due to having higher CTRs, thus a higher quality score for you ETA & keyword combinations versus your STA and keyword combinations and that’s mostly likely causing the position increases.

I’ve been advised by Google support to make H1 the company name. When does that make sense?

This might make sense when you are advertising brand names. Any such advice should be taken as advice to run a test rather than as a hard and fast rule. Your context might mean that another approach would be more effective for you. It’s best to run the test and see if it works!

There you have it. If you have any questions, please comment below!

Richard Beck

Richard Beck

Acquisio's AdPlatform Product Manager, Richard has over 10 years experience in digital Product Management and Marketing across various industries in multiple countries. Prior to working at Acquisio he brought innovation to Yellow Pages Canada, Aptilon and StepStone SA.

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