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What Your Franchise Needs to Know About Google’s New Expanded Text Ads Posted by Stephen Bess | 11.30.16 1:20pm

Has your franchise started using Google’s new expanded text ads yet? The new pay-per-click (PPC) ad format gives advertisers more room for text and a better ad structure, which equates to improved messaging for potential customers. Google officially started rolling out its expanded text ads in July, and it plans to completely phase out the old standard text ad format by the end of January. However, there are still many advertisers who have not yet started making the transition.

Is your franchise ready to make the switch? The first step is understanding what expanded text ads are and what they have to offer. After that, you can start experimenting with these new ads so you’re ahead of the game by the time Google makes the complete transition. At Scorpion, our franchise marketing specialists are revamping our clients’ PPC ad campaigns to ensure that they are up-to-date and able to receive the full benefit of the new expanded text ad format.

What’s the Difference Between Expanded Text Ads & Standard Text Ads?

Here’s what you get with expanded text ads, as outlined by Google:

Double the headline space
Instead of just getting one headline with a maximum of 25 characters, you now get two headlines with up to 30 characters each. The two headline fields appear side-by-side, separated by a hyphen.

One long description line with more characters
While standard text ads include two description lines with up to 35 characters each, you now get one long description line that allows for up to 80 characters. This gives you greater flexibility, as you no longer have to worry about splitting your message onto two different lines.

Streamlining of the display URL setup process
The expanded ad format provides a more streamlined process of creating your display URL. Google automatically pulls in your domain name, rather than making you enter it manually. It also gives you the option to customize your display URL with up to two “Path” fields. In these fields, you use words or short phrases to give the online user a better idea of which page they are being taken to. For example, for Scorpion, the display URL might look like this: www.Scorpion.co/Franchise/Marketing.

Automatic mobile optimization of your text ads
Expanded text ads are designed for optimal performance across all devices, including mobile devices. As a result, you will not be able to create or edit your ads under the mobile device setting, as this is no longer needed.

Here’s Google's side-by-side comparison of the expanded text ad format (left) and the standard text ad format (right).

5 Tips for Creating the Best Expanded Text Ads

As you begin experimenting with expanded text ads, here are a few tips to consider:

Write fresh ad copy—don’t simply add copy to your existing standard text ads.
Now that you have more headline space and characters available, you have the opportunity to completely rethink your messaging and improve it. In your new ad, you may want to change the focal point of your headlines, or you may want to rework your description text now that it runs continuously rather than being disjointed into two sections. Experiment with your copy to see what gets the best results!

Remember that your headlines are your greatest draw.
Your ad headline was already the most visible component of your ad, and now with double the space, it’s even more prominent. As a result, you will want to place the most emphasis on writing a headline that is compelling and features the most important benefits your franchise is offering to the potential customer. As usual, it is also important to include relevant keywords in your headline text.

Update your ad extensions.
With the higher character counts that come with expanded text ads, your ads will likely be more detailed. This may result in ad extensions that are repetitive of your ads, which could prevent the extensions from showing.

Test different versions of expanded text ads.
To find the best results, you should test multiple versions of your expanded text ads. Google recommends 3 to 5 ads per had group. Google also says the first thing you should test are the headlines. Experimenting with different ads will help you identify what gets your franchise the best results under the new ad format.

Not Using Expanded Text Ads Yet? Now Is the Time to Start

Is your franchise waiting until the last minute to make the switch? If so, you’re missing out on the benefits of more visible headlines, more text, improved messaging, and an enhanced experience for the potential customers you are trying to target online. You could also be lagging behind competitors who are already testing out different expanded text ads and learning about what delivers the best results.

If your franchise is a Scorpion client, you don’t have to worry—we are already working on your PPC ads and making the necessary adjustments! We have a team of Google AdWords-certified Internet marketing specialists who stay up-to-date on the latest developments in online advertising. Our franchise advertising specialists are constantly working to improve clients’ paid search advertising campaigns so they can drive more business.

Contact Scorpion to learn how we can get your franchise better results from its online advertising!


About the Author
Stephen Bess is VP of Franchise Marketing at Scorpion. He is committed to helping franchises attract more customers for their franchisees through competitive digital marketing strategies. Stephen, who is Google AdWords-certified, is a graduate of Rice University in Houston, Texas. He has extensive experience in client management, marketing, and writing.

Prior to joining Scorpion, Stephen spent more than 10 years in the print, web, and digital publishing industry as a head editor of several magazines. He is also a former professional baseball player the Detroit Tigers, a foodie, and an amateur chef. He enjoys learning, trying red wines, and traveling to Santa Ynez, Paso Robles, Napa, and Sonoma with his wife and his daughter.