Google’s much anticipated roll-out of the new expanded text ads has officially been pushed to January 31, 2017. This is good news for businesses who have yet to get up to speed on what the changes will mean for them. Here’s what you need to know:
What’s the latest?
In Google Adwords, search ads are now having expanded text ads, this allow for an extra 45 characters of content within the ad which can allow you to expand your message. Early testing by Google has revealed that longer text ads offer better conversions, especially on mobile with an increase of 30 per cent over the standard ad format.
What will happen to the standard text ads?
Existing standard text ads will not be deleted; they will continue to remain in play. However, from January 31, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads. This means if you have an existing standard text ad that you wish to update after this time you will be forced to use the expanded text ads format.
CREATE MULTIPLE VERSIONS INITIALLY
What should I do for expanded my text ads?
# 1. Test your headlines: One of the main advantages of expanded text ads is that you get a second headline. This means it has never been more important to get the messaging of your headlines correct. Use A/B testing to figure out what headlines prove most popular. Try to include the most important messaging in your headlines as not all users will read the full ad, and remember that headline #1 is the most important of the two.
# 2. Write new ads (and multiple versions): Don’t succumb to the belief that all you need to do is simply add a second headline to your standard ad. This is an opportunity to write new ads so take advantage of it. Remember to create multiple versions initially. As with all changes, you cannot fully guarantee how consumers will react and what will work most effectively so test multiple versions in the beginning to find what works best.
Remember, that as with any other type of advertising, your ads should be customised to users’ different queries and searches so don’t implement the same expanded text ad across multiple ad groups or lose sight of what your customers want. Do feel free to carry across messages and themes that have resonated with your audience in standard text ads but don’t copy word for word.
# 3. Don’t pause your old ads immediately: Leave your top performing standard ads in active mode for the first few months following the expanded text ads rollout. Only delete them once your expanded text ads have proved they are outperforming the existing ads.
IF YOU KNOW YOUR PRICES ARE CHEAPER THEN DON’T BE MODEST!
What extra content and wording should I include in my ads?
“Lowest prices guaranteed” – If you have researched your competitors and know that the prices on your offerings are significantly cheaper than those of your competitors, don’t be modest. Both online shoppers and people who do web research before buying in store are significantly motivated by price. Appeal to bargain hunters in your ads.
“Free shipping” – If consumers see a similarly priced item offered by two online retailers, most customers will opt to buy from the company that offers free shipping. Shipping offers can sometimes even outperform discount offers. So, if you offer free shipping on all products, or over a certain price threshold, don’t forget to include this in your ad.
“In stock now” – Most of us have experienced the frustration of looking for products online, only to find out that the retailer doesn’t actually have them in stock and has to order them in from overseas. If you have the items in stock or offer a “huge selection” make sure to mention this.
“Hassle-free returns” – Often a disincentive for shopping online is not knowing how easy it is to return products if they are faulty or don’t fit (e.g. clothing). By letting customers know that you welcome returns and make it easy you can remove that mental barrier and improve customers’ perceptions of your brand’s trustworthiness.
“Loyalty programme available” – Some retailers report increases of up to 20 per cent in conversions when they mention loyalty programmes in your ads. If this is applicable to your company, consider trialling it and see if you can get the same results.
“Shop” – This is a very subtle point regarding wording but early trials of expanded text ads have shown that customers are more responsive to the word “shop” than “buy” or “get”.
TESTIMONIALS ARE VERY POWERFUL
Why do testimonials work?
One final ad copy consideration is to include testimonials. Testimonials are incredibly powerful. Although you won’t have space to include them in your ad text, you can easily incorporate them into your ads with the use of seller rating features and review extensions.