First, Twitter increased its character limit from 140 to 280 characters, and businesses rejoiced. Now, Google has followed suit by expanding the text ads on its pay-per-click advertising platform AdWords, and businesses are celebrating again. Well, some of them are. Before we look at what is separating the delighted from the dejected, let’s take a step back and focus on what’s new and why it matters.
More Precious Virtual Real Estate
In the virtual world, the digital landscape populated by Google AdWords is valuable. Especially for businesses that solely rely on high quality, targeted leads from the Internet. Indeed, don’t underestimate the potency of those little ads that dot the header, footer, and margins of a Google search results page. Those ads drive more than $100 million a day to Google’s coffers, and they generate profitable customers for businesses that utilize Google AdWords best practices.
Yet until very recently, there was a common — and valid — complaint from even the most successful AdWords advertisers: there simply wasn’t enough room to create an ad that was both compelling and informative. Fortunately, Google listened and agreed with that feedback, because they introduced new expanded text ads.
There are eight elements that comprise an AdWords ad, and Google has loosened the reigns on four of them:
For reference, the elements that are staying the same — at least for now — include:
Google has analyzed performance across thousands of live search ad campaigns, and found that marketing agencies and advertisers who take full advantage of this new enhanced AdWords real estate generate on average 15% more clicks vs. the previous format. On a pay-per-click landscape where even a 5% increase is a major improvement, the possibility of boosting traffic by 15% — and without spending a penny more — is simply too good of an opportunity to pass up.
If your business is currently running AdWords search ad campaigns or has been outsourcing to an external internet marketing company — or if you plan on launching campaigns in the future — here are 10 Google AdWords best practices on how to leverage expanded text ads:
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