Last August, Google expanded the character limits within their text ads in SA360, ahead of the Responsive Search Ads launch tipped to launch in autumn this year. In true NMPi fashion, we’ve been testing the effect of the increased SERP real estate on campaign performance.
What are they?
The extra character limits are designed to give you more room to convey your message to the user. It allows you to add a third headline, a second description, and use up to 90 characters for each description. Ultimately, giving you much more control over your messaging.
With these larger ads you’re able to take up more space on the SERP, meaning that the top spot is even more lucrative. Note that sometimes your ads might be cut short if there isn’t enough space. So, make sure your copy still works without the third headline or second description.
What can you do with them?
The most obvious thing you can do with the extra characters is include more detail. You have more space to provide more information about your product or service. It’s easier to call out any offers or deals, or your USP. With all of this additional information, users are more likely to click on your ads.
It also gives you another opportunity to test your messaging within your ads. There are greater variations which you can compare to discover which resonates best with your audience.
Google claims that these longer ads receive 15% more clicks than other formats, so we decided to test it for ourselves.
How do they perform?
We ran a preliminary test between the standard text format and the new expanded format. By the end of the test, we could clearly see the difference in performance. Impressions for the expanded format were significantly higher, matched by higher clicks. In fact, we also saw a 10% uplift in CTR.
The campaign did see a lower conversion rate, however, this may be attributed to the 30-day cookie window and the short period in which the expanded format has been available to test.
It is easy to see how effective the expanded text ads are: more impressions, more clicks, and higher click-through-rate. We highly recommend taking advantage of the extended character limits and testing their performance for yourself but do keep an eye on your conversion rates.