The Big Bang…in Digital Marketing
Since the beginning of AdWords theoretical time, ad structure for AdWords has been as follows: 25 characters in the headline, 35 characters for description line 1, 35 characters for description line 2, and 35 characters for the display URL. On May 24th, Google decided to shake up the entire digital marketing world as we know it with “expanded text ads.”
The new text ads are as such: two headlines with 30-character lengths, one consolidated 80-character description line, and an automatic display URL that is pulled from the final URL.
So, What Does This Mean For the Advertiser?
- Rewriting all of your ads. The first thing an advertiser will realize is they need to rewrite every ad to fit this ad format. My advice, start…yesterday. This will take a long time, especially for larger accounts.
- No more fake subdomains in your display URL. Turns out Google probably didn’t like advertisers making fake subdomains for their display URL. This was a pretty powerful tactic for a lot of advertisers, especially during peak seasons when one could append words like “sale” in front of their domain.
- A more “organic” look. An advertiser’s ads will now look a lot more like organic listings. Now, I don’t see Google dropping the small “ad” image next to the ads, but I’m sure with the right sitelinks attached, the ads will look no different than an organic listing. This could have the probability of really increasing click-through rate. In saying that, it could drive up costs earlier in the day. This may force advertisers to rethink the keywords they are bidding on, their bidding strategy as a whole, and possibly increase total ad spend.
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- Creativity now really matters. With the extra space, advertisers are going to have to bring out their right brain. Competition is going to have more real estate to make a more eye-catching ad, despite the position one may be in. Ads are now 47% bigger, meaning an advertiser has to be at least 47% more creative.
- Quality Score is everything. Quality Score is possibly the most important metric in an AdWords account (sometimes I feel differently, but, different blog post). Now with the expanded text ads, anything below spots 2 or 3 may become irrelevant due to the amount of space they will be taking up. Time will tell with average position vs. click-through rate reports that will come out post launch.
And What Does This Mean If You’re a Client?
- Tell your agency/contractor/consultant to get going on their edits. You don’t want to be the “client that got left behind.” It should be rather easy for one’s agency to create a simple template in excel and get to writing the new ads. If they’re not, I’m here. Welcome to Perficient Digital, my team can take care of you.
- Possibly expect a decrease in organic traffic. As mentioned prior, the ads look nearly identical to an organic listing. With the four large ads, there is a chance they could take up the entire space above the fold depending on device being used. This will increase overall paid traffic and possibly decrease organic traffic.
- Competition, competition, competition. Expect an increase in overall competition. With the ads taking up extra space, the SERP is going to get pretty crowded. Anything below the fourth spot will most likely be on the bottom of the page and, in my opinion, extraneous. Also with this increase in competition, one would assume an increase in overall CPC, increased overall costs, and that may affect the amount of traffic one could afford month over month.
Whether you’re an advertiser, client, or just an ordinary user, get ready for change. Like anything in life, as long as one properly prepare for what’s to come, it should be okay. Ensure the ads are prepped, the client/advertiser is talked to about the change, and understand what it could do monetarily speaking.