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Google’s Expanded Text Ad Changes – What To Expect

Earlier this year, Google announced a significant change for anyone running search campaigns. Expanded text ads will no longer be Google’s preferred search ad type. While expanded text ads (ETAs) will continue to serve for now, from the 20th of June 2022, advertisers will no longer be able to create or edit expanded text ads, with responsive search ads (RSAs) becoming the only available option.

However, expanded text ads will remain available until then and advertisers will be able to pause, resume or remove them. Also, performance reports for ETAs will still be available. Dynamic search ads will remain unaffected.

What does this mean for your campaigns? Well, if you’re already making use of responsive search ads, this shouldn’t be a big change. But if you haven’t started using RSAs yet, now is the time to start testing and getting comfortable with this ad format.

In order to prepare for the change, Google recommends that all advertisers have at least one responsive search ad in each ad group. Beyond that, they have some recommendations for when search campaigns go responsive-only:

Recommendations:

  • Make sure you know how responsive search ads work, and use pins where necessary to make sure that your most important headlines and descriptions show where you want them to show. This is particularly important for advertisers with strict requirements about wording. For example, those in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Focus on ad strength. All RSAs are given an “ad strength” score by Google, ranging from Poor to Excellent. This can be a useful barometer when optimising your ads.
  • Use existing content from your expanded text ads to populate responsive search ads. If you have headlines and descriptions that you already know perform well, these can be used as a strong foundation for your RSAs, with new assets to round out your ads.
  • Keep an eye on the recommendations tab within your account for improvements you can make to your responsive search ads. Google will often recommend additions and changes, such as headlines that are in your ETAs but missing from your RSAs.
  • Make use of ad variations. This is a setting that can be found within “Drafts & experiments” within your account. It allows advertisers to test changes to their ads at scale, and review performance across campaigns. For example, you can test how changing your call-to-action from “buy now” to “buy today” might affect performance.

For more information on how to effectively use RSAs, please refer to our beginner’s guide for Responsive Search Ads.

If you’re struggling to understand these updates or if you require any assistance with your paid online advertising, don’t hesitate to contact us at team@forwardandthinking.com