Expanded Text Ads re-write the Ad Words rulebook. Don't miss out on their benefits.

Google’s new Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) have been a real game-changer for pay-per-click marketers, rewriting the rules for AdWords best practice and forcing users to adapt. Almost doubling the character count allows greater opportunity to create engaging, unique content, and with Google reporting increased click-through rates of 20-30% during beta testing, it’s a development that PPC managers cannot afford to ignore. The search engine giant will be shifting to the expanded format permanently, phasing out ‘standard’ ads by the end of January 2017. Any experienced AdWords marketer worth their salt will appreciate the need to lead the pack and nail their ETA game before competitors know what’s hit them, so here’s a brief guide to doing just that.

What inspired the change?

It’s been 16 years since AdWords…

Introducing Expanded Text Ads.

Previously, the standard AdWords text ads that appear at the top and bottom of Google search results had a headline of up to 25 characters, and then two description lines of up to 35 characters each. They looked like this: or, if you put a full stop at the end of your first description line, Google would move that description line up to be next to the headline, and your ad would look like this: With the introduction of Expanded Text Ads, advertisers can now have two headlines of up to 30 characters each, plus a single description line of up to 80 characters. So the total space you’ve got available to put your message across has leapt from 95 characters to 140 characters. That’s nearly a 50% increase! The display URL that appears in the ads has changed too – instead of being…

Examples and best-practice advice on implementing Google ad extensions

Ad Extensions are additional features that enhance, or extend, your AdWords ads. Options include call extensions - which add a phone number or ‘click-to-call’ button to your ads, sitelinks - which let you add links to other pages within your website, and location extensions – which can include a map marker. There are various types of Ad Extensions and each has its own advantages, but in general the overall benefits of using Ad Extensions are: Ad Extensions are free. You only incur a pay per click amount, equivalent to a headline click, if someone engages with your ad. They make your ads more visible, because they take up more room in the SERPs. They help improve CTR, because they let you add valuable information about your products and services. They help improve Ad Rank: Google says “If two competing ads have the same bid and quality, then…

With ½ billion ads banned in 2014 it could happen to you

We know you will be a squeaky clean Google Advertisers; you don't breach advertising policies or deal in counterfeit goods! But how good are you as an individual at spotting a harmful advert which will download malware or spyware software, or is selling dangerous healthcare products ? Let's be honest, we are not trained police or specialists and even the most alert person can be drawn in by fraudsters. Consumers have the 'web busters' looking out for them as the consortium TrustinAds.org helps to fight this on-line advertising crime by removing or rejecting adverts - though we still need to be vigilant! In this new infographics from Google its seems there is shortage of scammers - last year alone, more than 7,000 Advertisers promoted counterfeit goods, 250,000 sites from Google's network were removed for hiding malware and 2.5 million ads related to weight loss…

Plus examples of good and poor practice in writing ad copy

Paid search advertising provides an opportunity for almost any business to improve their visibility in the SERPs. But creating an advert and setting it live isn’t enough. As Google continues on its mission to deliver only the highest quality search results, its rules around what adverts are generated and where they appear are ever stricter. It is therefore essential that marketers do all they can to ensure their advert is seen – and that people click on it. One of the simplest ways to achieve this is to write better AdWords ads.

Seven Tips to improve your Adwords campaigns

Here are seven tips particularly relevant in my experience to small and medium businesses (SMEs/SMBs). I've illustrated the tips with examples to show the details you must consider to make your AdWords ads effective.

 Tip 1 - be relevant

This might seem obvious but it’s absolutely vital that…

Google to follow Facebook by adding more 'Social Proof" into its ads

Value/Importance: [rating=5] (For Marketer's investing in Google AdWords]

Recommended link:  Google's Shared Endorsements

You may have seen the new privacy agreement in Google recently?

It's the precursor of a big change to Google's Sponsored Ads, the intention is revealed in Google's Terms of Conditions for the ads above that state that

'We want to give you, and your friends and connections, the most useful information. Recommendations from people that you know can really help. So your friends, family and others may see your Profile name and photo, and content like the reviews that you share or the ads that you +1’d.

This only happens when you take an action (things like +1’ing, commenting or following) –…

We like this simple PPC advice released by Finch on how to implement and optimize a PPC campaign for ecommerce sites, though it can be adapted across different sectors.

It's a useful checklist for those who are perhaps new to managing adword campaigns, in 9 steps for planning, execution and monitoring your campaign. For in-depth advice on how to manage and review AdWords for marketing managers working with specialists in-house or in company, see our 72 page 7 Steps to AdWords Success Guide. 

Here's a summary of the tips from the infographic.

1. Optimise for visits2. Optimise for conversions3. Maximise your ad creative - see our tips4. Define your keyword management strategy5. Reveal all of your inventory.6. Target your visitors.7. Optimise for revenue8. Optimise for profit ad9. Finally, see how your adwords rank.

A briefing on the new Adwords Enhanced Campaigns

Value/Importance to AdWords advertisers: [rating=4] - But only if you have high levels of mobile traffic and/or physical store locations. Recommended link: AdWords Enhanced Campaigns announcement - 06/02/2013

Our commentary on AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

Google’s mantra has always been Relevance, Relevance, Relevance! They’re now really putting it into practice for mobile marketing with this exciting new feature which means that soon you will be able to more easily target mobile users with ads based on their location, device and time of day. These options were already available to advertisers, but it will become much easier to implement and measure mobile-specific ads. However, I understand that tablets can't be easily targeted any longer. Google says this is due to a blurring of different tablet devices and desktops. Nevertheless, savvy advertisers were using this as a way to reach a perceived more valuable audience. The key features of…

Ideas to improve the effectiveness of your AdWords creative

In a traditional advertising sense, your AdWords text is your creative, your broadcast to the world aimed at helping (or is that interrupting) people on their journey as they use Google. As you'll know, copy in AdWords is so important since it affects several factors that all relate to your return in investment. If you make your ads relevant to the audience searching, it will: Boost clickthrough rate giving more visits to your site and better quality score Reduce cost-per-click through the way quality score works Reduce bounce rate and increase conversion through relevance to the landing page It's a delicate balance since you want to maximise quality score and minimise cost-per-click through maximising clickthrough rate, but at the same time you don't want to pay for irrelevant clickers. So, to an extent your ad should attract and repel (those not likely to purchase) at the…

Ideas for making Google Adwords ads more effective

I've found when managing Pay Per Click (PPC), that it's a channel, much like SEO, in that it attracts intelligent people to manage accounts and it can quickly become extremely complex. Alternatively, it's easy to experiment in an No doubt you will have seen this with your own PPC accounts, it quickly gets to a point where someone says, "we will have to restructure the account". It is inevitable in an environment with so much technology, data and ability to easily / quickly test. The motto for effectiveness in messaging though is, "Keep It Simple, Stupid" and I think this applies to PPC ad. The 5 tips below do not get into the intricacies of technology or copywriting, but instead aim to remove the blocks and limitations of technology and give you a process for a more creative approach to text-ads. Technology can come in afterwards.…