After much testing, Google and Bing recently rolled out Expanded Text Ads (ETAs), marking a significant evolution in search marketing. In a move intended to give advertisers greater visibility and improved performance in a mobile-driven world, ETAs give advertisers 2x more space to highlight their product or service. How does this impact paid search for national and regional companies with multiple locations? Will it improve engagement or ROI?
What this means for multi-location companies
Increased real estate on the search engine results page (SERP) means greater visibility, which can result in higher CTRs and improved campaign efficiency. Industry data shows that brands are seeing a 12-20% CTR increase with ETAs, however early LBN data shows it’s too soon to determine a consistent benchmark.
“The biggest take away is that no matter what happens with CTR, which we expect to improve with ETAs, we will continuously monitor and optimize for improved Cost-Per-Engagement,” noted Matt Blackmore, LBN’s VP of Digital Marketing. “More clicks with less impressions doesn’t necessarily improve CPA.”
More headline space and the increased character count now possible with ETAs create new opportunities and targeting potential for multi-location companies to expand their message with services, offers and other information. Quality score will remain important for advertisers, especially when competing for the top 3 positions. But most importantly, ETAs increase an advertiser’s visibility on mobile, where many consumers search and make decisions at the local level. Therefore, advertisers should closely monitor desktop and mobile performance for shifts in engagement and optimization opportunities.
What Are Expanded Text Ads?
Expanded text ads are the newest version of ads in Google & Bing. ETAs feature two headlines and a longer description.
What Expanded Text Ads Look Like for Desktop and Mobile
Quick Breakdown of the Differences Between Standard Text Ads and Expanded Text Ads
What Will Happen to Standard Text Ads?
In time, we anticipate the standard text ad format will go away. Google is phasing out standard text ads and is encouraging marketers to transition campaigns to the expanded text ad format. (Since January 31, 2017, only ETAs can be created and edited in Google; pre-existing standard text ads are being served alongside the new format.) Bing plans to start phasing out standard text ads in July 2017, and is encouraging advertisers to set up expanded ads to run concurrently and test for performance. For now, standard text ads will appear alongside expanded ads on the search engine.
Contributing authors: Jenny Rusch, Digital Marketing Coordinator, and Cindy Kerber Spellman, Director, Communications & Branding