Yes that’s right. Ads on Google Ads are now longer and better than ever. Win for the advertiser and win for the searcher. But what has changed exactly? And why have these changes come about?
For years, anyone who has created ads to appear on Google search will have encountered, what we like to call, ‘the 60 character conundrum’. Users of Google AdWords/Google Ads will know what we are referring to here. But for anyone else – Advertisers were only allowed two headlines in any text ad they created for Google Search advertising campaigns. Each headline could only have a maximum of 30 characters. As reasonable as that may initially sound; by the time you have promoted your product, included a call-to-action and told the searcher what makes your business unique… You soon find that 60 could do with being 90 (or just 61 – it always seems to be 1 pesky character too long!). But now, it can!
How Have Ads on Google Ads Changed?
The changes are quite simple really; you can basically have more of everything.
As we touched on above, you can now have 3 headlines instead of just 2. Just like before, each headline will be separated by a pipe (“|”). This provides advertisers with the opportunity to make their ad that extra bit more compelling.
Although, it’s important to note that the third headline won’t always be displayed. So when you are going through your PPC campaign and updating your text ads, make sure that your ad doesn’t need the third headline to make sense. Otherwise if it is left off, you will be left with a silly looking ad and consequently, a low Click-Through-Rate.
Google has stuck with the theme of adding extras and has doubled up the descriptions on text ads as well. You can now add two descriptions for any text ads on Google Ads Search advertising campaigns. However, just like with the extra headline, it may not always be displayed.
Here’s what Google say regarding the displaying of the extra headline/description;
Your headlines/descriptions and other parts of your ad (including extensions) may show in different configurations based on the device that a potential customer is using, or when Google Ads predicts that it may improve your performance.
We read this as – The combination of the device the ad is appearing on and the Ad Rank will determine whether the 3rd headline is shown, the 2nd description is shown, both or neither.
We believe that the new headlines and descriptions will have more chance of appearing on desktops. With there being a lot more space on the screen, it’s likely that Google will display extra content for the ads that appear in the first 3 or 4 positions on page 1. Whereas, because there is less screen space to work with on mobile devices, we believe Google will make the extra headlines and descriptions exclusive to the top 1 or 2 positions.
The extra ad content doesn’t stop coming! As well as an extra description, Google has also extended the maximum character length of Descriptions to 90. Granted, this is only an increase of 10 characters. But whilst it may not seem like much, it can certainly make a big difference.
Why Have Google Made Their Ads Longer?
Earlier this year, Google introduced a new feature on (what was then) AdWords, called ‘Responsive search ads‘. This feature provided a revolutionary way to create ads for all advertisers on Google. Without going into too much unnecessary detail about them, responsive ads involved creating a bank of headlines and descriptions. Google then tests ad variants using these headlines and descriptions to find out which combinations perform the best. ‘How is this relevant to the recent changes they have made to their ads?’ Well…
As a kind of reward for trying out this new type of text ad, your ad could show up to 3 headlines and 2 descriptions (of up to 90 characters in length). Unsurprisingly, the ads that displayed more content would typically outperform those that looked like standard expanded text ads.
So it was only a matter of time before the extra headline and bigger descriptions would become standard practice. After all, it just adds another level for advertisers to compete on; and that’s exactly what Google wants.
There you have it; that’s how and why ads on Google Ads are longer now. For all of you that are running a Google PPC campaign – make sure you take the time to go through it and start updating your ads as soon as possible!