On the 22nd August 2018, Google began to roll out a new format for their expanded text ads. The new format came with an extra headline field and an additional description field. They also increased the original description field length from 80 characters to 90 characters.

In total, we now have access to three headline fields of 30 characters each and 2 description fields of 90 characters each.

This proved somewhat annoying in the first few weeks, having to implement the changes across your account, but especially for account managers who needed to make separate ads suitable for the new Google Ads format and ads for the standard Bing Ads format. Fortunately, Bing also jumped on the bandwagon of the new ad copy format within a few months, making it a whole lot easier to import your ads straight into Bing Ads from Google Ads.

Where the new ad format gives you 300 characters of ad text to play with, be mindful that the third headline and second description aren’t always shown if there isn’t enough room on the users device.

“Your description 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.” - Google

Be sure to keep your most important messaging to the 1st & 2nd headline and the first description as they’re guaranteed to show. Google advised treating the third headline and second description like extensions.

Make sure to write your ads so that they’d be performers without the 3rd headline and 2nd description and just use them to complement and reinforce your main message or any other non-crucial information. For example, I’ve been using the 3rd headline a lot to promote free postage and packaging where applicable as an extra incentive to users.

so… why should you care about expanded ads?

increased ctr

The general consensus from Google was that the new expanded text ads format has a slightly higher click-through rate than the shorter ads. This change could be increasing the click-through rates because advertisers will be able to provide even more info to entice users to click their ads. On average, the ads taking advantage of the extra space (that Google has offered us) get 15% more clicks than the other ad formats.

take up more space

Owning more real estate on the SERP means getting that number one spot is much more valuable. With all the space your ad is taking up your visibility should shoot up.

On the other side of the ‘more space scale’ with the extra room for more ad text, it is a valuable opportunity to make your ads more relevant allowing you to set yourself apart from your competitors, and an opportunity to include extra details about your business, products, and services.

test messaging

With all the new variables in place, it means there are so many variations of testing open for you to try out. With the new Headline 3 and Description 2, you can try new variations against each other and see what messages resonate best with your users but bare in mind that you can’t run tests on just Headline 3 & Description 2 because where they won’t always show Google will see them as duplicate ads!

So overall, with Google throwing out all these updates left, right and centre from the rebrand from Google AdWords to Google Ads, the uprise of responsive search ads and these new extra fields for our expanded text ads, there’s an awful lot going on! However we would definitely say that the new Headline 3 and Description 2 are worth taking advantage of in your accounts for Google and Bing!

Back to blog
Meet the author ...

Maddie Crawford

PPC Manager

Maddie has worked in digital marketing since her apprenticeship in 2017 but quickly realised her true passion was in the PPC side of things! Since then she has worked across ...