Where is Tom Petty from? This simple question might be unanswerable for many people before the internet. Now, the time between this question and its subsequent answer is almost non-existent to someone with access to wifi. We often take for granted the power of modern day search engines like Google, which, aside from satiating our curiosity about the origins of rockstars, have made huge changes in the way advertisements are formatted and distributed to consumers.
Since the release of Adwords in 2000, Google has been at the forefront of online advertising. Their text ads allow advertisers to display brief copy about their products and services to web users on a pay-per-click basis. Adwords continues to be Google’s main source of revenue each year. However, new changes will soon be implemented that have promise for greatly increasing click-through rates on these paid advertisements.
Up until now, Google’s text ads have only allowed for one headline of 25 characters and two lines of description of up to 35 characters each. This gave advertisers a very limited space to grab the attention of anyone to come across their ad. Google’s newest Adwords update, expanded text ads, will give advertisers more room to work with. These expanded text ads will allow two headlines of 30 characters each, and each description line will allow up to 80 characters.
With the introduction of their expanded text ads, Google expects click-through rates to be 20% higher. With this kind of incentive, advertisers are optimistic about the change and have already started experimenting with the new format. Guitar Center is one of the first companies to adopt the new expanded ads and they already reported seeing their click-through rates double on just their non-branded campaigns!
In the coming months, advertisers will continue to A/B test the new expanded ads against their original text ads to compare results. However, it won’t be long before expanded text ads are the only option. On October 26th, 2016, Google will no longer accept or upload standard text ads. The standard text ads that are already live by this date, however, will be grandfathered in and will continue to run for the time being. In the meantime, advertisers can work on perfecting their use of expanded ads by following the suggestions in Google’s recently published best practices guide on the topic.
Oh, and if you’re still wondering, Tom Petty is from Florida.