Google to Sunset Expanded Text Ads

Google has announced that Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) will be sunset on the 30th of June 2022, and Responsive Search Ads (RSA) will fully take over. The existing ETAs will continue to serve, but it will no longer be possible to edit them or create new ones. 

So, what is a Responsive Search Ad?

Responsive search ads include multiple headlines and descriptions, which Google mixes and matches to show the best versions based on automation and machine learning. In other words, it shows the best combination of ads that are most effective in providing the best results.

Google reports that advertisers who switch from ETAs to RSAs benefit from 7% more conversions with similar costs. Other benefits include flexible ads that adapt to device widths, tailored messaging based on customers' behaviours and queries, and increased performance by generating more traffic and conversions that your current text ads are not capturing.

In preparing for Expanded Text Ad being phased out on the 30th of June, here are seven actions you need to take now!

A/B test with ETAs and Repurpose

If you haven’t already, start testing different variations of Expanded text ads. This will allow you to find the optimal messaging that delivers the best results, and at the same time, you can finalise the ETAs you will no longer be able to change after June.

However, be prepared to see a decline in their performance. After June, we suggest you keep a close eye on their performance and take quick actions to pause any outdated or low performing ads.

Another option is to repurpose the best performing ETAs into RSAs. For the Responsive search ads, you can add up to 15 headlines, and up to 4 descriptions, so you can take the best headlines and descriptions from your best performing ETAs to repurpose them into RSAs.

Add Responsive search ad, and improve its strength to Excellent

Each ad group should already have at least one responsive search ad active. If for optimal performance, this is not the case, you need to add them now. As you add these RSAs, ensure that their ad strength is “Excellent”, as this is known to help improve the performance of your ads by increasing clicks and conversions.

Pin Strategy

The RSA provides a feature where you can pin specific headlines and descriptions to be shown in a certain order. This is especially important if you want to show specific messaging in the first, second or third position for various reasons including to ensure legal compliance. If you are pinning any of your messaging, ensure that you are pinning them carefully and that they include a call to action.

As always, ensure that you test with and without pinning headlines and descriptions to understand which approach delivers the optimal result. 

Set RSA Benchmarking

Compared to ETAs, RSAs usually always have a higher click-through rate, whereas other KPIs such as conversions and conversion rates may vary. Once you have RSAs running in all your ad groups, you can set up benchmarks to see how your ads are doing. This can be particularly useful for comparing performance between different accounts.

Pairing broad match keywords with Smart Bidding

Google reports that combining RSAs with broad match keywords and smart bidding helps improve conversions by 20%.

The combinations of RSAs, broad match keywords and smart bidding is known to be the best campaign structure for optimal performance. The broach match keywords allow you to reach ranges of queries. The intelligent bidding strategy uses algorithms and machine learning to identify the search queries that are more likely to meet your campaign objectives and goals. Combining these with RSAs means you deliver the best ad combinations which are most likely to produce the best results.

* Smart bidding is a subset of automated bid strategies that use machine learning to deliver high conversions and good conversion value. Bidding strategies such as target CPA, target roas, maximise conversions and maximise conversion value are all different types of Smart bidding strategies.

Get ready for RSA Reporting Limitations

It’s important to understand that reporting for RSAs is different to ETAs. You can still see the performance of each ad. However, it is essential to note that responsive search ad leverages dynamic headlines and descriptions, so unlike ETAs, it won’t be clear which ad combinations contributed to the performance.

Know what is required to set up RSAs

As mentioned, responsive search ads require multiple sets of headlines and descriptions. To set up an RSA, you will need:

  • 15 headlines with 30-character limits
  • Four descriptions with 90-character limits
  • Landing Page URL
  • Extensions are optional but recommended. This includes site links, callouts, image and call extensions, promotion extensions etc.

Google also provides headlines and descriptions suggestions you can choose from or get inspiration. However, we suggest avoiding adding repetitive words or phrases. Add unique headlines and descriptions for a unique combination, and try keyword insertion to improve ad relevance.

Get ready for the sunsetting of Expanded Text Ad

As the deadline gets closer, you must take action now. Start testing and get more familiar with the RSAs to ensure that your PPC campaigns are not impacted once the ETAs are phased out.

Not sure where to get started? ExtraDigital’s PPC experts can help! We are a Google Partner agency with over 20 years of experience with Pay Per Click. Our experts will ensure that your PPC campaigns deliver results aligned with your business’s goals and growth plans.

Ready to level up your PPC performance, or need help getting ready for the phase-out of the ETAs? Contact ExtraDigital’s expert today!

Sunday 20th February 2022

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