Expanded Text Ads are Going Away – How to Prepare

PPC | Strategy

Expanded text ads used to be the bread and butter of paid search marketing. However, Google and Microsoft are both building out their AI more and want advertisers to use their automation features. This led both companies to announce that capabilities to add and edit expanded text ads are going away at the end of June. We have some tips on how to prepare for this deadline.

1. Optimize Existing ETAs

Before the ability to edit expanded text ads goes away, make sure they’re in a good spot. Even though we won’t be able to update them, we’ll still be able to pause/enable them. Now is the time to test different ad copy to determine which combinations will perform best once June 31, 2022, gets here. Responsive search ads can also provide some visibility into which headlines and descriptions work best together. 

2. Prepare in Advance

If there are events coming up in your marketing calendar or you just want to have some extra ads available, plan ahead and create ETAs in advance. Leave them paused until you want to use them, but it’s a good idea to have them waiting to be enabled once they’re needed. Take this advice with a grain of salt, however. Make sure to only create extra ads that will be important in the future, not minor variations of the existing ads. 

3. Start Incorporating RSAs

We use RSAs (responsive search ads) pretty regularly already, but once expanded text ads go away, we’re going to have to re-frame how we use them. Before July, it’s a good idea to start incorporating top-performing ETAs in the headlines and descriptions of the RSAs and test different variations. One thing to note is that you can’t have more than 3 responsive search ads per ad group. One way we might start using RSAs is to test different calls to action. For example, one ad might have more passive CTAs like ‘Learn More’ or ‘View the Details’ whereas the other ad has more aggressive messaging like ‘Apply Now’.

4. Benchmarking is Important 

Something to be prepared for is impressions of expanded text ads are going to continue to decrease, especially after June, as Google pushes their automation more. This will make setting benchmarks especially important. Responsive search ads can take a little longer to optimize, especially for leads, so setting realistic expectations will help make this transition a little smoother. Reporting on RSA combinations is limited to only viewing which ones get the most impressions, so benchmarking will help provide a bit more visibility to ad performance as well. 

We’re in for a big adjustment in the coming months, but hopefully, this answers some questions on how to prepare for expanded text ads going away in Google and Microsoft Ads. If you want to learn more or have additional questions, please contact us!