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Google Expanded Text Ads SEM Case Study


In August of 2016, google had released an update to its standard text ads. These took the ads from a single headline of 25 characters, and two description lines of 35 characters to two headlines at 30 characters and a single description line at 80 characters. This was a major change that came with the claim that CTR could increase dramatically. We decided to test it out to see if there is a massive performance increase with these ads. We approached some of our exisiting clients to try out the nw format to see if there was an increase in performance. 

 

The first test with the same ad text - just expanded with additional detail.

In the first round of testing, we had ads dupicate in the same ad group. The only difference is that we added additional text on to these ads for the expanded ads. The message across both of these ads were the same, but hte expanded text ads had said the same thing with just a bit more embelishment to the ad. Below is the standard text ads compared to the expanded text ads that had similar ad text.

StandardText Ads (Same Ad Experiment)

 

IMP

Clicks

CTR

AVG POS

Ad 1

1221

36

2.95%

1.3

Ad 2

885

14

1.58%

1.7

Ad 3

1973

30

1.52%

2

TOTAL

4079

80

1.96%

1.66

 

Google Expanded Text Ads (Same Ads With Additional Text - Same AdGroup)

 

IMP

Clicks

CTR

AVG POS

Ad 1

39

1

2.56%

1.6

Ad 2

94

4

4.26%

1.5

Ad 3

402

4

1%

2.8

TOTAL

535

9

1.68%

1.96

 

The second test with two different ads for the same service. These ads were written very differently from their standard ad counterpart.

The second test had text ads compete where the text in the expanded ads were completely different from the standard ads. This allowed for a better flowing ad text and not just tacking on additional text to see about grabbing some more screen real estate.

Standard Google Text Ad (Not Expanded)

 

IMP

Clicks

CTR

AVG POS

Ad 1

596

12

2.01%

1.1

Ad 2

646

10

1.55%

1.2

Ad 3

281

6

2.14%

1.1

TOTAL

1523

28

1.83%

1.13

  

Google Expanded Ad Written Differently From Its Standard Ad Counterpart

 

IMP

Clicks

CTR

AVG POS

Ad 1

799

13

1.63%

2

Ad 2

568

9

1.58%

2.1

Ad 3

196

4

2.04%

3.5

TOTAL

1563

26

1.66%

2.53

 

Do Google Expanded Text Ads Improve Performance Over Standard Ads?

Google Expanded Headline Test Results
Google Expanded Headline Test Results

 

From our 2 week test on the highest performing ads (by CTR and Clicks) we found only one area that the expanded text ads had a performance improvement. It was when the ads were completely re-written, that is when we saw a very slight increase in impressions (40) , the clicks remained just about the same, but the average position of these ads dropped. The CTR stayed very similar. So far we don't see any evidence of a performance increase with these new text ads. 

 

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