Extended Text Ads: Driving Results Since Summer ‘16


So much more room for activities! By now you’ve read plenty of articles and heard the news that Google is doing away with their standard ad format after 15 years. Just in case you’ve been under a digital marketing rock for the last 3 months, here is a rundown of what is new with the expanded text ads.

Extended Text Ads: What now?

The Big question we’ve been asking around here at Point It is this: “When and how do we implement these changes?” Do we just dive right in? Do we test first? Should we wait and see what the data is and how the initial results play out? I’m here to tell you that you should highly consider implementing Extended Text Ads as soon as possible.

I’ve been working on an account here at Point It for almost a year now that is in a high competition vertical. Brand has consistently knocked it out of the park, but non-brand hasn’t fared as well in the competitive market. After some discussion, we decided to go all in on extended text ads in their non-brand campaign since ultimately Google is going to be making that switch sometime in the coming months.

To get a reference, we also ran ETA’s in Branded campaigns to get a holistic view of what might happen. We ran them by themselves for a 3-week period and compared them to the previous 3-week period in which only standard ads were running. The standard ad had a click-through rate of 29.59%. The ETA’s had a click-through rate of 32.52%, representing a 9% change which is statistically significant at a 95% confidence interval.

Looking at that same time frame for non-brand and we see even better performance. Standard ads had a CTR of 3.91% and ETA’s finished with a CTR of 4.61%, or a change of 17.9%! This was proven to be statistically significant at a 95% confidence interval as well.

Sure, this is great info Matt, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to work in every vertical. Well, you’re right. You’re also in luck however, because I have more data!


More data!

For a different client, we began using ETA’s half way through July in two of their non-brand campaigns. The results are staggering. Over a one-month time frame for both types of ads, standard ads returned a CTR of 1.77%. Not bad. However, ETA’s finished with a 3.02% CTR, an increase of 71%! This met the 95% confidence level for statistical significance. The story was more of the same for their other non-brand campaign. 1.60% CTR for the standard ad and 3.83% for the extended text ads! This represents an increase of 139%!

I’m too busy this summer!

Don’t worry, I hear you, you naysayers! “But Matt, eventually everyone will have extended text ads and it won’t matter as much.” Paid Search is becoming more and more competitive every day. More and more people are entering the market and search marketers are getting smarter and more savvy. Why not use every tool at your disposal to get a leg up on the competition? Once Google makes the switch full time, I’ll have several clients with months’ worth of data on ETA’s and what works and what doesn’t.

The choice seems easy. In the words of the great Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

Matt Mason About the author

Graduate of Webster University, born and raised in the 636 (Saint Louis). Lover of good food and music. In my free time you may catch me banging on the drums or crushing rock walls around Seattle. You could also find me watching Netflix with my wife and cat. Every day is an adventure!

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