Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) are about to be discontinued: What Should You Do as an Advertiser
If you’re up to date with the industry news regarding PPC, you may have heard recently or in previous weeks that Google is soon to phase out their search ad format which is the Expanded Text Ads or ETAs which has been the standard ad format used by many in their search ads.
But now it’s changing, Responsive Search Ads or RSA’s will be the new default ad format for search ads. For experienced advertisers may have noticed this subtle change when you create a new ad, ETAs is absent from the options and RSA seems to be a default ad format.
Now the question is, what does this change means to you as a search advertiser and what are the steps you can do to prepare your campaigns for it?
When is the ETAs Going to Get Phased Out?
According to Google, you can still use ETAs for your search ads until July 2022 after that, the ad format cannot be used anymore. “How about my ETAs running prior July 2022? What will happen to it?” Don’t worry about it as those ETAs will remain unchanged.
Preparing your campaigns
We got to admit that all of us panicked with this update since experienced advertiser, we’re really used to prioritize ETAs ad format with their search campaigns over RSAs. From keyword researching to writing ad copies, our processes are centered around ETAs.
So with this update, it is highly recommended you optimize your headlines and descriptions in order to take advantage of the new default ad format. One of this is ensuring that every headlines – which is by the way 15 in max that you can use for RSAs are unique and your descriptions as well (4 max descriptions) are unique also since Google’s AI might use repetitive combinations with your ad that will surely affect your ad’s performance.
Look out for ‘Ad Strength’ and use it to your advantage
Lucky for us advertisers, Google Ads has a feature called ‘Ad Strength’ which is used for rating your ad if it’s “Excellent” or “Poor”.
As a general rule of thumb, always aim, at least to have ads that have an ad strength of ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’. Use as many keywords as you can in your headlines and of course do it without being too repetitive.
“What can I do if my ad strength is “Poor” or “Average?” So the first thing you need to do is to check which combinations of your RSA headlines and description are actually showing. Under your RSA, click the “View assets details” and from there you can see the most often used headline and description combinations.
What if your performance score is “Poor” or “Average”? A first step would be to check which combinations of your RSAs are actually showing. Under the ad itself, you can click “View Asset Details” to see the headline/description combinations that are used most often.
As you can see below, you will see which headline and description combinations has the most impressions. You can also see the position pinning for your headlines here. From here, assess your ad assets and make the necessary changes to improve the ad strength.
If you’re going to Pin, do it strategically
If your concern is the loss of control since we are all going to switch eventually from ETAs to RSAs, don’t forget that “Pinning” is still an option. When you first create your RSAs, you’ll notice in the headline section that there is a pushpin icon next to headline field.
Hovering over the pushpin icon will open up a dialog box that will be giving you option on which position the headline will appear. You will have the following options below:
So as you can see pinning is a good workaround if your main concern is the loss of control. So be sure to use it. Pinning is handy if you’re running promos or incentive-based ads. Also, don’t forget that pinning is also available for descriptions. The only difference is that you’ll have only 3 options on where to pin compared to headlines that has 4 options.
Hopefully this article helps you and will prepare you in the upcoming update by next year. There’s always new opportunities with these types of updates from Google so take advantage of it.