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What’s New in Google AdWords? #MarketingNerds

In this Marketing Nerds episode, WordStream founder, Larry Kim, talks about expanded text ads and how advertisers can implement them into their campaign.

Visit our Marketing Nerds archive to listen to other Marketing Nerds podcasts!

In this episode of Marketing Nerds, WordStream founder, Larry Kim, shares the latest features and changes in Google AdWords. He also talked about expanded text ads and how advertisers can implement them into their campaign.

#MarketingNerds: Larry Kim Shares the Latest in Google AdWords | SEJ

Here are a few transcribed excerpts from Larry and Kelsey’s discussion, but make sure to listen to the podcast to hear everything:

The Top Changes in Google AdWords

The main theme of the big changes for this year was around mobile. All of the new features were around re-orienting their AdWords product, which has historically been kind of more desktop focused, to substantially more mobile focused.

Some of the big announcements that they talked about was ads on Google Maps. I think that was very interesting if you’re a local business.

Another one had to do with expanded text ads. They’ve substantially increased the amount of real estate available for advertisers to really describe their unique selling propositions and what you buy from them by increasing the amount of copy by 45 additional characters.

We also talked about new analytics tools, so ability to measure in-store conversions. That’s if people search on your ad and then walk into your physical store, they’re able to match that up and count those as conversions. That’s based on the location history in your phone that nobody ever turns off. Again, very important for mobile and local businesses.

Changes to device bidding. That’s the ability to set bids based on different device types such as tablets, mobile, and desktop. Previously, you weren’t able to do that with the tablet, so they kind of made that easier.

Expanded Text Ads: What Advertisers Should Do?

First of all, they’ve mixed it up. Previously, you had one headline which was around 25 characters. They’ve made it now that you have two headlines, and each of the headlines are 30 characters.

I think you need to be more of a marketer. Funny thing about PPC marketing, it’s so technical. It’s all about bidding and matched text and all this stuff. All that stuff is becoming increasingly automated, and so where the most leverage I think from a small business perspective is your ad copy.

I think it’s about time that marketers double down our creative efforts to really come up with really compelling hooks for the products and services that we’re trying to market and sell.

It’s live already, and you’re expected to convert your old ads to these new formats over the next couple of months. Don’t view it as just kind of like small changes to the existing ads. I would view it more as a reboot.

What Kind of Headline Works Best?

I think that a question would be a fantastic thing to include either in the first headline or in the description.

Curiosity [as well] is a very strong emotional trigger. It’s one of the top nine emotions that make people click on things on the internet like crazy.

I think that would be appropriate to try out, questions or leading descriptions that make people want to learn more about your product and service.

Whenever you change something, there’s a possibility that things will improve and there’s a possibility that things will get worse, right? You’re making a change. So the new thing will either be better or worse.

What we’re finding is 80% of the time it does better, but 20% of the time it does worse. Why? Just because I’ve given you more space, you could still come up with a crappy headline. It’s not a guarantee that a longer headline is always better.

Keep Your Old Ads Running

Yes, you do a reboot, but you can still keep the old one running. You can make it so that it runs 50% of the time. You keep the old one running, especially if it’s doing well. You don’t want to mess with success.

Just rotate the ads, and introduce the new ones until you have confidence that the new one is substantially better than the old one. Then kill off the old one, as opposed to just killing them all off first.

Doing Nothing is Not an Option

Doing nothing, I don’t even think, is an option. It’s a different format. There are new rules, like there are two headlines rather than one headline.

Now it’s forcing you to use a certain format using the website directory with the sub-directories, those breadcrumbs. It makes it look a lot more like organic search, and I think you just have to upgrade these things in the next couple months.

Otherwise, I think, the old formats I don’t believe will even work anymore.

What Happens to Mobile-Preferred Ads?

Previously, there was this notion you would try to come up with different ad copy based on the device that the ad was being served on. It was called a mobile-preferred ad. That old concept is no longer with us.

They’ve said like, “This is ridiculous. Why should we have two different ads? We’re just going to do one ad.”

You got to think of it in terms of this is the ad that can show up either on desktop on mobile or on tablet? And make sure that it works for all of them.

You can Still Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion… Sort Of

What I am doing is that using the breadcrumbs- in your ad there’s a URL with one or two directory paths giving you a clue of where you’re going to send them to.

It doesn’t have to be an actual URL, but just a display URL.

What I’m suggesting here is that you just use those dynamic insertion keywords. Those main keywords that you were targeting. Use those as the breadcrumbs in your URL.

Then they kind of get a sense for where they’re going is kind of along the lines of what they were looking for, but not necessarily wasting the headline space for cluing them in there.

What Advertisers Should Do First

I would just create a matrix of different emotional triggers, different guarantees, get different unique selling propositions, and kind of match them all up, and try to come up with different angles, different emotional triggers, and different hooks.

I would really just focus on the first 30 characters of the headline because that really is the hook. That’s guaranteed to be seen.

Just focus like 80% of the energy on that first 30 or so characters and the different hooks and getting that right. Then great things should happen.

Additional Resources:

To listen to this Marketing Nerds Podcast with Kelsey Jones and Larry Kim:

Think you have what it takes to be a Marketing Nerd? If so, message Kelsey Jones on Twitter, or email her at kelsey [at]

Visit our Marketing Nerds archive to listen to other Marketing Nerds podcasts!

How Advertisers can Leverage Expanded Text AdsImage Credits

Featured Image: Image by Paulo Bobita
In-post Photo: ibphoto/

Category SEJ Show
Aki Libo-on

Aki is a content strategist, marketing consultant, and former assistant editor of SEJ. When not at work, she is busy ...

What’s New in Google AdWords? #MarketingNerds

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