Google Ads

From June 2022, You Won’t Be Able to Create Expanded Text Ads – Here’s What to Do Instead

Next June may see a long way off, but it’s not too soon to start thinking about a major change that’s on its way from Google. From the 30th of that month, you’ll no longer be able to create (or edit) Expanded Text Ads, or ETAs. Here’s how you can start preparing.

Google’s decision to ‘sunset’ (we know, we know, it’s a dreadful expression) ETAs follows the search giant’s announcement, made back in February, that Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) would become the default ad type. Industry insiders had already started speculating whether this might herald a permanent move away from ETAs.

Why is Google doing this?

The search juggernaut has said the aim of the change was to be sure that ‘the right message’ always shows, thanks to the dynamic creation of ads at the time of auction, in response to particular search queries.

What does this mean for me?

As mentioned, you won’t be able to edit or create ETAs after June 30, 22. However, you will still be able to pause and resume your existing ETAs, which will remain active, and remove them if you wish. You’ll also still be able to see reports on how they’re performing.

Google said in a statement that it is ‘strongly encouraging’ advertisers to make the transition to responsive search ads.

Traditionally, advertisers have used ETAs to test messaging, and the resulting learnings have informed Responsive Search Ads. Previously, best practice recommendations were to incorporate two ETAs plus an RSA in every ad group. This has now been revised to a single RSA in each ad group. Ultimately, this may make it slightly harder to distinguish the ads which are working from those which aren’t.

So what can I do?

We’d recommend testing ETAs quite extensively over the next six months or so, while it’s still possible to create them. It’s also probably worth adding some ‘evergreen’ ones you can use even after you’re no longer able to create them, and setting up some extra ads you can still test even after June.

At the same time, keep testing and improving your RSAs. Make sure each of your ad groups contains an RSA, and identify which ones work best for your brand, in case Google decides to retire ETAs completely sometime in the future.

How do RSAs work?

Google says:

“Responsive Search Ads let you create an ad that adapts to show more text – and more relevant messages – to your customers”. You can enter multiple headlines and descriptions and Google Ads, over time, automatically tests different combinations to identify those which perform the best.

In a nutshell, RSAs are meant to adapt the content of your ads so that they more closely match potential customers’ search terms.

Are there any other benefits?

  • RSAs allow you to tailor headlines and description to specific locations
  • Multiple headlines and descriptions mean you can compete in more auctions and match more queries
  • You should also find you can boost ad group performance by attracting more conversions and clicks than you would via your existing ETAs

How we can help

At Front Page Advantage, we’re ideally placed to discuss which ad copy would work best for your brand, and to help you plan a strategy for the transition to RSAs in the light of Google’s decision. Get in touch for an informal chat about your PPC advertising today, and we’ll take it from there.