3 Ways To Kill It With Extended Text Ads (ETAs)

By  September 21st, 2016


With the recent launch of Extended Text Ads (ETAs) by Google, and the fact that you’ll be unable to add or edit older format ads after October 26th, advertisers need to get on board with ETAs.

ETAs are the new format introduced by Google now that ads no longer appear on the right rail. Since they’re not constrained by the narrow format, advertisers now have 2 title lines of up to 30 characters each, a description line of up to 80 characters and the display URL is the root level domain plus up to 2 paths (they appear as subfolders) that can be up to 15 characters each. So what used to be 130 characters is now 175+ characters (depending on the length of the root-level domain & subdomain).

Tactic #1 – The Hard Sell

With all these new characters advertisers have more of an opportunity to have their ad copy make the sale. I see 2 scenarios where this is most likely to succeed.

  • Brand ads – These ads are intended for someone who is already familiar with your brand, so quit messing around and tell them what you want them to do. Put the call-to-action (CTA) in Headline 1 and add some urgency in Headline 2. Describe how awesome it will be once they’ve taken that action in the Description.Here’s an example for a search on “Ford fusion dealership” that pulls an ad from Ford.com that directly mentions seeing offers and visiting a local dealer.


  • Heavy prequalification – Some advertisers have very specific customers they’re looking for and don’t want to waste time or resources trying to chase unqualified leads. The additional characters allow you to state exactly who should be clicking the ad and why. Need to have a certain budget? Put the number right in the ad. Need to meet a certain volume target? Put it in the ad.Consider this search for “disability lawyer” where the top ad prominently advertises what they are NOT in order to get more qualified leads that are for the right area of their practice:


Despite the negative connotation with a “hard sell” they can actually be very beneficial if used in the appropriate context. You’ve got 2 months to text against your current ads and find a winner.

Tactic #2 – Curiosity Converted The Cat

Curiosity is a powerful emotion. It’s the driving force behind most click-bait headlines like “17 Cats That Look Adorably Dumb When They Sleep” (literally took that off Buzzfeed’s home page at the time of writing). You just can’t help yourself. You want to see all 17 of those derpy-looking cats.

Consider this ad from informationbuilders.com when a search was done for “business intelligence”:


They are engaging curiosity about what the worst practices are, as well as fear that you might be committing them, to get the click. Use this instinctive desire to your benefit by writing ads that tap into your potential users curiosity.

Tactic #3 – The Trust Builder

Trust is the currency of the realm for every business because it is the antidote for fear, remorse, uncertainty, and a host of other emotions that inhibit customer decision-making. So why not use the space to promote why you’re a trustworthy business?

Consider this ad from Salesforce.com where they triple us with the registered trademark symbol, mention that it’s the official site AND boast they’re the “Worlds #1 CRM Platform”.


This ad style is especially effective for both brand and competitive searches, but should be considered in all areas of your account. No customer has ever said “I wish I trusted them less” when making a purchase decision.


These 3 tactics can help you get ahead of the curve on ETAs and begin writing ads that are more compelling and more effective than your competition. So don’t wait until Google forces you to update your ads on October 26th, get started today!



About the Author:

Robert Brady is the head PPC wizard at Righteous Marketing, a Google AdWords Certified Partner and Microsoft adExcellence Member. He manages PPC accounts for both small and large businesses and offers a PPC training program for the DIYer.

Righteous Marketing

3 Ways To Kill It With Extended Text Ads (ETAs)

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