How to Own More Paid Ad Real Estate

By Kevin Brouder, Paid Search team
TOPICSFeatured, Paid Search

Earlier in the summer, we reported on Responsive Search Ads, a new style of text ad that Google was testing for improved rotation and algorithmic testing. To incentivize users to test that new style, Google served those RSAs with additional room for ad copy, including a third headline and a second description line. While RSAs are still in their beta phase (more on that later), Google has extended this increased real estate to all ads. This means big changes to your existing ad portfolio  —  and a chance to increase your Quality Score via fast adoption!

A look at the added real estate now available for paid ads

Now, editing any of your existing text ads will reveal new options for Headline 3, as well as Description 2. These two new fields will add 120 new characters to your ads — that an almost 80 percent increase in total ad copy! Google does specify that these new lines may not show all of the time; Google will prioritize showing these additional lines of text when your ad is in a top position for a search results page. If you are viewing on a mobile device, the third headline will wrap to a new line of text on the SERP, as seen below:

How the third headline appears on mobile devices

All newly created ads in your account are eligible for this new headline, and you can quickly update existing ads with the third headline, either from the interface directly or by using AdWords Editor.

More Headlines, More Problems

Business owners and PPC specialists should start updating their existing ad portfolios to include this new feature, as the increased real estate means more chances to call out what is great about your business. Additionally, early adoption of new headlines may increase your market share vs. competitors, which can increase your click-through rate and overall quality score for key terms, giving you a higher likelihood of attaining the top position on the search page.

Having trouble coming up with something to put in that third headline? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Secondary Value Propositions
    • Your current ad testing has probably revealed that certain phrases perform better than others for netting clicks —  perhaps “Free Shipping on All Orders” is a stronger driver than “30-Day Money-Back Guarantee.” Now, you have the chance to put both headlines in the same ad. This will free up space for your next A/B test.
  • Add an Ad Customizer
    • Google has some amazing Ad Customizer options available for users, which can allow users to insert dynamic text into their ads, or even specify different messaging in a given ad depending on the geographic region or other variables. If you haven’t tried using one of these programs already, now is a great time to start. As a reminder, each ad group in Google Ads has to have at least one ad with no ad customizers, otherwise, it will not serve traffic. If you’re updating two older ads, only apply the customizer to one, as adding it to both might pause your service for the associated keywords.
  • Try Something New!
    • A third headline means a chance to branch out and try a copy strategy you may have considered in the past, but not been able to use. Does your client have a great motto that you’ve been meaning to include in ad text? If you only had the characters to spare! Or maybe you’d like to add a line that directly compares your products to a competitor that’s been advertising on the same pages — now you can, without sacrificing your standard copy.

The rules are still being written for these additional copy lines, but when in doubt, stick to the tried and true copywriting guidelines: be specific, offer incentives and highlight your strengths.

Interested in putting EXCLUSIVE’s paid ad knowledge to work for you? Complete a free ecommerce analysis to see what opportunities await!