In February 2017, AdWords will no longer allow advertisers to submit or edit legacy text ads. Optmyzr added support for Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) when they were first announced by Google. Here’s a quick roundup of some of our tools that help manage ETAs, and for those who are still in the process of migrating to the new format, some tools that can help with that as well.
A/B Testing for Ads
Our A/B ad testing tool works with several ad formats, including image ads, dynamic search ads (DSAs), call-only ads, and of course text ads. During the transition from legacy ads to ETAs, both ad formats can coexist in an account and the decision of when to remove the legacy ad is an important one because it’s an irreversible decision.
In a post on Search Engine Land about the final days before we can only create Expanded Text Ads, this sentiment is echoed by Uma Mange, search strategist for Adobe Document Cloud, who says “Don’t discard existing text ads with high quality scores, conversion rates and CTR. They are still valuable to review, gather learnings, and utilize in the expanded ads.”
To help with the decision of when to shut off the legacy ad, we added a mode to the tool that compares legacy ads to ETAs. Only when the ETA is the winning ad based on CTR, conversion rate, or a combination of these two: conversions per impression, should the legacy ad be removed.
In a roundup of expert tips for migrating to ETAs done by KlientBoost, Amy Bishop, Director of Digital Marketing & Marketing Technology at ZirMed says “My favorite tip is to look at conversions per impression, versus relying solely on click-through rate or conversion rate.”
Ad Creation in the A/B Testing Tool
ETAs are no different from legacy ads in that they should be frequently tested in an attempt to come up with a better performing variation. The A/B testing tool for ads makes it easy to make a new ad that uses the best ad as the starting point, and it even suggests different variations of text for each of the ad text components. It makes these suggestions by analyzing frequently used text fragments and showing the ones that had the best CTR within a campaign. Making new ads this way is a simple process of clicking the text you want to try for each component of the ad and turning it live with this One-Click Optimization™.
Ad Template Report
For advertisers who prefer to analyze ad performance using their own methodology, we have an Enhanced Script™ that can generate the needed reports automatically. It looks for commonly used variations of each component and combinations of ad text and aggregates the metrics on a Google Spreadsheet. Armed with the data in this spreadsheet, it becomes very easy to create new ad variants that should perform well.
This script will continue to include reports from legacy ads until Google removes legacy ads from the system. That way, you can still leverage historical data from before ETAs to help with the transition to the new format.
In the post on KlientBoost, Brad Geddes, founder of AdAlysis says “test across ad groups with multi-ad group testing techniques. This type of pattern testing can give you great consumer insights across entire segments of your account that you can use within PPC or many other aspects of your marketing.” Our Ad Template Report is a great way to get the data for this type of analysis.
Generate Text Ad Bulksheets
This script is handy for a few use cases like ensuring you have enough ad text variations running in all your ad groups, updating ads in bulk to reflect a new promotion or a new marketing tagline, or transitioning from legacy ads to ETAs. Google made its own AdWords Script to help with the transition but they don’t give advertisers a lot of flexibility about how to construct new ads. They assume the ad with the best CTR is considered the “best ad” and they also assume that nobody has used longer headlines before and so they split a legacy ad into headline 1 and description. Headline 2 is left blank, even in cases where advertisers had written their ads with the intent to have the legacy headline combined with the legacy description 1 field to form a long headline.
Our script lets you decide what metric to use to find the “best” current ad, and we even include some custom choices like the ad with the highest percentage of conversions within the ad group, or a custom metric that you define. You can then take the text from the best legacy ad and copy-and-paste it into the new fields for ETAs and upload the results to AdWords using AdWords Editor or Bulk Uploads.
Ad group Audit widgets in Reports
Our report builder has a new widget to help with audits. One of the many ways to use it is to show ad groups with fewer than 1 ETA. The widget will indicate what percentage of the account has not been upgraded and show the highest priority ones to work on based on the highest cost, most clicks, or another metric of your choice. Down the line, you could of course also use it to find ad groups that aren’t doing enough A/B tests by looking for those with fewer than 2 ETAs.