Everything you need to know about Google sunsetting Expanded Text Ads

Sam Collins, 
Biddable Media Account Strategist, 

When ETA’s (Extended Text Ads) were first introduced in Q2 of 2016, we were all super happy with the increase in ad depth they provided on the Search Results Page.

Back then we were all control freaks of every aspect of our Google Ads accounts. Whether it was running bid modifiers on particular locations or times of day, or fine-tuning bids to appear in position 2.3, the so-called optimal ad position at the time. By now we are all accustomed to automation – and all the great things that bring such as smart bidding, consolidated account structures and so on. So this announcement from Google should be of no surprise. Therefore is no better time to talk about the best practices for Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) in a world where ETAs no longer exist!

2 RSAs per AdGroup

Go for 2 RSAs per AdGroup, this should provide enough diversification on your ads and enough room for testing different themes and promotions. This is an evolution of prior best practice of 2 ETAs and 1 RSA per AdGroup and facilitates showing the most relevant headline and description combination depending on the audience.

Make sure to Pin your Headlines

Pinning allows you to retain some element of control on which headlines are displayed. With the option of 15 headlines, it will take Google a little while to learn which combinations perform best. Get ahead of the game, and pin your strongest promotion to headline 2. It’s well known through eye-tracking studies that this is the most viewed part of the ad and has the biggest impact on click-through rates.

Don’t Forget to Plan out your Audiences

As Google moves away from purely a keyword-first platform to incorporating audience signals more, the goal of advertisers is to serve the most relevant ad to a particular audience according to their intent in real-time. Write headlines according to your different target groups, and Google’s machine learning will pick up on the audience signals, and show your most relevant headline and description combination that speaks to your target audiences. That is the great thing about Responsive Search Ads, they are responsive!

Save Time on A/B Testing

Embrace the automation, Google is helping us do the legwork with ad copy testing. With RSAs, we supply Google with a group of headlines and descriptions and it tests them and reports back to us on which ones perform best. This is instead of having to regularly create ETAs and manually analyse the data and report back on the winning test. Instead, we have time back to focus on making sure our advertising is profitable and meeting business growth targets.

So we will be waving goodbye to ETAs on June 30, 2022, but you are already prepared if you didn’t know it already!