It’s time to bid adieu. It’s time when the old gives way to the new. It’s time to say farewell to Google AdWords’ 25-35-35 character rule and welcome 30-30-80, the new kid on the block…But will it help?
A cardinal sin in every field is when you try to replace something that’s been working fine all along. In Google AdWords’ case that’s the 25-35-35 character rule. For 15 long years marketers swore by this and optimized their ads accordingly. But from July 26th onwards, the Search Engine behemoth has changed the way AdWords’ text ads would display content.
So what exactly is this?
The new character rule is 30-30-80. What this means is
- Two headlines of 30 characters each
- And one description line of 80 characters
30-30-80, yup, that’s what you’ll have to remember now.
But it was perfect… perfect in every way!
Google says that with the removal of the right side ads and to cater to smartphones users, the character limit has been increased. This is what Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior VP, Ads and Commerce wrote in the Google blog:
So how will this change SEM?
According to Google’s Sridhar Ramaswamy:
Only time will tell how the new character limit fares in the real world, but we certainly believe the extra characters will definitely help advertisers come up with new and creative ads to market their services. So that means this is a time for loads and loads of A/B testing, because from October 26 onwards, advertisers will not be able to create standard text ads.
The Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) certainly do seem to have a lot of potential as we are seeing a radical shift in browsing patterns from computers to mobile phones.
So advertisers, the time to act is now!
How can you make the most of these additional characters?
So many additional characters — two headlines of 30 characters each and a long description line of 80 characters! Google’s research points out that longer ad headlines, because they provide additional information, are more useful for mobile users.
Just take a look at the difference:
Google has published an exceptional best practices guide for ETAs, which basically tells advertisers to
- Focus on their headline and take advantage of the extra characters because longer headlines increase the clickable space of an ad
- Write genuine and creative ad copies because ads which build a connection have a higher conversion rate
- Learn about user preferences by testing and optimizing ads in order to achieve success
It’s going to be a mobile-first world!
Whether you like it or not, the world is increasingly shifting focus towards mobile phones. Just take a look at the 2016 smartphone penetration in the world, measured by the Pew Research Center.
Google understands this, and that is exactly why there’s this shift towards increasing the character limit.
As they say, change is the only constant. The old always gives way to the new. Farewell 25-35-35 and welcome 30-30-80, we’ll be meeting frequently!