Google’s Expanded Text Ads Mean Higher Click Through Rates For Car Dealers

Aug 29, 2016 | SEO and PPC

Did you know that Google launched Expanded Text Ads in July 2016? As of October 26, 2016, your PPC vendor will no longer be able to upload standard text ads. It’s important that your vendor has already made the switch and has tested what works with these new enriched ads.

Earlier this year, Google removed your ads from the right-hand sidebar to improve the search experience.

Little did we know, that was just the start. According to Google’s official blog, this is “the biggest change to the platform since Google introduced AdWords,” and it’s now available to your dealership.

What Are Expanded Text Ads, And How Are They Different?

Expanded text ads make the search experience easier for your customer and better for your ROI.

The new ads are larger, better for mobile, and your dealership can now use 45 more characters in the headline and description combined.

With this increased visibility, your dealership’s PPC ads are likely to see higher Click Through Rates (CTRs). In fact, early reporting suggests the changes can increase your CTR by as much as 20%.

Here are some more differences:

  1. Expanded Text Ads have two headline fields instead of one, offering you 35 more characters.
  2. The two description lines have been merged into one, and offer 10 additional characters.
  3. You can now customize your display URL, including 2 additional paths (i.e., /Used – /Trucks) after the root domain (
  4. Text ads are now mobile optimized.

Check out the impact this can have on your PPC ads:

TIP: When making the switch to Expanded Text Ads, be sure to wait for your new ads to be approved before pausing the Standard Text Ads, or else your PPC campaign will be useless until the new ads are given the green light!

How Can I Optimize Expanded Text Ads For My Dealership?

Revamp Your Dealership’s Messaging

You and your PPC vendor now have more room to really nail down how your dealership is represented in the Google Search Results Page. Verify that you’re taking advantage of the additional real estate by giving the customer as much information about your dealership up front.

TIP: Use title case (capitalize every letter except articles) so your message stands out as much as your dealership. Writing Copy This Way Has Been Proven To Significantly Increase Readability And Click-Through Rates In Search Engines!

Exploit The Increased Character Limit

More room = more chances to show your value to the customer. Check your ads to make sure you’re giving users a better idea of what they can expect once they click through to your dealership’s site: Do you specialize in customer service? Have a ton of new inventory? Home of the one-owner pre-owned? Have your vendor give those extra characters meaning!

TIP: Remember to use keywords in both your ad’s text and headline to increase your ad’s relevance. The more relevant your ad is to the search query, the more likely you will attract the right customer.

Simplify The Online Car Shopping Experience Before The Click

Optimize Headline Your headline is the first part of the ad your customers sees, and now Google is allowing you two. Ensure your PPC vendor is testing how headlines read on multiple devices, and ensuring your headlines make sense when read separately (a hyphen is added between the two lines automatically, and can be awkwardly truncated if you’re not careful).

Customize Display URL With New Path Fields Your dealership now has full control over the way your display URL looks—make sure your vendor is using it! Shoppers don’t want to click on ads if they don’t know where they are going to be directed, so verify that your ads are giving them a clear idea of where they will land once they click.

Include Ad Extensions There’s no reason not to use them! By adding the additional FREE information, like a link to your dealership’s Contact Us page, you can easily improve your customer’s online experience. To guarantee your Ad Extensions are helping your customers make their next move, ensure your PPC vendor is listing relevant links, such as New and Used inventories, Service, your phone number, and hours.

Remember—Your Vendor Must Be Running Expanded Text Ads Before October 26, Or Your Dealership Won’t Be Able To Upload New Ads

Check with your current PPC vendor that they are already using Expanded Text Ads. If not, find out when they are planning on making the switch.

Because of their novelty, it’s vital that these new ad formats are tested, re-tested, and optimized, and that your dealership isn’t your vendor’s first “Expanded Text Ads guinea pig.”

What is your experience with Expanded Text Ads? Have you witnessed the projected higher CTR, or something different? Let us know in the comments below!

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Blog Author - Brooke Jensen

Written By Brooke Jensen
Brooke handles all of Dealers United’s digital marketing. In addition to her love for design and copy, Brooke also adores her two dog-like kittens, playing the electric violin, and walking barefoot around the office.

Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

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