Google shook the industry when they announced the arrival of Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) earlier this year. Since Google released Expanded Text Ads in July, we’ve seen most advertisers jump to create and test out the new ad format, generally discovering that expanded text ads increased their CTR.
Not to miss the opportunity, Microsoft announced that they would be rolling out Bing Expanded Text ads later this year. Well, today’s finally the day! Bing Expanded Text Ads are now available to be created to all advertisers in the Bing Ads interface!
Bing’s Expanded Text Ads look and feel pretty much exactly like Google ETAs. They share identical formatting and character limits. And thankfully, advertisers can freely create ETAs within Bing Ads Editor or import their existing Google Expanded Text Ads into their Bing campaigns, making the migration considerably easier.
Early tests suggest that Bing’s delayed ETAs may have been worth the wait. While most have praised Google’s ETAs for providing more space on the SERP and improved CTR, they have also drawn their share of criticism, with not all advertisers seeing the best results. Performance can even look worse if you’re not careful.
Microsoft must have been paying attention, as Bing Expanded Text Ads launch with some of these advertisers’ concerns in mind. AdWords has a much larger market share and often innovates first, but one advantage of Bing Ads is that many advertisers see higher CTRs for lower costs than on AdWords.
From early beta testing, it appears that CTR gap has grown an additional 20% for clients using Bing Expanded Text Ads!
What Makes Bing ETAs Different
Bing Expanded Text Ads share many of the best practices for Google Expanded Text Ads, but there are a few subtle differences advertisers should note and enjoy.
Bing Expanded Text Ads have fewer truncation issues
Since Google first introduced Expanded Text Ads, some advertisers have complained that Google would often truncate their ads, oftentimes mid-word.
Photo credit: Kirk Williams of Zato
While Bing may still truncate your ads, depending on character length and a user’s device, it appears to happen appreciably less often. Additionally, when Bing does have to truncate an ad’s message, it appears not to truncate your ads mid-word. Bing provides a complete perspective on how they truncate ads, when necessary.
Bing Expanded Text Ads offer more control over your Display URL
Similarly to Google’s Expanded Text Ads, Bing will populate your Expanded Text Ad’s display URL from the domain of your ad’s final URL. But unlike Google, which always displays this domain in all lower-case letters, Bing allows advertisers some control over the capitalization of their domain name, which is a relief for advertisers with specific brand standards.
Bing Expanded Text Ads allow for Native Preferred Ads
Neither Google nor Bing provides support for mobile preferred ads, which were a staple in many people’s mobile advertising strategy. However, Bing Expanded Text Ads still support a native ad format preference, which would allow advertisers to control how their ad shows on Bing’s expansive native network. Additionally, Bing’s Expanded Text Ads will show alongside an image on the Native network.
Bing advertisers should be excited to test out Bing’s new expanded text ads as soon as they can, and reap the benefits of higher CTRs. If you’re not currently advertising on Bing, you may want to consider importing some of your best Google AdWords campaigns into Bing. The results may surprise you!
The aggregated data in this post is based on a sample of 15 WordStream client accounts with early access to Bing’s Expanded Text Ads who were advertising on both the Google Search Network and the Bing Search Network in October 2016.
About the author:
Mark is a Senior Data Scientist at WordStream with a background in SEM, SEO, and Statistical Modeling. He was named the 14th Most Influential PPC Expert of 2016 by PPC Hero. You can follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google +.