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What to do with Expanded Text Ads in your Google Ads campaigns

By October 9, 2023November 3rd, 2023No Comments


Having extended text ads hang around in your ad groups like some jaded ex puts the stress of that inevitable doom time clock in your head. You know the situation needs to be changed, but it still does that one good thing (drive conversions) and you’re kind of afraid of life (ad group performance) without it. Not seeing a slew of extended text ads when I dig into ad performance is such a relief.

Remember when responsive search ads were first introduced and the new ad structure was two ETAs and one RSA? That thing that was so good turned into the worst chore in your account when Google announced they were sunsetting ETAs.

So what do you do with your ETAs now?

The ones that get little to no volume or don’t perform well (drive conversions), those were easy. Just pause it and move on. But what about the ad groups where one ETA was carrying the entire campaign? No one wants to pause something that’s doing so well, let alone attempt to replace it with something that may tank. 

 That’s when you need to take a step back and realize that your account is a living, constantly changing thing. Updates, new ads, trying new structures; these all happen regularly. If your account looks the same way it did a year ago, then you’re doing it wrong.

The best way I found, and how I’ve done it for several clients, is to replicate the ETAs you want to keep as RSAs. Here’s one that is performing quite well: high conversion rate with a great ROAS.

well performing expanded text ad in your account

This ETA is a best performer in this ad group.

Just copy over the exact headlines and descriptions, then pin them in the exact position they appear in the ETA you’re about to pause. You get a few extra ad elements like the display path, business name, business logo and image options, but it’s still a very close match to the original ad (and those additional features should improve CTR). The image below shows the basic format for making this transition.

responsive search ad format for transitioning expanded text ads

Here’s the RSA format to follow.

And you’re done. Nice job.


The last piece of apprehension comes with judging the performance of this ETA turned RSA. Don’t freak out if its not performing as well right away. The main comparison is whether that new pseudo ETA is keeping up with the ad group benchmark performance. Is it bringing overall ad group performance down? No? Great, set a note to check back in two weeks and then move on to the next one.

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