In the past few months, we’ve all read about initial results of Expanded Text Ads in AdWords search campaigns, but little has been shared around ETAs in display campaigns. So we decided to A/B test standard text ads versus expanded text ads in display and share what we learned from 2.4M impressions and nearly 7.7K clicks over a 30-day period.

First, some campaign details: the study involved two GDN campaigns (one using keyword contextual targeting and the other using in-market audience targeting). The account is B2C, and a conversion was a lead captured. The display ads we used were text only. We compared text ads that use the standard format to text ads that used the Expanded Text Ad format.

Here’s a snapshot of the test results:

eta display data

We found three main takeaways from our campaigns:

  1. ETAs on display get fewer impressions than standard text ads

Despite setting up our campaign to rotate our ads evenly, our ETAs captured 50% fewer impressions than our standard text ads in a 30-day period.

  1. ETAs on display have a higher avg. CPC than standard text ads

The cost per click on our ETAs were 25% higher.

  1. ETAs on display convert better!

The higher cost on ETAs paid off for us in this test because our ETAs had a 30% better conversion rate, leading to a CPA roughly 5% lower than the CPA for standard text ads.

With the announcement from Google about a new responsive ad format, we are excited to see text ads on display evolve and begin to show on native inventory. But in the meantime, try testing out ETAs in your existing display campaigns today!

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Jamie McLeod
Jamie moved down from Portland, OR to join the 3Q Digital team in San Diego, CA. She is a self-proclaimed “data-nerd” and spent six years working for a web analytics company. She enjoys bouldering, dancing, and spoiling her maltese puppy.