How To Create An Expanded Text Ad Instead Of A Responsive Search Ad


Most of us use Google products (from search, to Android, to YouTube & more) every single day.

However, from a digital advertiser’s perspective, Google has an irritating tendency to take control and power away from the advertiser.

One such example of this is with expanded text ads in Google Ads.

If you’ve used Google Ads in recent months, then you’ll notice that Google is pushing heavily towards the use of Responsive Search Ads (RSAs for short).

In fact, Google is making it very tough for advertisers to even set up “regular” (i.e. expanded) text ads any more.

Google recently announced that expanded text ads will be going away from mid 2022, but that still leaves about nine months of time for advertisers to use “old fashioned” ads.

In this short article I’m going to show you how you can still create an expanded text ad (ETA) instead of an RSA, despite Google trying their hardest to prevent you from doing so.

In my experience, many businesses are wary of responsive search ads - primarily because they do not like the idea of ceding ad copy control to Google. While you can do things like pin specific headlines or descriptions in RSAs, many advertisers aren’t aware of this (and even if they are, they just don’t like the concept of giving more control to Google).

For example if you run a business in a niche with a lot of regulations - or any other reason for having strict ad copy approval rules - you might find RSAs hard to deal with due to the risk of Google showing a non-approved combination of headline(s) and text descriptions. 

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As a Google Ads specialist, I’ve encountered issues in the past with clients who have reported an ad they have set up (not really understanding the RSA concept) showing an ad copy they didn’t approve, as they thought that RSAs would show specific combinations of headlines and text descriptions and nothing else.

I won’t go into too much depth on the pros and cons of ETAs vs RSAs, and the reasons for and against. This blog post isn’t really the time or the place.

However, let’s look at how to set up ‘normal’ text ads in Google, despite the push towards RSAs. Remember that at some point this will cease to be an option, so get in quick.

Adding A New Expanded Text Ad - How To Do It

The first thing to note is that you cannot (as far as I'm aware) ad an ETA from the "ad group setup" section of Google Ads.

What you need to do is configure your ad group first - you can actually skip the creation of the RSA that is forced on you during the process ... you'll just wind up with an ad group that has no ads. You can also do this process in any existing ad group that has an ad copy in it - there's no difference. 

From there, go in to your ad group and opt to create a new ad, and click 'create responsive search ad' from the box that pops up (if using the blue "plus" button).

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On the ad creation window that will load up, look for the highlighted text below. This is "hidden in plain sight" but clicking this will allow you to create a normal text ad, not a responsive one (NB Google will show you a warning message that you'll need to accept before you can proceed).

From there you will be able to create an expanded text ad like you normally would! 

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Hopefully this short guide helps to explain how you can still (as of September 2021) add a new expanded text ad to a Google Ads ad group, as opposed to having to use Responsive Search Ads/RSAs.

Remember that this option WILL go away at some point in the future, as Google have committed to stopping ETAs in June of 2022. However, they make take away the ability to create new ETA ad copies before that point in time.

If you need any help with your Google Ads, then get in touch with me on - as an experienced Google Ads expert, I can help you get more customers for your buiness via Google Ads advertising