How to Start Testing ETAs versus Your Standard Text Ads

By Brad


Ad Testing, Ads

As you migrate to Expanded Text Ads (ETAs), you want to ensure your new ads are preforming as well or better than your standard text ads.

In order to do that, we’re finding that there’s a few steps you should take:

Determine What Ad Groups You Want to Test

Not all of your ad groups have enough impressions and conversions in a month to be able to achieve statistical significance. Therefore, we recommend testing two types of ad groups to start:

  • Brand ad groups: Depending on your account size, you might have just one or many brand ad groups. Start with a few brand ad groups to understand how to structure ETAs for your brand messages.
  • Non-brand ad groups: Pick a handful to start of your non-brand ad groups. These should be ad groups that get enough data each month (or faster) to be able to get test results so you can understand exactly how your ETAs are preforming
    • For many of you, you might not start with your absolute best ad groups; but pick your 2nd best set of ad groups so that you aren’t making huge changes in your top ad groups yet
    • Once you get some data from your initial tests, then you can migrate to testing your best ad groups

Pause Some Ads

The second problem that we’re seeing is some ad groups just have too many ads in them to get quick test results. If you are testing ETAs, then you should not have more than one non-ETA in the ad group. The exception is mobile preference. If you want to test both mobile and desktop ads against ETAs, then leave one of each in your ad groups and create an ETA.

For Adalysis users. You can go to the ad group screen and filter by ad groups with more than 1 standard text ad and then pause all ads down to 1.


If you are using mobile preferred, then pause mobile-preferred down to one and then repeat the process for desktops.


Create an ETA in Each Ad Group You’re Testing

The next step is to create 1-2 ETAs in each ad group where you want to test.

If you’re testing 2 ETAs; we’re finding this is a good test:

  • Ad 1: Promote your best description line 1 to your new headline 2. Write a longer description.
  • Ad 2: Promote your best description line 2 to your new headline 2. Write a longer description.

This simple test will let you start seeing if a benefit, call to action, or other line is your best headline 2 in the new ad format.

For Adalysis users, the upgrade tool can make upgrading many ads at once to ETAs a breeze.



The simplest, and yet hardest part of ad testing, is waiting to achieve statistical significance. When you are making decisions about ETAs, it is best to have some patience as these ads will be the future of your account and you want to get it right.

If you need more information on how to test ads, see at a minimum ad testing metrics and minimum data as these are two very important factors when ensuring your results are significant:

Adalysis users: If your test results are significant, they will automatically be displayed on your single ad group testing screen. There’s no need to hunt for this information.

Reading the Results

Once you run a test, its’ time to take a look at the results.

If your ETA was your best ad – great – you can pause your standard text ads and create a new ETA and start testing ETAs against each other.

If your standard text ad beat your ETA, then you need to pause your new ETA and create a new ETA challenger.

There aren’t hard and fast rules here as it depends on how much work you did in upgrading or writing your new ETA. Here’s a few ideas:

  • If you only created a single ETA by upgrading the description line 1 to the new headline 2; then try promoting your description line 2 (or writing a call to action) as your new headline 2.
  • If you upgraded the ad and didn’t write a longer description; then now’s the time to put in the effort to start writing longer descriptions to see how it preforms against the standard text ads.
  • If you haven’t written strong benefits or calls to action in your ads; now is the time to try those in headline 2
  • Another option is to flip your headline 2 and headline 1 to see how the different order preforms for you.
  • The possibilities are endless

The Flowchart

To make this easy to follow; we’ve put together a simple flowchart that you can easily follow along to test your standard text ads against your ETAs to ensure that you’re prepared for the changeover in the new ad format:



ETA Upgrade Flowchart


More ETA Resources

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