Quality scores, click through rates, and making an ad stand out from the overwhelming competition are struggles for any online marketing professional. The good news is that, with properly implemented Google Adwords Extensions, all these challenges are easy to overcome. The best part is that they can be added to your campaigns at no additional cost. In the nickel and diming world of online advertising, that is something you don’t see everyday, and any free opportunity to improve the effectiveness of your ads is something to take advantage of. In this article, our aim is to provide you with an overview of Adwords Ad Extensions, and guide you through the process of improving your ads overall.
Ad Extensions are extra bits of information about your business, which can be placed on your ads to supplement the user experience. These can be basic like your phone number and location, as well as other useful but more complex bits information like pricing and promotions. (Pratt, 2017). Ad extensions wont always show up on the search results screen with your ad. Because of this, it’s still important to keep all the necessary info in your text ad, and not rely on extensions for effectiveness. There are two main types of ad extensions on the Adwords platform: Automated Extensions and Manual Extensions. Manual Extensions are those you need to set up yourself, while Google automatically adds Automated Extensions.
Google automatically adds automated Extensions in dynamic ways where their algorithm sees an opportunity for increasing the performance on your ads. (Google, 2018) You can view the automatic extensions by clicking on the Ad Extensions tab in the Adwords platform Google adds these snippets of information automatically, because they have been shown to improve the effectiveness and performance of ads. Advertisers should be aware that they can experience charges when a customer interacts with the extensions. Since there is no possibility for improvement on your end, we’ll skim over these and move on to the Manual Extensions. (Pratt, 2017)
Manual Extensions are more powerful and can deliver a greater return on your efforts than automated extensions. (Stemper, 2018) This is because they offer advertisers the opportunity to further customize their ad to further their business goals and control the user experience while they are still on a search results screen. An obvious benefit is that these extensions make your ad more prominent on the screen, and provide more information for potential site visitors at a glance, before a user ever even interacts with the ad. There are unseen benefits as well though. The additional information can boost your ad rank, providing a leg up on the competition bidding for that same real estate on the search results screen.(Ferguson, 2015) Also, the additional information can provide more context to potential users and serves as another rung on the sales funnel, weeding out non-converting clicks. We’ll go through some of the options for Manual Extensions on a Google Adwords campaign:
Sitelink Extensions on a Google Adwords campaign are some of the most useful and powerful extensions you can provide.
The feature allows you to include an additional four links to other areas of your site. This gives advertisers the ability to direct potential customers to seasonal pages, special offers, and sales funnel landing pages that are closer to their desired needs and thus further up the sales funnel. Google allows advertisers to use 25 characters in the actual links; however, it is best practice to use fewer. Moreover, similar to a traditional text ad, advertisers can include additional plain-text descriptions underneath each of the four links. It’s important for users to make sure that they have at least six active additional sitelinks for desktop campaigns and four active sitelinks for mobile ones. The site link extension provides a huge amount of additional real estate compared with a traditional text ad.
Callout extensions are similar to sitelinks in that they offer advertisers increased communication and more space on the screen. However, these small bits of information don’t include links to other areas of the site. Common uses of Callout extensions are to promote special offers or services. (Pratt, 2015). In addition to the added space and information, Callout Extensions also increase the quality score of your ad, placing you another step ahead of the competition.
While some extensions like Callouts and Sitelinks make sense for any business, Call extensions should only be used if you want to receive phone calls from potential customers. These extensions simply allow advertisers to show their phone number in their ads. If you’re running a localized business where customers will regularly pick up the phone and call, this is a no brainer. If an advertiser is running a largely automated business like an eCommerce store, then call extensions may make less sense.
For eCommerce professionals using Adwords, utilizing the price extension has a number of benefits: increasing conversion rate, increased ad prominence on the search page, and increased quality score for the ads. (Stemper, 2018). As we discussed in our article on the benefits of Google Shopping, including prices for specific products in an ad search greatly increases conversion rates from customers clicking on your link. With Google Adwords Price Extensions, advertisers can include prices for specific products right on a traditional search page.
The promotion extension, similar to the callout extension, allows advertisers to include information related to specific promotions. These promotions can be prescheduled, and Adwords even has some pre-selected promotions that advertisers can implement. The four types of promotions users can implement are monetary, percent, “up to” monetary, and “up to” percent. It’s important to remember to have a custom landing page when using promotions, so that customers can see the promo code, and convert, rather than being lost and feeling mislead.
Like call extensions, location extensions make the most sense for localized businesses to use. If a result you want to achieve is to drive in-store traffic, or let users know that you’re in their neighborhood, Location extensions make sense.
If your business has a mobile app they’d like to promote, Google Ad extensions can display a download button right on the search screen for you.