22 Aug Extend Your Knowledge of Ad Extensions – Part 1
– 22 August 2017 –
What Are Ad Extensions?
Ad extensions are a feature on the Google Search Network that provide the user with valuable information about the services you offer and can help improve your search campaigns’ performance. But with so many extensions on offer, it can be confusing to work out when and what to use.
In this series of blog posts we’re going to run through full suite of ad extensions that Google offer, as well as the benefits you can get from using them.
Ad extensions are very much a quick win for improving ad rank. Ad rank (the value used to determine where your ad places on the search results) is determined by your:
Bid x Quality Score x Impact of Ad Extensions
By implementing some of the extensions available, you can improve your ad rank even in scenarios where you are unable to raise your bid or improve your quality score further. This is particularly useful if you are utilising the Google Grant Account, where your maximum bid is capped at $2. By using extensions, it is possible to stay ranking even on competitive searches where bids may be over $2. For all extensions, you don’t pay any more for using them, you only pay when someone interacts with your ad, whether that is through you headline or one of your extensions.
Aside from the algorithmic benefit of using ad extensions, there are also benefits that can improve your performance above and beyond that of ad rank.
By providing more information than what is usually available in an expanded text ad, you give the user more reason to interact with your ad. Someone is more likely to click on your ad if they can see at a glance the products you stock, a product review and that your store is located near them.
Ad extensions also take up more visible space in the search results. Taking up more of the real estate on the search results page is going to lead to your ad being more prominent in the user’s eyes, and therefore more valuable. This is especially important for searches conducted on mobile, where an ad with callouts, sitelinks and a map of location can take up the entire screen on mobile.
Sitelinks appear below your ad, allowing you to expand your ad and direct users to other related pages on your site.
By including sitelinks, you give the user more reason to click on your ad, as they can quickly navigate to sections of your site that may be of interest above just your headline, such as your opening yours, see your returns policy or your top viewed products.
Sitelinks also take up more space on the results page, making your ad more prominent and increasing the likelihood of someone interacting with your ad. Up to 6 sitelinks can be used on a desktop to expand your ad down the page.
The sitelink interface has recently changed on mobile, with up to 8 sitelinks appearing on one line in a carousel format. Part of the draw of sitelinks was how much extra space on the results page you could take up. It will be interesting to see whether the performance of top ranking ads on mobile will suffer now that over half of your sitelinks are now obscured from view and must be revealed.
Callout extensions, seen here below the ad text, are short non-clickable snippets of text that allow you to shout about key features or services that you offer, that can give the user a better picture of what you are about. Whether this is certain features related to a sale, such as ‘free delivery’, or things that give someone a flavour of what you as a company offer, they are a great way of highlighting what makes you stand out.
Structured Snippet Extensions
Structured snippets, not to be confused with featured or rich snippets, serve as a way to draw attention to distinct groups of products or services that you offer. This could be the styles of clothing you stock, different educational courses you offer or types of furniture available. Google offer a list of predefined headers to choose from, and you input the values to your list.
As is the case with a number of the non-clickable extensions available, providing more information to the user is a great way to attract more visitors to your site and improve the click through rates of your ads.
Call extensions allow you to display your phone number alongside a desktop ad or as a clickable button on mobile, allowing people to contact you directly without having to navigate to your website and find your phone number. This is a great way to provide more useful information, increasing engagement and improving the number of conversions you achieve if you are tracking call conversions. Clicks on your call extension costs the same as a click on your ad.
You can visit part 2 of our ad extension series for a look at some of the other extensions on offer.