Google AdWords Ad Extensions: What Are They And Why To Use Them

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harryhuxford | Monday, September 27th, 2010

Filed under: PPC Tips & Advice

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Few AdWords marketers are aware of Ad Extensions and with good reason as the options to enable them are buried among other campaign settings. Adding Ad Extensions to your ads can help them stick out more to searchers and improve click through and conversion rates. While Google may plan to implement extensions on the display network, for the time being you’ll only see these Ad Extensions on search network ads.

Location Extension
The Location Extension appends an address to the bottom of an otherwise normal text ad. This works very well with searchers who are looking for something local like a restaurant, family fun center or bowling alley.

Example Of Google AdWords Location Extension

Example Of Google AdWords Location Extension

Using Location Extensions along with geographic targeting (like ’5 mile radius around a zipcode’) will boost relevancy to searchers which may lead to improved click through and conversion rates.

Phone Extensions
Phone Extensions append a clickable phone number to the end of text ads. The clickability of the phone number is often referred to as “click-to-call” and this extension is only shown to searchers using mobile devices.

Example Of Google AdWords Phone Extension

Example Of Google AdWords Phone Extension

Phone Extensions work wonderfully for mobile users as they can click through and call a live human operator as opposed to clicking through to a static landing page.

Product Extensions
Product Extensions allow advertisers with a Google Merchant account to showcase product pictures alongside normal text ads. Since normal text ads can only ‘tell’ you about a product, product pictures fill the void and ‘show’ you exactly what is being offered.

Example Of Google AdWords Product Extension

Example Of Google AdWords Product Extension

In addition, look at the increased real estate that comes from showing Product Extensions. You’re really claiming a large chunk of Google’s homepage which makes it harder for searchers to ignore your ads and harder for them to notice your (now dwarfed in size) competitors’ ads.

Site Links Extensions
Ads with very high quality score are eligible to have Site Links appended to them. You can specify the display text and URL of each additional Site Link and direct users to a contact page, a store locator or other highly trafficked areas of your website.

Example Of Google AdWords Site Links Extensions

Example Of Google AdWords Site Links Extensions

As the highest quality scores typically come from websites advertising on their own brand names, you’ll mostly see this on brand name searches. Keep in mind that not all searchers have the same goal in mind (they may not all be ready to buy, some want to research, others want to trust a website first). Adding Site Links allows you to accommodate a variety of searchers’ intentions with a unique destination URL for each.

Early critics of Site Links clamored that they were a devious way for Google to siphon more money out of advertisers’ coffers by getting non-buying searchers to click ads. While this is true, your cost per click of these ads will be in the 5 to 30 cent range thanks to the 10/10 quality score brand name keywords typically have. The cost of adding Site Links will likely be infinitesimal compared to the collective costs of your other keywords.

Implementing Ad Extensions
Have a look around in the ‘Ad Extensions’ tab in AdWords for details on how to input all four of the above extensions. You can also see performance statistics for all ads that have appeared with an Ad Extension so you can judge if they are helping or hindering your campaigns. Try it out!

Big Reasons To Use Ad Extensions

  • Bigger ads claim more space on Google’s front page, making them harder to avoid.
  • Improved relevancy with location targeting from Location Extensions and “intention targeting” from Site Links.
  • Showing, not telling, with product pictures and live phone operators.
  • Do you have any other big reasons why you use Ad Extensions? Have you tried them before and seen positive (or negative) results? Please let me know in the comments!

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