What are Google Ad Extensions?
The difference between a mediocre and a high performing PPC campaign is often in the details. One of those very important details is in the tab marked Ad Extensions. Ad extensions are a way to supplement your PPC ads with additional information to help influence potential customers to know, like, and trust you before they even hit your landing page.
“Google Ad Extensions provide opportunities to ‘expand your ad with additional information—giving people more reasons to choose your business.’ Google Help
Furthermore, if you’re the kind of copywriter that tries to cram every single USP and feature into the space of one ad, this article is ESPECIALLY for you. Ad extensions provide formal places to feature your USPs, service catalogs, location, phone number, and even site links to land prospects even deeper down your sales funnel.
As far as when to use Ad Extensions, Google provides two very simple and direct guidelines:
- Use all the extensions relevant to your business goals. (Not every ad extension is appropriate to every business or industry.)
- Extensions show with your ad when the extension (or combination of extensions) is predicted to improve your performance.
Last but not least, before diving in, there is no additional cost for using ad extensions, except for the standard cost of an ad click. For all intents and purposes, the click of an ad extension is equal to the click of the ad itself.
Remember, it is in Google’s own interest to ensure that your ads perform as well as possible. They want your clicks, money, and continued loyalty to their advertising platform.
1. Sitelink Extensions
What are Sitelink Extensions?
Sitelinks function almost like a sub-ad beneath your original ad. They are composed of a title and two sub-titles, and link directly to a customized URL on the same domain as the original.
Why Use Sitelinks?
Sitelinks allow advertisers the opportunity to deep link directly to other content that is important to the user. Think of them as shortcuts to places deeper in your sales funnel.
Sitelink Best Practices
Use sitelinks to drive users directly to your category pages, or to promote value added content, such as your financing offer, your watertight guarantee, your popular FAQ page, or your Monthly Coupons. Best of all, unlike your primary ad text, editing a sitelink will NOT reset its performance statistics to zero!
2. Call Out Extensions
What are Call Out Extensions?
Call Out Extensions are similar to Sitelinks in that they provide additional, supporting information. Unlike Sitelinks, however, they DO NOT contain links, and typically include information that needs little to no explanation.
Why Use Call Out Extensions?
Call Outs are the perfect way to build authority and trust among your prospects without using valuable ad space.
Call Out Best Practices
Use Call Outs to show yourself as unique, better, or equal to your competition. Common Call Outs include:
- Free Shipping
- 24/7 Customer Service
- Price Matching
- Over 200+ Styles
- Money-Back Guarantee
3. Structured Snippets
What are Structured Snippets?
Structured snippets use one of twelve pre-defined category headers to organize and feature common lists among advertisers. Examples include amenities, brands, courses, destinations, and services. Moreover, Structured Snippets are the natural by-product of Google’s shift towards structured data, including Schema and Knowledge Graphs.
Why Use Structured Snippets?
Structured Snippets allow users to quickly and easily form a bigger picture of the primary goods or services your company offers. This helps improve your Relevance, and hopefully your ROI, as well.
Structured Snippets Best Practices
Use structured snippets to feature your inventory of brands, such as Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, LG. Additonally, product types, such as laptops, smartphones, computers. Or travel destinations: Jamaica, Hawaii, Tahiti. And if you have a service catalog: HVAC Maintenance, AC Repair, Furnace Replacement, Plumbing, Electrical, etc…
4. Call Extensions
What are Call Extensions?
Call Extensions add a Call Now button to your ad when Google thinks it will lead more likely to a conversion.
Why Use Call Extensions?
Ultimately, Call Extensions give users more control over how they would like to contact you. While some demographics certainly prefer submitting an online form, there are other demographics that much prefer a phone call. Adding the Call Extension allows your user to decide whether they want to click the ad and go to your landing page, or click the Call button and get patched through directly.
Call Extension Best Practices
Only use call extensions if you have a company phone, and only if you think phone calls will IMPROVE your conversion rate. Don’t forget these eWebResults must-haves for any PPC campaign with Call Extensions:
- Make sure you have a dedicated receptionist who is ready to answer the phone quickly and professionally. Don’t let it go to voicemail!
- Set your Call Extension to match your business hours.
- Use a Call Tracking number to track performance and provide feedback to your client on whether their sales team is killing it, or getting killed.
- Always use a script!!
5. Message Extensions
What are Message Extensions?
Message Extensions are best explained as text message extensions. Very similar to a Call Extension, Message Extensions include a TEXT button. This mobile-only feature allows users to respond directly to a PPC ad with a text message, which YOU have already pre-populated for them! As you can imagine, message extensions require a legitimate mobile phone number to receive these messages.
Why Use Message Extensions?
Message Extensions give users even more control than ever before, especially when it comes to regarding how they want to respond to your ad. Just as Call Extensions work well among Baby Boomers, we anticipate seeing message extensions doing very well among Millennials.
Message Extension Best Practices
First and foremost, make sure you’ve set your pre-populated message with a value driven statement that helps drive your sales. Next, make sure there is someone ready to answer, quickly and professionally. Set an extension schedule that works best for the person answering. Using a program that can receive and answer messages by computer, such as Apple’s iMessage which syncs between Mac computers and iPhones, may improve productivity among many users. Last but not least, message extensions work well for short, quick interchanges of information. This includes: check inventory, book an appointment, get a quote, ask for info, or schedule a service.
6. Location Extensions
What are Location Extensions?
Location extensions add an address, map, distance to your business, and other location access details to your ad through your Google My Business profile.
Why Use Location Extensions?
Location extensions are crucial for brick and mortar locations that rely on foot traffic coming in the door to generate revenue. Restaurants, bars, stores, gas stations, education programs, and service vendors, are a few of the many examples.
Location Extension Best Practices
While you can’t customize Location Extensions, except by which of your business locations to show, if you need people coming in your front door, then ALWAYS use location extensions. They can be set at the Account, Campaign, or Ad Group level. Note, also, that if you’ve recently added an additional location, the new location will most likely NOT automatically pre-populate in your existing Location Extensions. You may even need to remove your location extension, then add it again to see the new location.
7. Price Extensions
What are Price Extensions?
Price Extensions are a box that appears below your text ads on both desktop and mobile, providing your prospects with pricing details about your business. It shows from 3-8 different price cards. They are similar to Shopping Ads in that each price card may have a unique URL, but they are different than Shopping Ads in that they can be used a greater variety of goods and services, plus they do not need a profile in your merchant center. The nine types of price extensions include brands, events, locations, neighborhoods, product categories, product tiers, service categories, service tiers, and service.
Why Use Price Extensions?
Price Extensions allow you to showcase both your offerings and prices. Best of all, the unique URL provides the opportunity to create deep links for users to land deeper down your sales funnel.
Price Extension Best Practices
When it comes to Price Extensions, it is best to let your products and services speak for themselves. Moreover, promotional text (sale, free, limited, etc…) is not allowed and is grounds for having your ad disapproved. Instead, feature your standard, premium, and elite grade brands/products/services.
Improve Your PPC with Google Ad Extensions
Google Ad Extensions give your audience more control, enhance the relevancy of your ads, and ultimately increase your ROI.
If you can’t get a particular extension to work, then call up Adwords. They’re generally easy to get a hold of during business hours and, generally speaking, are a very helpful bunch of data geeks and tech nerds like us.
Most importantly, however, in order not to let all this good advice go to waste, please follow this one rule: AVOID REDUNDANCY IN YOUR SITE EXTENSIONS. Nothing kills a good ad campaign like hitting your audience over the head with the same info multiple places in the same ad. For example, if your ad already says, ‘Free Shipping,’ then don’t create a Sitelink for ‘Free Shipping,’ a Call Out for ‘Free Shipping,’ and a Message Extension that mentions ‘Free Shipping.’
In conclusion, while there are certainly exceptions to every rule, if you’re just getting started with Google Ad Extensions, following these guidelines will help you get on your way to improving your PPC.
Have some ad extension tips and insight of your own? Keep the conversation going on Facebook. We want to know what’s working for you. We’ll be happy to hear from you and compare notes on the topic.
7 Essential Ad Extensions to Improve Your PPC | eWebResults