A simple question: would you rather have a bigger AdWords ad or a smaller AdWords ad for the same cost?
Of course the answer is obvious -- when it comes to advertising bigger is always better. So how can you go about making your Google AdWords ads bigger for the same (or maybe even a lower) cost?
This is where ad extensions come in. In this article, we’ll review why these extensions are important, and how you can start incorporating them into your Google AdWords strategy.
What is a Google AdWords Ad Extension?
A Google AdWords ad extension is piece of additional content that expands your ads with additional information. There are many different types of extensions and they each offer different relevant information for potential customers to choose your business.
While most extensions require a little bit of setup, the additional work is worth it because in general you will see an improvement in the ads' performance with respect to clicks, cost per click (CPC), page position, and ad rank.
Why You Should Use Ad Extensions
Ad extensions expand your existing ads by offering the reader more ways to interact with your company. They are appended to your ad and can offer additional pages on your site where the reader can find more or different information. They can highlight additional benefits to working with your company, e.g.: Free Shipping, 90 day return policy, Sale now in process. They can provide a phone number to call or a location site to visit. They can even point directly to a place to download your app.
In addition, using extensions can increase the click-through rate of your ads and even your conversion rate.
And using extensions will usually raise the ad rank of your ad which can result in a higher position on the page and a lower cost per click and higher likelihood of your ad being shown. As Google says "ad extensions typically improve click-through rate and overall campaign performance because they make ads more useful."
What kinds of ad extensions are available?
There are many types of extensions available to you in Google AdWords:
- Sitelink extensions
- Call extensions
- Location extensions
- Callout extensions
- Message extensions
- Structured snippet extensions
- Price extensions
- Review extensions
- App extensions
To help you find the best type for your company's ad strategy, we'll explore a few of the most useful extensions below.
To make your ads larger and provide useful information to your potential customers, consider the simple but powerful callout extension. Callout extensions add an additional line of text to your ad directly beneath the headline:
The text in a callout is limited to 25 characters, so you should try to keep the text short, specific, and compelling. You can set up callout extensions at the account, campaign, or ad group level. And you can schedule when you want the specific callouts to appear. You need to create at least two callouts for any of them to show up -- so try to create at least four callouts.
Sitelinks allow you to direct users to additional pages on your site, beyond just the page they would land on by clicking on the ad itself. You can provide up to six additional links that direct people to relevant information about your company -- such as details about a new product, your business hours, a video, a webinar, or even an offer.
The links appear under your ad headline, and can be accompanied by an added description -- which I would highly recommend. Why is an added description better? Size truly matters! Each description you add makes your ad that much bigger for the same cost.
Each link you include can be accompanied by an 80 character description, as seen in the above screenshot. In this description you can include keywords and micro-copy to encourage clicks -- but more importantly, your ad becomes bigger and more relevant!
Regardless of the size of your business -- big or small -- you likely want to encourage people to call your business to ask questions, get more info, place orders, and just to make yourself available to solve their problems -- after all, that’s why you're in business!
A call extension will encourage people to call your company by adding a phone number or call button to your ads. The phone number can be assigned by Google and is separately trackable.
Location extensions are a great move for businesses focusing their targeting efforts in a particular area. If your business is looking to attract local attention, consider using this type of extension in your next campaign to highlight your convenient proximity to potential customers.
Need additional help with extensions? Schedule a free session with me or one of my colleagues at HubSpot’s Center for Inbound Advertising.
Businesses with multiple locations can even use location extensions to display the location nearest to the user, as seen in the Starbucks ad above.
Ad Extension Best Practices
Adding extensions to your ads will make them more targeted, relevant, and clickable -- not to mention, much more noticable at the top of the search results page.
The good news is that these extensions are free to add. Yes, you will pay the same price per click that you would pay if someone just clicked on your ad -- but think about it -- you are communicating much more information about your business for no increease in price.
Google will only show the extensions if Google believes that they will improve your ads performance, so be sure to keep the information hyper-relevant to potential customers.
Don't stuff in information just for the sake of making your ads bigger -- make sure the information actually improves the search experiece and helps customers pick your business.
Extensions can be created at any level of your AdWords account -- they can be shown at the account level, campaign level, or at the ad group level.
Keep Conversions In Mind
Remember to create specific landing pages for each of the site links that you create. That way, instead of just passing customers to an ordinary page on your website, you can send them to a targeted page where they can easily become a lead.