Tell me if this sounds familiar … you log into your AdWords account every day to review the previous day’s performance, but you don’t see as many clicks as you hoped. Alternatively, you may find your daily budget spent entirely on clicks that delivered far fewer landing page conversions than expected.
I've experienced both scenarios and I imagine you have, too.
Online advertising is very competitive and businesses will do anything to get an edge on the competition. This is especially true with PPC advertising. After all, each search results page only allows ten PPC ads to be shown, so qualified clicks are valued at a premium.
Google offers advertisers a variety of “AdWords extensions” to help increase ad rank and click-through rate. Extensions effectively provide more “real estate” on the search results page if your ad qualifies. Or, as AdWords states, “extensions create more reasons to click your ad.”
AdWords gives priority to the top three ad positions when displaying extensions. The top three ad positions are on the left side above all organic listings. Occasionally, ads listed in the right margin will display an extension, as shown below by the “Fit Trackers at Amazon” ad:
In order to grab one of the top three positions, bid competitively, implement keyword modifiers, and increase your quality score.
It’s worth mentioning these extensions don’t cost you anything extra. They are built-in features that help you increase your visibility, click-through rate, and landing page views. Therefore, any time an extension is clicked, you pay the same amount that you would if a user clicked your headline. Some extensions are clickable with hyperlinks, others are not. But they all offer a chance for your ad to be more enticing for users to click if you use them correctly.
How to set up AdWords extensions
Once you’re logged into AdWords, use the following sequence to set up extensions:
- Click on the “Campaigns” tab at the top of the screen to display your account tabs
- Click the “Ad extensions” tab
- In the row below this tab, click on the dropdown that says, “Sitelinks extensions”
- From this drop-down, you can customize each type of extension you wish to set up, as well as apply the extensions to an entire campaign or a specific ad group
How each extension works
These extensions are clickable and it’s best to link them to specific pages thematically related to the text. For example, a pricing page, testimonials, or a free demo work very well here. As an example, this is a sitelinks extension when you search for “Philadelphia SEO agency:”
Simply adding and enabling sitelinks has shown to give advertisers about an 8% uplift in CTR. This may not seem like much, but when you consider extensions improve your quality score, lower your costs, and help improve position – why wouldn’t you use them?
These are also hyperlinked and clickable, which naturally draws more attention. A location extension is listed on its own separate line – effectively increasing the entire ad’s size. Plus, on mobile they provide a link with directions to your business.
As of July 2015, these extensions can also show rating stars, as shown by the 4.8 rating from 16 reviews for the Boise tattoo parlor below:
This is exactly what it sounds like.
Include a number in your ad that people can click-to-call. On a desktop, the 10-digit number is displayed (picture 1 below). Call extensions on mobile devices will have a phone icon for users to click-to-call (picture 2 below). Either way, AdWords offers call conversion tracking in order for businesses to track their call extension data.
App extensions will only appear if the user is on a mobile device. The link is located below the ad’s text or to the right:
Depending on your device, when you click the CTA button, you are directed to your appropriate app downloading service (App Store or Google Play). However, if your primary goal is to drive app downloads, app promotion ads (which link directly to apps exclusively) may be the better option.
Review extensions are more helpful for service-oriented businesses. Displaying positive reviews on your ad provides social proof regarding the quality of the product or service. For example, here’s how our review extension from TrustRadius appears when you search “Instapage” on Google:
Even though it doesn’t have the blue color, the review website (TrustRadius) is hyperlinked if you want to read the full review.
These are additional descriptive text that allow you to “callout” features or services. Like previous examples, these also increase the size of your ad giving you an additional line of benefit-oriented text.
Callout extensions are separated by a dot in the screenshot below:
Structured snippet extensions
Finally, structured snippet extensions are identified by a colon, as demonstrated below with sport sunglasses, lifestyle sunglasses, PRIZM sunglasses:
It’s worth noting that sitelinks extensions (#1 extension on this list) can also be separated into two columns and allowed two lines of descriptive text, like Oakley’s ad above shows.
Although AdWords extensions are an advanced feature, they are easy to set up and can significantly increase your landing page views, and ultimately conversions.
Have you tested extensions before? Are you considering them now? Maybe you already have extensions enabled and would like a fully optimized landing page to send users. We got you covered. Go here and create your fully customizable landing page.