If there’s one topic we’ve covered a lot here on the blog, it’s ad extensions for AdWords. We’ve kept up to date with new extensions as they’ve become available, explained what new types are and have strived to express how helpful they can be to your campaigns. Today, we’ll take a look at ad extensions as a whole. We’ll examine them as a concept in broad strokes and discuss Google’s best practices for using them.
To give a basic description of what ad extensions are, look no further than their name. Ad extensions in AdWords are various lines of text and/or links that provide a user with more ways of interacting with your ad.
What exactly a user can do with your ad depends on the types of extensions you use, which we’ll discuss in a bit. But first, here are the three basic steps Google recommends you follow to achieve success with your extensions:
- Understand the benefits of extensions in AdWords
- Manage your ad extensions in AdWords
- Report on and improve your ad extensions in AdWords
Understand the Benefits of Extensions in AdWords
The most obvious benefit of using ad extensions is a simple one. By having multiple pieces of your ad that users can interact with, you exponentially increase the likelihood that they will click on your ad and be brought to your website. This may be a basic concept, but it can have tremendous benefits for your business, including creating more clicks for less or equal spend on your part.
To take advantage of this, you’ll want to enable all extensions that make sense for your business. Extensions are proven drivers of clicks for your ads, so why not use as many as possible? Of course, some may not apply to your business and should be disabled. The rest however, should be a high priority for your campaign management. Extensions also make your ads more appealing and useful, providing a better experience for users.
That being said, you’ll want to make sure that the extensions you do use are relevant and of as high a quality as possible. Because Google chooses which extensions to show with your ad automatically, you’ll want to be certain that you are always putting your best foot forward to potential customers. Extensions are a lot like anything else in AdWords: quality is just as important, in not more so, as quantity.
Manage Your Extensions in AdWords
Another best practice when it comes to extensions is to figure out which ones require upkeep and to stay on top of them. Though most are automated, this does not apply to all, and some require some vigilance to keep running. By managing extensions closely, you’ll give yourself the best chances for success.
Further, it’s worth knowing which extensions should be applied at the campaign level, account level, and which show automatically. While we’re at it, let’s also add the best practices for each type as we go. Here is what Google suggests:
At the Account, Campaign (or even ad group level)
- Sitelink Extensions – You’ll want to apply at least six per campaign for both mobile-preferred and standard. If possible, ten of each is even better, as this allows the best of each to be used each auction.
- Call Extensions – If your product offerings differ significantly in value, you may want to consider setting up different phone numbers across these offerings, to make management easier.
- Callout Extensions – You need at least two callouts for them to show at all on your ads, but enabling four is considered optimal across your ad group/campaign/account. With callouts, strive to highlight key company attributes that differentiate you from others. Try not to just repeat what you already said in your ad copy.’
- Structured Snippets – Focus on writing short snippet values. Consider 12 characters or fewer optimal. This is mostly to cater to the mobile users who make up an ever increasing segment of the market. You’ll also want to include as many relevant snippets as possible. Like extensions in general, don’t miss out on any opportunities!
- Location Extensions – In general, most businesses will only have need of one location extension across their entire account. That being said, if that does not apply to your business, make sure you filter it out for campaigns to which it does not apply.
- Review Extensions – If you want to use reviews, make sure to refresh the one you present every so often. Do not stick to showing one review over and over. This proves to potential customers that you have had satisfied customers in the past.
- App Extensions – used to promote mobile application downloads/installs
These show automatically (if available)
- Seller Ratings Extensions
- Previous Visit Extensions
- Consumer Ratings Extensions
- Dynamic Structured Snippets Extensions
By following these guidelines, you should find success with extensions at every level of your account!
Report On and Improve Your Ad Extensions
As you implement what you’ve learned about these best practices, make sure you take the time to record the results of any changes you make. Though extensions are automatically optimized, by reviewing which ones drive CTR, for instance, you can gain a greater understanding of how your customers think and operate.
Additionally, always remember to monitor the coverage of your ad extensions. Just because you’ve set them up does not mean they will automatically generate impressions.
Ad extensions are a tremendous tool for driving CTR in Google AdWords. Having a firm understanding of their numerous benefits and how to implement them throughout your account at various levels is essential to achieving real success with AdWords. By sticking to Google’s best practices, you can optimize your use of extensions and make management of your account easier, saving you time and effort.
For more information on this topic, check out these articles: