Structured snippets and chicken wings. Imagine this scenario, if you will: you’re driving through the middle of town on a saturday evening with some friends and someone announces, “I’m hungry!” You admit it has been several hours since that pretzel and lemonade at the mall, and it could be dinnertime for you as well. None of your companions are predisposed to one restaurant over another, though Greg, one of them, admits he could really go for some chicken wings.
Structured Snippets Scenario – On the Hunt for Hot Wings!
So you all decide that you’ll pick a place with some killer chicken wings. Only one problem: how do you know who makes them? Without a quick, reliable way of knowing, at a glance, what types of food each restaurant has, you and your crew are left to wander the urban landscape, stopping in and wasting valuable bonding time to discover if each eatery does, in fact, make wings.
Wouldn’t it be so much simpler, if you could tell what types of foods a restaurant sells just by looking at it? Wouldn’t it be nice if, when making a Google search for a product or a service you needed, an ad showed you precisely what types of things the business behind the ad offers? Stop your wishful thinking, intrepid advertiser, for Google has a solution: Structured Snippet Ad Extensions!
What are Structured Snippets?
Structured snippets are ad extensions that highlight and celebrate specific aspects of your products and services. Like the magical restaurant vision in the above example, they let users get a taste of what your business offers before they even have to click on your ad. These extensions show beneath your text in a standard search ad by using a header and a list fitting within that header.
You decide which headers and lists you want to use to describe your business to potential customers. A good tip is to put yourselves in the shoes of users looking for what you have to offer and designing your extensions to meet their needs and wants. At present, Google offers twelve headers you can use for Structured Snippets. These are:
- Degree Programs
- Featured Hotels
- Insurance Coverage
- Service Catalog
After selecting whichever of these headers you think best represents what you’re looking for, you pair it with custom text that you create yourself to go into more detail. So if you’re a travel agent, you could select the “Destinations” header, and fill in the text space with some of the locales you’re featuring this time of year. Pretty neat!
How Do Structured Snippets Work?
Each ad can show up to 2 headers at a time. AdWords will algorithmically decide the best header combinations you’ve made to show, so it’s best on your end to add as many headers as possible that could be relevant to your business. This gives the AdWords system a large pool to work with, and helps keep your ads fresh.
The potential benefits of using structured snippets are numerous. As mentioned before, these extensions allow users to instantly find out more about your products or services. Before they even click on your ad, structured snippets give a preview to users of what they’re walking into. This is a win for you was well, because if people see what you’re all about and still click on your ad, that means they are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer. This means more relevant clicks and potential conversions.
When to Use Structured Snippets Vs. Callout Extensions
The following table outlines situations where an advertiser might use structured snippets versus callout ad extensions. Though structure snippets and callouts meet different advertising objectives, their use is not mutually exclusive as illustrated by plumbing ad example above which has both.
Structured Snippets to Increase ROI
Because of the increase in relevant clicks and conversions, these extensions will also help with your bottom line. Since you pay anytime someone clicks on your ads, it just makes sense from an ROI standpoint to ensure that the clicks you pay for are as relevant as possible.
Structured snippet extensions are another excellent tool to optimize and better your Google AdWords campaigns. Happy marketing!