Google AdWords extensions have been around since November 2009 when Sitelinks were first introduced. Over the years, Google has introduced many more types of extensions to fit the needs of many business models. However, many companies are still not taking advantage of this free and extremely valuable tool in 2018.
Impact on Ad Rank and SERP’ real estate
You may wonder, why are extensions such a big deal? After all, they are “just” extensions. Some marketers may overlook the extension tab in AdWords when creating ads because the word “extension” has another entirely different meaning the web site world. Or, they might think that extensions are not what people see first when searching on Google, so they must not play a big role in convincing people to click on the ads.
However, what if the promotion extension was just what won the searcher over? Because your ad can more than double in size when extensions are showing, it means that it will be more prominent on the SERP (search engine result page) and stand out from the other ads. It will require people to spend more time looking at the bigger ad and if your extensions are relevant and add value to the customer, then they will most likely click on your ad over another one. Also, a bigger ad may mean that searchers will have to scroll down to see other ads or organic results, but most people do not scroll down the search page.
Increased real estate and value proposition to the customer are good, but what about Ad Rank? Back in 2013 Google changed their Ad Rank formula to include extensions. Since then, the ranking of your ad has been determined by bids, quality score, and “the expected impact from your ad extensions and formats”. In Google’s own words: “If two competing ads have the same bid and quality, then the ad with the more positive expected impact from extensions will generally appear in a higher position than the other.” That means that you could appear in the best position without spending any extra money. Sounds good right? But what extensions should you use?
There are 10 different types of extensions, but only some of them will be useful, relevant, and bring value to you and your customer base. Poorly written extensions and/or irrelevant extensions can negatively impact your ad rank. Google will pick the extensions that are the most relevant to the search queries your customers do, so make sure to have a few versions of the same extensions (when possible) that you think would be relevant and bring value to your customers.
Below are examples of each extension available to you. As you can tell ads with extensions take much more space on the result page and add value to your customers by providing extra information and quicks links to what they are looking for.
Sitelinks: Quick links to specific categories of your website.
Callout: Small snippets of texts providing additional features and/or benefits of your offerings.
Structured Snippet: List of brands, types of products, styles, etc.
Promotion: Displays a monetary or percentage discount.
Location: Displays your store’s address (requires a Google My Business account linked).
Call: Allows customers to quickly call your store.
Message: Allows your customers to text you to get more information.
Affiliate location: Displays retail locations where your products are sold.
Price: Displays specific products with their prices for easy access.
App: Displays a link to your iOS or Android application.
As you can tell, not all extensions apply to all businesses, but it is good practice to use as many as possible that are relevant to your business and bring value to your customers. Whenever possible, create multiple versions of sitelinks, callouts, prices, etc.
Finally, many extensions give you even more control to only show where and when you need them. For many extensions, you can also set a mobile device preference and schedule the extension to only show during certain times of the day and days of the week, because no one likes to waste money on unwanted clicks!
Always make sure to create relevant and creative extensions that add value to your customers. It will increase your real estate on the SERP and could result in higher ranking ads for the same price. So let’s get some extensions work done! If you need help with your account, contact us, we’d love to help!