If you use Adwords for pay per click (PPC) advertising, Google will allow you to add additional text called ‘Ad extensions‘. Ad extensions enable marketers to add more information about their products, as compared to a normal ad. The use of ad extensions also means that ads will show up on the left hand side of the search screen above the organic search results instead of appearing in a cramped layout on the right. According to Google, in case of two competing ads, the one with extensions is given preference in terms of positioning; this can give a big boost to your marketing efforts. Ad extensions also allow advertisers to drive traffic towards specific landing pages. For example, if you are a used car seller, you can put a link to a landing page which allows visitors to book a test drive right in there with your search advertisement.
Below, you can find a beginners guide to ad extensions, which will tell you how extensions can help increase traffic to your site.
How to Enable Extensions
If you are already using Google Adwords, simply visit your Adwords account and select the ‘Ad Extensions’ tab on the top of your screen. There are different kinds of ad extensions which you can select through a drop down menu. The popular categories of extensions are described below.
1. Sitelinks Extensions
Add sitelinks to your ad to direct traffic to relevant pages straightaway. This feature can be especially useful when you have specific pages for different products and you don’t want the visitor to go through the homepage to get to what he/she searched for.
2. Location Extensions
List your physical address with your advertisement with this extension Adding a location makes searching on Maps and navigation very easy for users searching from mobile devices.
3. Call Extensions
Add your phone number, allowing searchers to call you simply by tapping the call button. Most times, people prefer a direct number to call instead of having to visit your website and locate the contact information. It is much simpler to give them this information straightaway.
4. App Extensions
With this extension, you can show a link below the text linking to a direct app download.
5. Consumer Ratings Annotations
Add a ratings bar to your ad based on survey data.
6. Social Extensions
Show how many Google+ followers your business has. Remember, your Google Plus page must have a verified URL, the domain of your Google Plus Page URL must match the one in your ad and your Google Plus page must have recent, high quality posts and a significant number of followers.
7. Review Extensions
Display reviews by third party sources, which can be useful for searchers to find out how visiting your link will be beneficial for them.
8. Callout Extensions
This extension enables you to add descriptive text to offer more information. The call out makes this information stand out. For example, you could have ‘Free Shipping’ or ‘50% Off Sale’ highlighted in the call out extension.
Different types of extensions show up differently to searchers depending on the device that they are using. For desktop based searches, Sitelinks, Review extensions, Seller Rating Annotations and Social Annotations tend to display the best while Call Extensions, Location Extensions and App Extensions are more useful for mobile based searches.
According to Google, there is no extra fee to enable extensions for your advertisements. However, clicks on your ads including on the extensions will be chargeable. For example, if a user clicks on the call button extension that you have added, you will be charged for it. The cost of clicks on extensions is similar to the cost you pay when someone clicks on the headline. Clicks on review extensions, social annotations and seller rating annotations are an exception, however and they are not charged for by Google.
Fine tune your Extensions
If you are unsure about where to begin, simply start by using all extensions and observing the results. You can then choose to keep the extensions which gave you the maximum click throughs or results. As with keywords, monitoring and making changes is an important aspect of dealing with ad extensions as well.
How Ad Extensions Help
The immediately obvious benefits of extensions are many; they allow you to highlight your location on a map, show product information, add links to other pages within your site, share your phone number, and show how popular your business is on Google+ and other review sites.
However, there are several other benefits to deploying extensions to your advertisements. According to Google, Clickthrough Rates (CTR) see an increase of 30% on an average with ad extensions. Another study by Bing has shown that mobile device users are more attracted to ads which used multiple ad extensions. This study places the increase in click-through rate between 15-30%.
Extensions Affect Quality Scores
Google announced recently that extensions or their lack would play a part in how ad ranks are calculated. This move was made in order to ensure that the Google Algorithm could decide the optimum combination of extensions in any given auction.
Now a New Technology: Image Extensions
This is a relatively new addition to the extensions space. Image extensions, introduced as a beta by Google in 2013, offer advertisers the option of displaying images along with their advertisements and have the images show up in the search results.
According to Google, one in six searches returns results which display some sort of visual content. Images in search ads was a long standing demand which Google finally accepted and introduced the feature. Images will be displayed if Google feels that users would want images in their results. If the query is for home interior designs, images are more likely to be displayed than a search for home interior shop locations.
Images that you want to display with the advertisement can be selected and sent for submission. However, it is important that the advertiser owns all rights to the images that he/she wishes to display.
Go ahead and add ad extensions to your campaign to increase traffic. Do share your results with us in the comments.