Enhance Text Ads on Google Networks with Ad Extensions

Posted by Adam Mitchell on 17 Nov 2010

Google Ad Extensions offers PPC advertisers more opportunity to stand out with text adverts on desktop and mobile devices. Ad extensions such as: Location extensions (map), Sitelinks (additional page links), Product extensions (catalogue/shopping cart), Phone extensions (click to call) and recently announced Seller Rating extensions (consumer reviews) all make up the Ad extensions tab in AdWords. In South Africa we are only previewed to Location, Sitelinks and Phone Ad extentions, but this is a superb feature to increase your ads appeal.

Location extensions appear as a link under your text ad to an expandable window that leads to your Place page and website. Using a Google Places listing in conjunction with AdWords will optimise on appearance and usability of text ads. Location extensions allow you to promote very relevant information about your business such as the business name, address, contact number, pictures and consumer references as a simple added benefit to the standard four line text ads. Manually entered, static Location extensions require regional specific targeting in the settings tab to function effectively, but will show relevant extensions to users based on their geographic location which makes your ad more relevant.

Sitelinks allow advertisers to promote other pages on the website with four additional links appearing under your ad. This is really effective for dominating those brand terms and to showcase other areas of your site that the user might also enjoy. For example, a bank offering various financial services could use Sitelinks to promote all of them through one text ad. Chances are increased that the ad will relate to the users query and induce a click. This can improve click through rates, quality score, CPC’s and conversions. Sitelinks will however only work if you are advertising on a keyword that has the ability to appear in position one.

Phone extensions work on a click to call basis and can be extremely cost effective tracking metrics such as click to call’s and call duration. A direct conversion straight to the clients phone line. Google Voice allows synchronisation of all business telephone lines into one, which will be very handy when it’s available in South Africa. A Television show in the US made excellent use of Google Voice to inspire interaction from the audience with thoughts on the show, “leave us a message”. Explore the campaign site here and listen to people’s contributions.

Ad Extensions are measurable as per normal columns, but with two limitations in the Ad extensions tab. Data on individual Sitelinks is unavailable and shown as sets on campaign level. Clicks on the ad headline are not separated from clicks on Ad extensions, therefore this could exaggerate your reports if exporting data directly from the Ad extensions tab. To gather accurate data on our “ad extender” friends, make use of the “Segment” feature on the campaign and adgroup tabs in AdWords. From the Segment drop down menu, select the “click type” filter to view granular information on your Ad extensions, including clicks, CTR’s and conversions.

The financials are always important and this is my understanding of the costs related to Ad extensions. Clicks on Ad extensions are only charged for when the user clicks through from the search interface or display ad (not charged to expand windows), so be sure to also focus on your landing pages where users are not taken straight to your website (Place page). Enjoy and feel free to share any success or other related stories in the comments area below.