Enhance your ads with the right extensions: Google Best Practices

Manage your ad extensions in Google Ads

Know which extensions require upkeep and stay on top of them by following these ad extensions best practices.  

Know which extensions require upkeep and stay on top of them.

Use case: You want to help people find what page they're looking for on your site with just one click Sitelinks extensions

Optimize the messaging in this space routinely, just as you do with ad text

Make sure to have at least six active sitelinks for both desktop and mobile, but remember that you can go all the way up to twenty total per ad group or campaign. Sitelinks allow 25 characters for the link itself, and that space allows for testing. We’ve found that briefer sitelinks are generally the most effective, though, so try and keep them short and crisp. If certain sitelinks aren’t receiving a lot of impressions they’ve been passed over by the system, which means that you could probably work on improving those first.

 

Tip

Looking to test the text you use for your sitelinks? Try out different versions in a campaign experiment.

Use principles of ad copy writing as you create sitelinks. Think of distinct calls to action and benefits that relate to a user’s search and the page you’re directing them to. You can also take lessons from previous ad tests and apply them. For example, you can use losing (but still strong) ad copy as your sitelinks or their descriptions.

 

Sitelinks with Additional Detail

Sitelinks with additional detail

You also have the option to add additional detail to your sitelinks, which is great opportunity to prove value to customers before they click.

Keep in mind that this additional detail is only eligible to serve on desktops and tablets. Additional details also don’t show all the time. Many advertisers see this format most frequently on their brand terms where they’re the only ad above the results.

 

Mobile-Preferred Sitelinks

Speak to your mobile users in their own language. Think about mobile intent and how it differs from desktop, and then reflect that way of thinking in your sitelinks. You’ll also want to keep mobile-preferred sitelinks shorter than desktop sitelinks to try and avoid truncation.

Use case: Phone calls are an important way for customers to connect with you Call extension

Start by scheduling call extensions when you have someone there to answer the phone. Don’t waste your money and your users’ time by generating a call you can’t accept. Once you’re driving calls, be sure to track conversions from them.

Decide whether receiving a call can be more valuable to you than a regular website click. This can be particularly true on mobile devices. Review how many conversions are generated from calls (via clicks on the call button) vs. website clicks (via clicks on your ad’s headline). If calls convert at a higher rate, use call extensions and adjust your bid strategy to maximize total conversions instead of just online conversions.

When using call extensions, plan on using Google forwarding numbers. This option provides you with details about the calls that you receive and allows you to track calls as conversions.

Phone calls have the added benefit of working with target CPA and ECPC bidding options. These options automate bidding - incorporating factors such as device, browser, location and time of day - to get the most conversions for your budget.

Do it now: Use call extensions

Tip

If calls are important for your business, check out our guide to driving calls in Google Ads.

Use case: If you want to highlight specific information about your products and services on top of what you already mention in your ads and sitelinks

Callout extensions

Callout extensions essentially get you an extra line of ad text that it broken up into tight, short snippets of text (25 characters or fewer). They aren’t clickable, so the focus of the ad will remain on your headline.

With callouts you’ll want to highlight features of your business or product. Identify what short snippets could enhance your existing ad text and make it more convincing. By focusing on standard features that you offer, such as no contracts or free shipping, you can open up that space in your ad text. Avoid repeating whatever you use in your callout in your ad text or your sitelinks. Make sure you're providing information a user wouldn’t otherwise have - if it’s in the ad your callout won’t serve.

A few things that you should keep in mind when using callout extensions:

  • Keep them short (think bullet points, not sentences)
  • Be specific (add concrete information like specific sizes or rates)
  • There’s a two callout minimum, and up to four can show at one time (depending on space)

Do it now: Show additional callout text below your ad


Use case: You want to provide context on your products and services before visitors click through to your site structured snippets

Structured snippets focus on attracting clicks from visitors who are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer. You can enable them at the ad group, campaign or account level. The most specific level will take precedence.

Just as you can create mobile-preferred sitelinks, you can create mobile-preferred structured snippets. Write shorter snippet values (think 12 characters or fewer) for campaigns that serve on mobile. Add as many relevant headers as possible for your business, and try to include at least 4 snippets for each of those headers. You’ll also need to keep your snippets informational instead of promotional.

Use case: You have a physical business location where you can attract customers

Stat

Nearly 1 in 3 mobile searches are related to location.1

You’ll set up your location extensions at the account level. After setup you’ll have the option of creating filters to prevent certain locations from showing up on campaigns or ad groups where they don’t make sense. You can also use filters to ensure that you show the correct business locations for your respective campaigns. Think of the intent behind your campaign and whether a user would benefit from seeing the nearest location that you have.

Tip

You can now reach local customers with location extensions across Search, Google Display Network and YouTube campaigns.

Also, if you want to show your ads to people located near your business and set different bids for those potential customers, you can use your locations for campaign targeting purposes as well.

Tip

If you’re a manufacturing brand and want to help people find your products at retail chains and stores, implement affiliate location extensions.

You also have the benefit of device preference if you prefer that your location extensions show on either mobile devices or desktop/tablet, although given the format, we highly recommend showing location extensions on mobile.

Tip

If visits to your physical locations—like hotels, auto dealerships, restaurants, and retail stores—are important to your business, you may be able to use store visit conversions to help you see how your ad clicks lead to store visits.

Although it varies by vertical and advertiser, your online conversion rates generally go up when location extensions are present, as you are driving awareness of and interest in your nearby business locations.

Tip

If you are looking to drive offline sales with online ads, check out our best practices guide.

Use case: You want to drive users to your site, but you also want to give them the option of downloading your app App extension
 

The mobile app extension allows you to extend your text ads with a link to allow users to download your app from Google Play or the iTunes Store. This extension can be used with both brand and generic keywords, and it can show alongside any of your other extensions. You just have to decide what your primary motivation is. If it’s site traffic, use app extensions. If it’s app downloads, use app install ads. Since a user’s operating system is automatically detected, you don’t have to worry about any compatibility issues. Target whichever operating system works for you and your app, and the system should take care of the rest.

Some Extensions Will Show Automatically

Tip

If you qualify for certain automated extensions they will appear alongside your ads without any action on your part, including the below in addition to dynamic versions of sitelinks and structured snippets.

Use case: Your company (not your individual products) has accrued numerous positive user reviews online Seller ratings extension

These ratings will show if you accrue thirty ratings in the last twelve months from any of the review sites listed here (along with Google Shopping and Google Trusted Stores).

You can view your current active reviews by visiting https://www.google.com/shopping/seller?q=xxxxxxxx.com (replace xxxxxxx.com with your domain). If you have a total rating lower than 3.5 stars, it won’t be shown on search ads.


 

Tip

If you are interested in using message extensions to initiate and extend conversations with customers, check out our guide to Drive Conversations with Message Extensions.

We want our users to find value in the ads we display, so you can rest assured that we want your ads to be engaging. If auto-enabled extensions are projected to hurt your performance we won’t show them.

If you would rather opt out entirely, that option is available to you.

 

1Source: Google Internal Data, April 2016

 

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