Writing effective ads in for Google AdWords can be tricky. There is such a small allotment for words, space and size. After rattling your brain while trying to write the best ad ever, you might have been thinking, “Which words to use, which to leave out?” or “Is there enough information for the message to be clear?” If there was only a way to get a few extra words in. Luckily, there is a solution — ad extensions.
Three Big Reasons Why You Should Try Ad Extensions
- Using this feature results in improved ad rank and visibility. If you have a matching bid and quality as your competitor, the ad with the extension is more likely to show up above the search results as opposed to the side bar. If your ad has the same CPC (cost per click) bid and quality score as your competitor, you can increase your ad rank and beat them out in a higher position.
- Extensions can help increase your CTR (click through rate). More clicks means more traffic to your site. To learn more, check out my post on How to Improve Your Adwords CTR.
- Ad extensions don’t increase your cost. If the extension has a link, and a person clicks on it, you will be charged the same way if some just clicked on your normal ad; otherwise it costs nothing extra to set up.
OK, So What is an Ad Extension?
To put it simply, an ad extension is more space for text and other clickable links/buttons on your ad. This feature allows you to alter some of the formating while increasing the size of your ad. The normal ad you create stays the same, there will just be more sections of text added to the lower portion of the ad itself. Best of all, ad extensions don’t increase your cost! If the extension has a link, and a person clicks on it, you will be charged the same way if some just clicked on your normal ad, otherwise it costs nothing extra to set up.
To better understand ad format, let’s take a look at the guidelines and the sample ads below.
Standard AdWords Ad
Here’s a (made-up) example of a basic ad using Adwords’ guidelines for ad copy, as follows:
- Headline: 25 character max
- Description Line 1: 35 character max
- Description Line 2: 35 character max
- Display URL: 35 character max
This ad is straightforward, and may not be anything special as is. But if Bob wants to improve his ad with more compelling ad copy, he can accomplish this by shifting some of the text to other areas where it would be more appropriate as an extension. This would save some serious space and make a tremendous refinement to his ad. Now let’s look at the various ad extensions available and where Bob’s ad can improve.
Types of Ad Extensions And What They Do
Add up to four more links to landing pages on your site.
In the Bob’s NC Books example, Bob could add links to his FAQ, Contact Us, Blog, Hours etc.
If you have a brick and mortar location and would like viewers to easily find your physical store, you can add a convenient pin that links to google maps for directions.
All we know is that Bob’s store is in NC. We could remove that from the ad copy and enter his actual business address, where a map and pin will show instead.
Put your business phone number right into the ad. This is a great option for mobile, allowing users to call instantly.
Instead of wasting space by entering the phone on line 2, the number could be entered in the extension category. This will also allow mobile users to call Bob with a quick, single tap of the finger!
If you are promoting an app, here you can send ad viewers directly to download it or to the app store where it’s hosted.
Bob can link his Book Finder app directly to his ad.
Showcase positive, third-party reviews from reputable sources. A quote from a positive review, award, or accolade is very attractive.
Add descriptive text to your ad to help people learn more about what you have to offer.
If Bob wanted to point something out like, “huge inventory” “25 years in business” “30 day return policy” etc, this extension is a great opportunity to showcase those details.
Structured Snippet Extensions
Your ads may now include additional information about the products and services offered on your site beneath your ad text.
This is a relatively new feature. It’s similar to callouts, but even more specific since a category is assigned. “Types” would probably be the most relevant selection and the types of inventory on hand or a description of the type of sale would be suitable. For example, “best sellers” “rare books” “collectors items” “famous works” etc. could work really well for Bob’s NC Books.
For more examples of all the site extensions and how they look, see Google’s guidelines for ad extensions.
Tips on How to Use AdWords Extensions
It may be difficult to think about where to place the ad copy, but if you approach writing ad copy like assembling a puzzle, you won’t find yourself squeezing pieces into places where they won’t fit. That is the point of the ad extension. Why wastefully put information into description line one or two, when it can be strategically placed in an area where it belongs? Extensions allow you to both increase the size of your ad and get important information where it counts.
With this feature, you increase your ability to generate more clicks, pay less for your CPC bids, and increase your ad position without paying anything extra. What a great deal!
Not all the extensions will necessarily run at once, and there are ways to program days/times to run extensions on all or some of your ads. There are also ways to pull reports on how well the extensions are performing. To learn more about Google AdWords and how it works, read through these blogs. For more information on how to take advantage of these optimizations or add them to your campaigns, please contact us.