As digital marketers we are taught that it’s imperative to own as much of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for our brands as possible, it’s practically Pay Per Click (PPC) 101. To ensure our strategy can be fulfilled there are numerous tools at our disposal, including PPC Ad Extensions that allow you to display additional information to your ad copy, for example location, social, review, call, callout, app extensions and probably most importantly, sitelinks.
However, while these Ad Extensions often benefit us, (why wouldn’t we tell the consumer as much as possible about our brand or product?), we as advertisers often fall into the character limit trap that Google unwittingly lays. With a specification of a maximum number of 25 characters for ad title and only 70 characters for ad text, we can sometimes instinctively turn these numbers into a target, and ignore the necessity for some clear strategic thinking.
While sitelinks themselves were one of the biggest upheavals in Pay Per Click (PPC) in recent years, mobile-preferred sitelinks haven’t had as large an uptake and are often an afterthought. By not utilising these sitelinks, advertisers may involuntarily be serving ads to users with the dreaded ‘dot dot dot’ in place of information, which could be the difference between a user clicking on your ad or heading to a competitor; resulting in your brand missing out on valuable clicks and ultimately conversions. Not employing this innovation can become a particularly toxic mix when your offer price point is at the end of your link text, or within the generic space where users may not be as familiar with your brand or offers.
Here at iProspect we have monitored the transition from the ‘long’ desktop sitelinks to shorter, more mobile-friendly versions. These are typically between 15-17 characters as an optimum; they’re short enough to stop the …, but long enough to convey a message. The results are fairly stark.
By making these quick and simple changes to our accounts, we have seen the average click through rate (CTR) for our mobile serving sitelinks increase dramatically by 89%! This has brought the usually much lower CTR for mobile sitelinks into line with that of their Desktop counterparts. Don’t take my results as gospel, create your own mobile sitelinks, perform your own test and reap the benefits from reducing your character length.