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Ad Extensions What to Use and Where

In this blog we’ll be looking at how to apply Google’s all singing, all dancing ad extensions to the right situations and how to recognise where they perform best. The ad extensions offered by Google update all the time so in this blog we’ll look at 3 of the most popular (and long lasting!) types of ad extensions and learn which situations they are best applied to.

Google’s ad extensions, when used properly, can be the perfect accompaniment to your text ads. But to really get the best from them it’s vital to recognise the differences between specific ad extensions and their functions before you pour them all over your beautifully constructed ads.

Here’s a guide to what certain ad extensions do and when/ where to apply them:

1) Sitelinks

Where Would I Use Them?

Sitelinks allow you to show 4 separate, independent links underneath your text ad with their own description lines. This not only looks predominant on the landscape but also serves to sneakily push your competitors (and the organic listings) further down the page. A click on a Sitelink costs the same as a normal click and they’re free to activate. Sitelinks apply to almost all accounts and it’s standard practice to have Sitelinks active in all campaigns.

Where Wouldn’t I Use Them?

To get your sitelinks approved you’ll need to have an individual, unique landing page per Sitelink that is different from the landing page of your ad and the landing page of all other sitelinks active in your campaign. For small websites this can cause a problem if you don’t have enough landing pages to create four sitelinks.

2) Location Extensions

Where Would I Use Them?

Location extensions show the physical locations of your business or, in the case of multiple locations, the location nearest to the potential customer who initiated the search. They can either show the postal address or (if you have linked up your Google Places Account) a Google maps snippet of your location. If you have a retail client with stores on the high street then location extensions are a must. Location extensions can also display a phone number (not to be confused with call extensions). So if you’re a company who arranges face to face appointments by phone then location extensions can also be very helpful.

Where Wouldn’t I Use Them?

There are various schools of thought on this, one of which encourages using location extensions in every campaign no matter what the situation. However, if you have an online only business then location extensions can actually be a hindrance. For example, your client sells shoes from a shop in Galway and a customer in Dublin sees your location on an ad, how likely are they to order from you with the knowledge there are shops closer to home which could provide faster or cheaper delivery? For this reason it’s probably best to use location extensions with care and to only activate if they can make a genuine contribution to your KPI’s.

3) Seller Rating and Social Extensions

Where Would I Use Them?

Whereas social extensions are available to anyone with a Google Plus account, seller ratings are really only applicable to certain clients. These ad appendages are an opportunity to show off your client’s reputation, providing their reputation is positive. If not, Google won’t show these ratings on your ads and in the case of seller ratings you might have already parted with a pretty penny to get them active in the first place. Seller rating extensions require you to partner up with a seller review site (SERPS) like Shopzilla or Feefo who will charge you between £0.05 to £0.25 per click to be listed on their site.

Of course, all customer feedback is a positive asset to a business, so if you’re client resides in a review driven industry (retail or holidays for example) you might want to suggest SERPS if they don’t use them already. If your client provides a good service and achieves star ratings of 4 or above on seller rating sites you can get a huge boost to CTR by advertising your reputation on your PPC ads. In the case of social extensions pretty much any client can have a G+ account and there’s no extra expense involved with activating them.

Where Wouldn’t You Use Them?

Simply put, if your client can’t guarantee 4 or above stars on seller rating sites then don’t activate them. Although Google will omit the stars from your ads if they drop below 4, you could still have paid a fortune to be listed on the seller sites in the first place.

However, for social extensions, as long as your client has a Google Plus account there is no reason why you shouldn’t activate these in your Adwords account. Once you have 100 followers on G+ your social extensions will begin to show and Google claim can provide 10% uplift to CTR.

So there you have it, the most popular ad extensions offered by Google and when to, and not to use them. Remember, not all ad extensions are applicable to every client and for the happiest customers, match the right extension to the right ad!