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Oliver Ewbank

Choosing The Right AdWords Ad Extensions

27th Jun 2013 Paid Search, Google AdWords, Paid Search 7 minutes to read

AdWords ExtensionsThis month Google AdWords released Image Extensions to help paid advertisers gain even more share of the search market. With yet another new ad extension (and so many more to choose from) at your fingertips it’s important you choose the best extension type for your business goal.

This post will explore all the types of ad extensions and what type of information you can promote.

Why Use Extensions?

One of the best ways to improve your Click through Rate on AdWords is to utilise a variety of ad extensions. Extensions make your ad stand out and give potential customers more reasons to click your ad. Improving your CTR will improve your Quality Score which in turn will reduce your Cost per Click.

Some extensions can increase CTR and conversions by up to 20%, in our experience, so it’s certainly worth experimenting with the range of features that Google make available.

What is Available?

Google have quietly rolled out a number of new extensions over the years and it can sometimes be hard to keep up.  Below I have put together a quick recap of some of our favourites so you can see what is available and the best times to use each one.

Image Extensions

Image Extensions are the latest extensions to be released by AdWords.  Simply put, this feature allows you to add visual elements to your search ads. This extension is still in early stages of Beta testing but so far results have shown a 10-20% CTR uplift.

Set at ad group level you need to make sure the images represent all the keywords in your specific ad group. Its best practice to create a themed ad group for each picture and the images will need to meet standard guildelines for quality and relevance.  To test this new feature simply complete this online form.

image extensions

Best Practice:

  • Best used for visual products or services (i.e. cars & hotels)
  • Image must be accessible 1-2 clicks from landing page
  • Images must be a JPEG with minimum size of 320x180px and maximum size of 640×360
  • Images should have an aspect ratio of 16.9 and you can use this free online tool to determine your ratio
  • Don’t use logo’s or animated images
  • You must have appropriate rights to the image


Sitelink Extensions

Sitelinks are probably the most used extension of the lot. They are easy to set up and are almost always guaranteed to increase CTR. Sitelinks simply let you include links to other pages in addition to the main landing page.

Once you switch to enhanced campaigns you can also target at ad group level and schedule your sitelinks for promotions. You can choose which sitelinks work best by using advanced reporting to optimise the ads further.


Best Practice:

  • Use for high converting sections of your website
  • Schedule for peak times of the day
  • Use advanced reporting to test and optimise


Dynamic Search Ad Extensions

Dynamic Search Ads automatically show your ad based on the content on your website. When a search term matches and appropriate page from your domain the AdWords system will automatically create sitelinks.

Offer Extensions

Offer extensions help you promote your latest offers visually in your text ad. The link will look like a sitelink extension but it will say ‘View offer’. Once a user clicks the ‘View offer’ link they will go to a Google landing page where they can print the offer or save it to their offers page.

You can run offer extensions on all devices and schedule promotions to target consumers at peak shopping times. This feature can run with other extensions and you can get extra ad space for the same cost.

This extension can dramatically improve your Click through Rate and can be used with a range of offers (Free Postage & Packaging, Free Consultation, Buy 1 Get 1 Free, Free Download).

offer extensions

Best Practice:

  • Ideal for ecommerce
  • The offer must have a promotion code
  • The offer must be accurate and not misleading
  • If you have a Google Places account linked to AdWords you can show redeem locations
  • Test and monitor CTR


Social Extensions

Linking your Google+ page to your AdWords account can automatically show social annotations in enhanced campaigns.

Enabling social extensions on your PPC campaign will show all the +1’s your brand has received which in turn will make it more likely that a user who views your ad could see that one of their friends has suggested it.

Last year Google reported that advertisers have seen as much as a 20% increase in CTR from using this extension.  If you have a large following on Google+ it is well worth a go.

social extensions

Best Practice:

  • Be active on Google+
  • Build up a credible list of followers for your company
  • The domain linked to Google+ must match your AdWords account
  • Populate your Google+ page with high quality content that the user will share


App Extensions

This relatively new extension does what it says on the tin. SmartPhone users can click an extension in your ad and directly download the app from iTunes or Google Play. If the user already has the app the extension can prompt a deep link into the application.

This extension is ideal for app sellers who want to increase conversions or to direct traffic to a relevant section of the app itself.

app extension

Best Practice:

  • Ideal for app sellers
  • Use specifically for download or reviews
  • Only use on mobile ads
  • Bid aggressively as there will be limited ad space


Email Extensions

First released in 2012 this extension gives you the option of including an email sign-up box in your text ad. This is ideal for anyone who has a newsletter and wants to build a community of users who they can push and remarket content to.

If it’s something you are keen on testing you can contact your account manager and ask to be Whitelisted.

email extensions

Best Practice:

The extension is set at campaign level and you need to provide the following to run the extension:

  • Fields you want to show in the ads i.e. email, name, zip code (the maximum is 2 fields)
  • The website privacy policy URL
  • The address where you want the data to be sent


Seller Rating Extensions

Seller Ratings Extensions allow you to attach your star rating from Google Shopping.  Having a good star rating will let users know that you are well rated by customers. This will install trust in the user and you are more likely to entice a click.

seller ratings

Best Practice:

  • Build up a credible star rating
  • Make sure customers receive excellent customer service
  • Your company name and domain URL should be consistent across all review sites


Third Party Sitelink Extensions

On occasions it is possible to have sitelinks to your social properties. This can be a good option for brand building as you can gain new Twitter Followers and Facebook Fans which you can then remarket to.

3rd party

Best Practice:

  • Don’t use for direct sales
  • Review the success in sitelink advanced reporting


Location Extensions

Location extensions help local businesses display their business address and phone number with the ad text. Text ads with this extension have been reported by Google to increase CTR by up to 10%.

They are easy to set up. You can connect your Google Places account to your campaign or add an address manually. The extensions can appear in search results as well as on Google maps and the display network.

Best Practice:

  • Essential for any local business using AdWords
  • Work well on mobile ads (2/3 mobile searches are local)
  • You can share location extensions across campaigns
  • Where possible select your own default icon from your uploaded images
  • On mobile devices utilise click-to-call location extensions


Multiple Addresses for Location Extensions

Some local companies will want to display all their nearby locations to the user. This is now possible with ‘multiple addresses’. You can show as many relevant stores in your ad as possible which dramatically increased your CTR and conversions.

multiple locations

Best Practice:

  • Recommended for any small to large chains with multiple locations

Call Extensions

Also known as ‘click-to-call’ on mobile devices this extension allows you to include a phone number in your ad so users can call you direct. Since the launch of enhanced campaigns the call extensions are shown across all devices (desktop, tablet and mobile).

You have two options. You can use a Google forwarding number or your own business number. Google forwarding numbers help you to track results but sometimes don’t work as well for local ads. For example a locksmith in London would achieve a better CTR rate if they kept their 020 number.

call extensions2

Best Practice:

  • Use through enhanced campaigns not legacy campaigns
  • Use with location extensions
  • You can add up to 20 call extensions to a campaign
  • Ad group call extensions take priority over campaign level call extensions
  • Schedule extensions at peak times
  • Keep a local number if it’s a local campaign


So there you have it. There are numerous ways to use AdWords extensions and done correctly you can entice valuable clicks to boost conversions. Have I missed any? Do some work better than others? What do you think the next extension will be? Could it be video extensions? I would love to hear your thought’s in the comments below.

Image Credits: Google

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