Over the past couple of years, Google has been constantly adding different campaign extensions that we can use with our ads. We now have Location Extensions, Call Extensions, Offer Extensions, Sitelinks Extensions, Social Extensions, App Extensions and Dynamic Search Ad Extensions. But what do they all mean, and which ones should you actually use?
First of all, I am going to talk about my favourite extension, the Sitelinks Extension. Sitelinks extensions enable us to add a number of links to different pages of our site, and these will appear below our ad. At any one time, we can show up to 4 sitelinks underneath our ad, and this has a number of benefits. Firstly, it has the advantage that it is intended for, that is, directing people to the most relevant area of the site. For example, we can add a contact page as a sitelink, and take people there directly, should they want to. Or if they want to read our “About Us” page, they can choose to head straight there.
But there are better uses for this. Each sitelink can contain up to 25 characters, so we have 100 characters, on top of the ad itself, to promote our business. We can highlight our USPs, tell people about our special offers, hell, we can even boast about our achievements! As long as our sitelinks take people to relevant pages, then Google will not have a problem with it.
When designed properly, sitelinks can achieve an extraordinary CTR. I would recommend the use of sitelinks extensions, in nearly every case.
Location extensions enable us to show the physical location of our shop, office or other premises with a link to our Google Maps location. This can be very useful for some companies, but only when the location is relevant. For example, a business which is reliant on its location should certainly use the location extension to show the viewer or the ad where they are situated. However, if the location of your business is not particularly relevant, for example, for a business which operated only online, then a location extension can be counterproductive. Location extensions have been criticised as they can get in the way of the ad message, and result in lower CTRs. So if it doesn’t matter where you are, don’t use this extension.
Call extensions are a very interesting subject. As is indicated by the name, the Call Extension allows us to add a phone number to our ad. If our business depends on people calling us, then this might be a good idea. But how many people perform a search on Google, and then call a number that appears without even visiting the site? Not many. But for some businesses, this works. Take a plumber, for example. When you need a plumber, you need one urgently, and you may not be concerned with browsing multiple wesbites in order to find the most appealing plumber, you may want to call as soon as you can. In this instance, call extensions can be useful.
It is also interesting to think about call extensions on mobiles. We can even show ads on mobile devices which do not link to our website, and only link to our phone number. Again, in the case of the plumber, this may work. But the vast majority of businesses do not collect leads in this manner, and in 90% of cases, a phone number displayed alongside the ad will not be overly beneficial.
Offer extensions allow us to promote a special offer which can then be redeemed in person. They are therefore, limited to businesses with a physical location, at which a transaction can take place. The theory behind this is that if we promote an offer online, and allow our customers to print off a special offer coupon, then they will be more likely to visit our store. Currently, offer extensions are not widely used in Australia, but for local businesses with a physical location, they can certainly be useful.
Social extensions give us the option of showing a link to our Google+ page within our ad. If a goal of ours is to promote our presence on social media channels, then this can he a useful tool. We can also use this to show people how many +1’s we have, which can help us increase our CTR.
App extensions are a fantastic way of letting people know about your app, and enabling them to download it. A click on a app extension takes you straight to the page where you can download the app. In my experience, this is an excellent way of achieving more app downloads, and one which I fully recommend to anyone looking to promote their app.
Dynamic Search Ad Extensions
Dynamic Search Ads are extensions which are created automatically based on the content of your website. They are used in conjunction with Dynamic Search Ads, which again, are ads which are automatically generated. Reports show that this can work well with comparison sites and daily deal sites, but I am yet to see this working better than manual methods.
To summarise, I would certainly recommend the use of sitelinks extensions to most advertisers. Call extensions and location extensions should be used as well, if it is relevant to the business, and app extensions if your goal is to promote your app. It is important that we do not just use extensions because the option is available, but think about the business, and which extensions are relevant, before we start setting up every available extension.
This article is written by Chris Winn, a PPC Expert in Melbourne on behalf of Epic Marketing.