Google provides advertisers the ability to improve their search ads with AdWords Ad Extensions as a way to enrich the search results page. As part of their ongoing strategy, Google is constantly looking for ways to enhance the searcher’s experience in either organic or PPC searches. For PPC advertisers, these AdWords Ad Extensions provide both a better search result and in some cases a new opportunity. The most important tip is understanding the “when” these ad extensions will show up. Also, not all of these ad extensions are an extra line in your ad; the Product Extension (PLAs) are a completely different format and the Location Extension appears in Google Maps. Here are examples of the most common and useful AdWord Ad Extension you should consider.
Do you run an eCommerce Website?
PLAs are great for selling a product by picture instead of text. Pros: ideal for brand items or products with a visual appeal. Cons: the lowest price often gets the most clicks because price comparisons are featured.
Sitelinks Extensions for sub pages add a line to your ad and expand the message. Depending on the search query, these extra links will appear in the ad if you are in the top listing. Pros: very useful for broad category searches that have many related topics. Use the sitelinks for your company brand ad as a way to highlight your offerings. Cons: no reason you shouldn’t be using them, and it may seem rather random when Google will display them.
Call Extensions are ideal for candidates for lead generation or slower sales cycles where a phone conversation helps close the sale. Pros: if a lot of visits are coming from mobile devices, this encourages a call now simple dialing. Restaurants or any local retail business should have this by default, to make it easy for prospects to call. Cons: none to speak of. Just don’t forget that the new Enhanced Campaigns allow you to schedule times for this extension to avoid implying “Call Now” when it’s after your business hours.
Location Extensions are another must-have for a local retail business to help drive people to your store. Linking data from Google Maps and your Google Plus listing, it makes getting directions very easy. Pros: Google Maps is a very popular application and this offers you the chance to place an ad inside of this application. Cons: make sure your doors are open to visitors. Like the call extension, you can schedule the times for this to appear, and be sure you do this.
Offer Extensions is a new extension in 2013 that focuses on deals. Pros: you get a special link and callout in the ad for the deal. Cons: be sure to treat this as a real offer with end and stop dates. You will be required to provide more details.
There is also a Social extension that integrates with Google Plus and even new Image extensions that are being beta tested. Not all extensions will appear at the same time, and the when or how they appear is up to Google. Consider an extension as a way to enhance the search experience first, and then enjoy the benefits for lower CPC, higher conversions, or more targeted visitors. Even though PPC is about bringing in targeted traffic and sales, I like to think first about improving the search experience.