Paid search advertising has the ability to dramatically increase digital traffic for businesses, but not all digital ads are created equal. To create the highest amount of clicks and conversions, businesses must take advantage of the multiple ad extensions being offered by Google.
These ad extensions, which include sitelinks, ratings and reviews, call and address extensions, give businesses the ability to increase their click-through-rate by creating customized, larger and more informative ads that appeal to searchers. Many businesses that run pay-per-click campaigns either don’t take advantage of the available options, or don’t use them strategically to create the maximum desired effect.
When creating paid search content, it is important for businesses to remember that some ad extensions only appear at the top of search results, not the sidebar, meaning higher bids are needed them to show up. In general, ads that use extensions generally get more clicks, which increases the total cost of a paid search campaign, but not the PPC cost compared to the same ad placement without extensions.
Sitelink ad extensions allow businesses to add additional links below the ad copy. This is especially valuable for companies that bid on branded or vague keywords because it allows searchers to choose their ultimate destination. For example, instead of only having a link to Columbia’s homepage, the sitelink extension allows searchers to go directly to pages that feature fishing gear, jackets or the company’s rewards page. Adding extra links also allows companies to increase their search visibility by taking up extra pixel space while pushing other ads and organic results farther down. This adds value to a consumer because instead of having to go to a home page and search for a specific page, they can go directly to the page they want, despite not searching specifically for it.
Rating and Review Extensions
Consumers are constantly looking for reviews of products before spending their money and they trust the opinions of other consumers more than statements directly from businesses. So, businesses with products or services that can be reviewed by consumers, such as retailers, plumbers and restaurants, should incorporate either rating or review extensions into their search ads.
The rating extension allows searchers to easily see how popular a business is with other consumers, and provides a link to where they can read the full reviews. These ratings can come from a variety of sources including the company’s Google+ page, Yelp or Shopzilla. Consumers trust the thoughts of other consumers, so a high star rating in an ad has the ability to draw positive attention from searchers looking to make a purchasing decision.
The review extension allows businesses to be even more exact and specific with what reviews consumers see. It allows businesses to link consumers directly to a specific review, and have a short piece of that review appear as part of the ad. Because businesses can choose the quote and the link, it allows for more control over the content, including tying the review into the rest of the ad copy, which should always be tied directly to keyword search terms.
Call extensions allow businesses to put their phone number right on the screen next to the web address. For consumers at home, this means not having to search a website for contact information, which can be a time saver for anyone in a hurry.
Where this extension really shines is when businesses use it in conjunction with a mobile ad campaign. Mobile searchers that see an ad with this extension can call the business with just a click of their finger. The “call now” option can also be turned on and off based on the time of day, meaning businesses can have it only show up for searchers when there is something there to answer the phone. Google’s call extension also allows businesses to track their leads from these ads by using a Google forwarding number.
Surojit Chatterjee, Google’s head of global mobile search ads, confirms that “AdWords advertisers have typically seen a 6-8 percent average increase in click-through-rate after adding call extensions.”
Business looking to attract local consumers and draw searchers to a physical storefront should use the address extension in their paid search ads. On a desktop, the address is a link that will open a new page or tab with a Google map, which can be used to give directions. For mobile users with an Android phone or the Google maps app, the link will automatically open the app. This extension is all about making the process of finding the store as easy as possible for searchers; because the harder it is, and the more clicks it takes to find location information, the more likely it is that a consumer will move on to another business.
According to Google, “Ads with location extensions can see a 10 percent higher click-through-rate on average compared to ads without location extensions.”
Google’s ad extensions have the ability to turn any paid ad into a unique set of options that can entice searchers into clicking the ad instead of scrolling down into the organic search results. When combined, an ad can have specific links to different product sections, reviews from other consumers up front and easy to use links to either get directions or call the store. Businesses that employ ad extensions as part of their paid search advertising strategy can increase their valuable CTR and conversions, leading to a higher ROI and sales.