Those employees at Google are busy innovating! Today I found out that ONE of my clients has a new feature available in their campaign settings called “Ad Extensions” – I have seen this in beta for a few advertisers, but hadn’t heard when it was going to be available to all. According to my Google source, they are “rolling this feature out to all advertisers by the end of the month” – “That’s the goal anyway!”
So what is it? It’s a new feature that allows you to “extend the value of your existing AdWords ads by providing additional links to deep content within your site.”
Google says, these additional ad extensions (Ad Sitelinks) will be available “when we are highly confident that one ad is the best answer” [to a search query].
1. Your ad must be in the first position above the search results. (as in #1, not #3 at the top on the right, but #1)
2. Your ad must have “substantially higher click through rate (CTR) than any other ad on the page”
3. Your Ad Sitelinks URLs must “direct users to pages that are part of your main website and allow users to navigate freely.
Now, I don’t know that I need to tell you WHY you should use these ad extensions (or Ad Site Links)…and why can’t Google come up with a SINGLE name for these?
But if you need a little nudging, here is what they say about the benefits of these Ad Sitelinks.
1. “Increase the profitability of your current search ads!”
2. “Highlight your promotions and seasonal offers!”
3. “No changes needed to your current ads!”
(ok, the ! are all mine, but I love ! and … if you can’t already tell 🙂
So what’s the data behind this? For one thing, their data shows that on average, the click through rate (CTR) increased 30% with ads that ran with Ad Sitelinks! (So, playing devils advocate, higher CTR means more money to Google…but it also means more traffic to our clients!
Another benefit is that you can promote your “Holiday Gift Ideas” or “Closeout Sale Items” that lead to specific pages on your site (different pages than your existing destination URL). Why not let the customer decide they want “internet specials” on the ad copy before they get to your site and try to find that? Or “Holiday Coupons” or well, the options are nearly endless.
So where do you go to do create these Ad Extensions? Click on the Campaign>Edit Campaign and look at your Network, Devices and (if you have it) Extensions. If you have it, you’ll see a link to “show additional links to my site” under “Ad Extensions”. You can specify up to 10 site links in priority order and AdWords will display up to 4, as relevant to the user’s search query.
Then you enter your link text (up to 35 characters maximum) – now isn’t this cool, you get to add MORE text & more options & relevancy to your ad copy! You then enter your destination url (1024 characters max). Now I tried one with a tag to point the user to a specific element on the page, and they didn’t accept it, so I had to remove that # sign.
So keep an eye on your accounts for this option. They look almost like “authoritative listings” in the organic search results, except they are at the top of the page. I guess this is one way to get advertisers to bid higher to get the to ranking. It also encourages advertisers to bid on their brand term (who else is going to have a better CTR than the owner of the brand?). But the research I have seen shows that when you add Display Banners to your Search (if you aren’t trying displays in Google, you are missing out. See my presentation on how Search & Display Provide Lift
After being exposed to a display ad, consumers are:
1. 136% more likely to search the brand’s keyword (and with this new feature, you’ll have more visibility with these ad extentions!.
2. 140% more likely to click on an organic link (Source: ComScore Onlien Panel: Overall pool of 67 studies)
I can’t find the statistics for the lift you get when you are in the top position AND in the top 3 on the organic side – but it was impressive! The click through rate (CTR) was exponentially higher – afterall, it gives you legitimacy, credibility, and more real estate on the page!
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