While “more is better” is not always true, it is certainly beneficial when it comes to PPC ad space. When someone searches for your product, would you rather have just two lines of text, or two lines of text, plus price, location, product information, and even product images? You probably answered with the second option.

But how do you make the most of your ad space? The answer is pretty simple and doesn’t take much time to set up. To ensure you fill up as much real estate on the search engine results page as possible, you should check for full coverage on your ad extensions.

Google AdWords Sitelink Extensions

Use AdWords ad extensions to get more from your SEM advertising. Image via Pexels.

An Intro to Ad Extensions & Best Practices

Ad extensions are additional pieces of text and images that can show up below or alongside your normal ads at no additional cost. Extensions improve CTR by increasing the size of your ad and providing your potential customers with valuable information about your business, which entices them to click.

There are two types of ad extensions, manual and automated. Manual extensions need to be set up individually and give you more control over the message that shows. Automated ad extensions are generated automatically by Google’s algorithm and do not give you much control over messaging. It’s important to check whether or not automated extensions are enabled on your Google Ads campaigns as they can show in place of ones you’ve created and there is limited data available to get insight into what has been showing.

Before we jump into the specifics of each ad extension, here are some general best practices to note:

  • Utilize all relevant ad extensions. While not all ad extensions are guaranteed to show up at the same time, it’s best to max out on the extensions you have running to increase the likelihood of having at least one ad extension show.
  • Since manual extensions allow you to control what your customers are seeing, max out on those before relying on the automated counterparts.
  • Set extensions at the account level to ensure that all your ads have ad extension coverage as well as at the campaign level for more specific extensions. Campaign level will take precedence over account level extensions.
  • Understand the searcher’s intent and choose the most appropriate ad extension types and information to display.

Commonly Used Manual Extensions

Sitelinks: Promote more pages on your site beyond your main ad landing page. You want to drive people to pages that are relevant, popular, and/or have historically either driven strong direct conversions or that commonly appear in conversion paths. These are also great to utilize in the event of a promotion or product launch that you want to get extra visibility for. You have room for additional text below each headline of your sitelinks that Google will optionally show, but we recommend using both text areas to give your ads the best chance to add more value copy and increase their vertical reach on the page.

Callout extensions: Add descriptive text to your ad to help people learn more about what you have to offer. This additional text is not clickable.

Structured snippets: Highlight specific aspects of your products and services such as brands or types. Again, this text is not clickable and must fit within Google’s predetermined categories.

Call extensions: Since phone numbers aren’t allowed in ad text, this is your opportunity to list a phone number and allow people to contact your business by phone straight from the ad. You can choose to list your actual phone number, or you can add call tracking, which will forward to your main line from a Google-issued number. Call tracking allows you to get data on how many calls came in from your ad, the length of calls, and more.

App extensions: Display a link to your mobile or tablet app right below your ad.

Location extensions: Help consumers find or call your nearest storefront.

Microsoft Ads ONLY – Location extensions with directions: users can click “Directions” and the destination will instantly populate into map directions

Microsoft Ads ONLY – Location extensions on Smartphones: “Get a Ride” feature allows the user to click the ride icon on your ad that will launch the Uber app.

Price extensions: Showcase your business’s price offerings in detail.

Image extensions (Google Ads specific): Show images alongside text ads to bring a visual element to your ad. Images can be either manually added or dynamically generated. This extension format is still in beta, although certainly worth testing.

Promotion extensions: Highlight specific deals and promotions. This extension makes your offer stand out as it displays the discount, coupon code or offer right below your text ad. It’s clickable and can drive traffic directly to your promo page. Separate from Shopping Promotions.

Lead form extensions (beta): Captures leads straight from the ad on the Google SERP. This extension is still in beta phase and before using it, advertisers are required to accept Google’s terms of service for this feature, basically agreeing not to violate users privacy and ensure proper data collection. Leads are stored in the account for 30 days so make sure to download them often enough.

Commonly Used Automated Extensions

Automated call extensions: A one-click button to call your business

Previous visits: Show people if they’ve clicked through to your website from Google search results before.

Dynamic sitelink extensions: Link directly to conversion-focused sections or pages of your website.

Dynamic structured snippets: Show additional landing page details automatically with your ad on Google search.

Seller ratings: Show your online business ratings which are gathered from reputable sources that aggregate business reviews.

Ad Extension Use Cases

Let’s walk through some potential business goals and how ad extensions can work towards those.

  • You want to drive customers to your site who are in the earlier stages of purchasing your products or services. This would be a great time to utilize enhanced sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets. Since these are more top of funnel customers, you should direct them to pages where they can learn more about your company and what you offer.
  • You have many products that fall under one category or products that you know customers are price sensitive about. This would be a great time to utilize price extensions, especially if your items are competitively priced. It’s also a great way to give the user an idea of how your products are priced before they click through an ad and have sticker shock.
  • You have a specialty product or service where it is important to show credibility. Here, you should allow automated extensions to show seller ratings if possible.

While every ad extension might not be right for your account, there is bound to be more than one that is. Contact us if you would like to learn more. Happy ad extension picking!