To build a successful Google Ads campaign (or practically any other PPC platform) today you will need good-quality ads. In addition to the headlines and descriptions, you will also need to include ad extensions. Google ad extensions are particularly useful, they serve many purposes and they can indeed have a positive impact on your performance. Let’s dive into what they are, the types of ad extensions, the benefits of using them, and finally should you even use all of them.
What Are Google Ad Extensions?
Google ad extensions are add-ons to your existing ads, both for expanded and responsive ads. They serve as a complementary information to your main headlines and descriptions. It’s an opportunity for you to show why customers should choose you and your business over the competitors.
You can set them up to be on the account level, campaign level, or even ad group level. This can be useful as some extensions are applicable across all of your campaigns and it’ll be easier to apply it on the account level instead of the campaign level and so forth.
To add new ad extensions the steps are quite simple:
- Sign in to your Google Ads account
- Select Ads & Extensions
- Pick Extensions
- Click on the blue + button to add new ad extensions
(Note: think about the level you’d like your ad extensions to be applied at. You can set them to be on the account level, campaign, or even ad group level)
Benefits of Using Google Ad Extensions
Using ad extensions with your ads contributes in many ways to improve the overall performance. Here are the key benefits you can expect by adding ad extensions:
Improve CTR With Google Ad Extensions
Although this may vary and it’s not guaranteed by Google, they have found in their study that including a new ad extensions brings a 10-15% uplift to the CTR. That is great news and it makes sense. Ad extensions allow you to provide additional information that could be relevant to your potential customer. It gives you more room to demonstrate why they should pick you. And if done well customers do pick you.
Ad Extensions Bring More Clicks For Less Money
Because with ad extensions you are more likely to improve your CTR, then you can also expect to improve your quality score and with that your ad rank. Since the expected CTR is directly correlated to the quality score, then by adding ad extensions and increasing the CTR you increase the quality score. And consequently, by increasing your quality score you don’t need to pay as much to show up higher in the SERP (search engine result page). And hence, in theory, this could lead to you paying less for your CPC while getting more clicks because you are showing up higher.
(Note: It’s important to have a high enough bid or ad quality to clear the Ad Rank Threshold. This determines your ability to compete during the auction. And low bids and/or ad quality you risk not showing your ad extensions because you won’t have a high enough Ad Rank)
With Ad Extensions You Take More Space In The SERP
When your ads show up with ad extensions, you simply take more real estate on the search engine result page. This gives you that much more chance to be chosen among the competitors. It also allows you to communicate relevant information to your customers. On top of it all, by taking more space on the top you push down your competitors lower on the SERP and this can narrow down the choices first available to the customer.
Which Google Ad Extensions Should You Actually Use?
The simple answer would be, while some of the extensions are pretty universal and you should implement them right away like site links, callouts, structured snippets, images, and promotions, which can be applied to almost any scenario and practically any type of business. Some, and here’s where lays the problem, hold a lot of power but are unique and specific to certain niches or types of business activities.
|Type of Ad Extension||Should You Use It?|
|Sitelink extension||Yes absolutely|
|Callout extension||Yes absolutely|
|Structured snippet extension||Yes absolutely|
|Image extension||Yes absolutely|
|Call extension||Not necessarily|
|Lead form extension||Not necessarily|
|Location extension||Not necessarily|
|Affiliate location extension||Not necessarily|
|Price extension||Not necessarily|
|App extension||Not necessarily|
|Promotion extension||Yes absolutely|
The ones that you should absolutely use, implement them as soon as possible. The ones that depend on the type of business activity, let’s discuss them here and see if they are a good fit for you.
Do You Need Call Extensions?
If you are running a business where you expect to receive calls in for lead generation then perfect, by all means, add this ad extension to your ads. It will greatly help you bring in more calls to your business. But let’s just give a simple example of a small business, maybe a drop-shipping store or emerging e-commerce store without any call centers to take in calls. Every order is made online, it’s simpler and faster to manage altogether. Why on earth would this person then add a call extension to their ads, it’s the opposite of what they can do and it will only generate more clutter and confusion in their work. Hence, they simply do not need it on their ads showing up.
Do You Need Lead Form Extension?
What a powerful ad extension. It’s truly amazing what you can achieve with the lead from extensions. With this extension, you can collect information about your potential customer right from the search engine result page without having them get on your page. You can collect information such as:
- Phone number
- Zip code
- Company name
- Job Title
- Work email
- Work phone number
If you are a lead generation business, contractor, moving company, or mainly offering services you can find great utility in this ad extension. Especially with a department responsible for reaching out to prospects and potential leads then this is an awesome tool, implement it right away. On the other hand, we’ll make a comparison again to an e-commerce business. Would they really need a lead form extension? The goal is to bring the customer to your landing page or your website, to check your products or services. As an e-commerce store, it’s very unlikely that you would be interested in calling some random people to sell them your products over the phone or email. And also, bear in mind, people don’t just leave their personal information like that, for free.
Do You Need Location Extension?
For location extension, this is the deal. If you are a business with physical stores that customers can visit, running location extensions on your ads can be incredible. For companies like repair shops, groceries, retailers, etc. set it up and enjoy the fruits of the ad extension. However, many companies are now shifting fully online, many even without any physical stores. You get where we are going with this. Recommending online businesses to set a location extension is simply absurd and useless. They will be much better off by implementing other more relevant ad extensions.
Do You Need Affiliate Location Extension?
It sounds complicated but it isn’t, and it’s an extremely powerful extension that only a few can use it. In short, affiliation location extension is used to send customers to other locations where your products or services can be purchased. If you have products and services that you offer in other locations this is incredible. By including it in your ads you simply give more options to your customers and this can increase your conversion rate that much more. This is especially powerful for manufacturers that sell products in various stores. But don’t get your hopes too high, because you can either choose from generic retailers or auto dealers. The list of generic retailers is still very limited to only a few well-known big brands and if you are not a car manufacturer, you are a bit in a pickle. But you can see how this isn’t applicable to everyone. It’s quite limited already for bigger businesses, let alone for more niche businesses like services or contractors. This affiliate location extension can be quite useless even for those who do sell products in other stores. The same would apply to small businesses that haven’t even branched out yet, still running from their garage or small offices.
Do You Need Price Extension?
This Google ad extension is fairly usable by every type of company and there could be most probably some way to implement it, but there are some specific instances where this ad extension would work. The type of companies that would have a hard hard time implementing this extension would be specific service companies where giving a price would require filling out a form, but even in those cases, a minimum starting price could be added if you really want to test out the ad extension. Another case where this extension would be hard to implement is businesses that purchase second-hand products from customers. Before giving a price, the product must be inspected first and that makes it hard to put prices, but again even in that case, a minimum policy could be implemented. The cases are slim where the price extensions are difficult to implement, but they still do exists.
Do You Need App Extensions?
Lastly, among all google ad extensions, the app extension is the most straightforward one. There are many businesses out there that are only web-based, running online. They don’t have an app developed and they maybe don’t ever plan to create one either. For them implementing an app extension serves absolutely no purpose as there is no app to be installed. But on the other hand, if you are a business with an app, you can promote it and get closer to your customers at all times through the app on their phones.
Google Ad Extensions Best Practices
- Focus on Relevancy & High Quality: Ad extensions are auto-optimized and Google continuously tries to find the best, most optimal combination. Enable only the ad extensions that make sense and make sure they are unique and of good quality. The goal is also to be short and precise. You won’t have much room to elaborate so don’t rush it and take your time to think it through. By providing the best quality you also increase your chances of a successful campaign. If you are curious to learn other ways to also improve the performance of your campaigns in Google ads check out our articles on Optimization Score and a hidden tool, the Asset Report for Responsive ads.
- Stay Within the Policy Guidelines & Limitations: There are always a certain amount of characters you can include in the ad extensions, and also the type of language you can use. You may be tempted to try out creative things, but some things may get your ad extensions disapproved and possibly get you in bigger trouble if you continue getting flagged by Google. Stay within the lane to ensure the most optimal performance and longevity.
- If You Can, Don’t Leave Any Fields Empty: When creating them use the space available to the maximum. If you have multiple spaces to fill in with different examples then do it. It may take an additional effort and time to craft more ideas but it’ll be worth it in the end. And don’t limit yourself to only one ad extension. In most cases, you can add multiple of the same ad extension, so go for it. Try to add as many variations and combinations as possible. It’ll help Google find the best combinations that work the best, but don’t add just for the sake of it, remember the first advice, focus on relevancy and high quality.
- Monitor, Keep Testing & Experimenting: Once you’ve created your Google ad extensions, don’t sit back just yet. Review them regularly, monitor their performance, experiment with other ad extensions you maybe haven’t tried before, and update the old ones with better and fresh ideas.
- Stay Up To Date: Also, keep an eye on updates by Google, they do roll out new ad extensions from time to time. You want to try them out first as you may get the most visibility before everyone else jumps on the train. Try to keep an eye on the Beta programs as well and see if you can roll in before released to everyone. Keep in mind that you want to use ad extensions that are relevant to your business and would provide value to your customers when shown.
Types Of Google Ad Extensions
Ad extensions can take many forms and serve different purposes. There are two main categories, manual and automatic ad extensions under which you will find many different ad extension types. To make it simpler for you to easily keep track, learn the official guidelines from Google, and stay updated with the latest changes we have provided the links to each and every one of the ad extensions directly to the official Google documentation.
So here are all the Google Ad Extensions types:
- Manual Google Ad Extensions
- Automatic Google Ad Extensions
(Note: While all of these are indeed available for Search Campaigns, only a few are available for Display Campaigns, Video Campaigns, and Shopping Campaigns. For Shopping campaigns you need to add them as programs from within the Google Merchant Center)
- Google ad extensions are slots you can use to display additional information that is useful to your customer.
- There are many different ad extensions, review them carefully and pick the ones relevant to you.
- Not all Google ad extensions are made equal, some are more important than others and a lot also depends on your business.
- They bring many benefits, to your campaigns, your business, and your customers
- Google ad extensions are still quite limited, they aren’t all available for every campaign type and they don’t always show 100% of the time
- Stay proactive, it’s required of you to keep an eye on your ad extensions, update them, test new ones, experiment with new ideas, and also stay updated with what Google is rolling out