PPC Campaign Domination: Google AdWords Ad Extensions Part 1
This is part of our series of posts that we putting together about how we approach PPC campaign management for our clients.
Our Other PPC Campaign Domination topics:
- Landing page optimization
- Google Adwords, quality score & you
- Campaign organization
- Google Adwords ad extensions – Part 2 – Our client test
Today’s topic is:
An Introduction to Google AdWords Ad Extensions
In November, Google rolled out new ad formats, now known as Google Adwords ad extensions, just in time for the big holiday push known as Cyber Monday. Those in the know and or those who read the Official Google Blog will remember a post detailing the release of these new ad formats. In the months since this release, Google has expanded the ability to utilize these formats to every AdWords advertiser who is willing to jump through the hoops.
These new extensions that you can add to your Google AdWords campaigns include:
2.) Product Extensions
3.) Click to Call
4.) Map Extensions
Implementing Google Adwords Ad Extensions
For the extensions to appear, you must enable each extension at the campaign level. These are clearly marked as “Ad extensions”. Once each format is enabled, you must fill out the required information or link the corresponding Google Account, such as your Local Business Center or Merchant Account.
-SiteLinks: Add up to 10 extra links with 35 characters of text.
-Product Extensions: You must link Google Merchant (formerly Google Base) with Google AdWords. Read this guide to linking your accounts.
-Click to Call: Your phone number (duh).
-Map Extensions: Must link your Local Business Center with AdWords.
Keep in mind these extensions do not get served every time time. For example, the SiteLinks extension will only be served when your ad ‘meets certain criteria’, or being number 1 with a high quality score (see our post Quality Score and You).
The other extensions seem be served at Google’s discretion, and feature a ‘plus box’ as AdWords reporting calls it. This plus box must be expanded for the non-SiteLinks extensions to show.
Google AdWords Ad Extensions Tips, Tricks and Warnings:
1.) Right now, there is very little oversight when it comes to enforcing the terms of service requirements (shhh). For example, in the Merchant Center, Google states your landing page must have a fixed price listed and the user must be able to buy from the website. Don’t let that silly little detail deter you. This is not true, or no one seems to be checking, so ‘if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’’. Just know that this extension could disappear without warning when Google gets around to enforcing their own policies.
2.) The SiteLinks copy also appears to have very little editorial oversight. So be sure to make any claims you and or your client feel comfortable making. Just make sure you adhere to the FTC’s Truth In Advertising Standards. Again, know that you may have to rewrite some of these in the future.
3.) Google already has video ad extensions. It is just not open to all AdWords advertisers, but one can imagine that soon you will have the capability to insert a product demo, testimonial or even a short tv-like spot.
4.) Remember you have to manage your feeds in the Merchant Center. This requires a spreadsheet being manually uploaded monthly, or an xml feed.
5.) Remember to test. These ad extensions may only serve to drive up clicks. If those clicks don’t convert or they bounce, you may be wasting money. Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s better.
With the guides, a loose strategy and our Award-Winning PPC Client’s approval in hand, we set out to test relevant extensions (note I left out the comparison extension). These are now percolating. Results and analysis to follow in Part 2….