Let’s be honest: we, Marketers, love to talk about our products. And we usually have a lot to say! However, if you aren’t new to Google advertising, you have probably noticed by far that the search engine isn’t at all too generous with the ad space. Luckily, there is something that you can do about it – and today, we will talk about Google Ads Extensions.
What are Google Ads extensions?
Ad extensions are features that allow you to “expand your territory” on the Google Search Results Page (SERP). They provide advertisers with more place to include additional information about their business or products.
Extensions are a great way to enrich your ads and increase your relevance in Google. They all have different placements, either within the ad itself or around it.
No matter the placement, the end result is the same: your ad looks bigger and takes up more space on the Google Search Results Page than usual.
You will ask, why do I need my ad to look bigger? I thought size didn´t matter… (sorry for the bad joke, couldn´t help it 🙂 )
So, let´s take a look at the next section to find out:
What are the main benefits of ad extensions?
Ad extensions can help you get more clicks and valuable interactions without increasing your Cost per Click. In fact, they can actually decrease it. Here are the main benefits of having ad extensions:
Here is why:
Value = Lower CPC
Google ads extensions are intended to benefit the user and provide additional value to his search.
Sometimes, a person can look for a specific piece of information that your landing page doesn´t provide but your website does. This is a great opportunity for you to add other pieces of information and useful links without wasting your ad space.
Higher value for the user usually translates to higher clickthrough rates. Higher CTRs are a sign that your ad is highly relevant for the user, so your cost per click goes down!
According to Google, there could be a 10-15% CTR uplift from implementing a new ad extension.
Higher Ad Rank
Along with quality score and maximum bid, extensions are one of the three main components that determine your ad rank:
Because they provide more context to the user’s search, the chances are that he will probably click on your ad instead of the competitors’.
Does adding an extension improve quality score?
Although ad extensions don’t have a direct impact on improving quality score, they are highly likely to increase your CTR.
Which, in return, shows Google that your ad represents a qualitative result for the user. And good quality results can significantly increase your chances for getting a better ad rank.
Another great benefit of having ad extensions is that they take up more ad space on Google’s first page. This makes them significantly more visible and attention-grabbing than any regular ad.
As you can see, the first ad that appears on my results after typing “marketing automation software” is so big it takes up half of my screen:
Which, by itself, might improve significantly your clickthrough rates.
Do extensions always show up?
It is important to keep in mind that ad extensions don’t always show up. Although they have a positive impact on quality score and ad rank, they are only eligible to show if your ad rank is high enough in the first place.
To make your extensions more likely to show, you may need to increase your maximum bid and improve your quality score.
Ad Rank determines whether extensions are going to show with your ads, but also which ones, and how many of them. With so many extensions, it is almost impossible for Google to show all of them at the same time.
And there is no need – after all, they only show if Google considers them relevant for responding better to a search result. If they don’t, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doing something wrong.
Your ad by itself might be good enough for a specific result!
Types of Google Ads Extensions
1. Sitelink extensions
Great for: displaying useful sections of your website
Sitelink extensions are among the most popular ones. They are ideal for taking people to specific pages of your website where they can find additional information that’s not on your landing.
Consider the most relevant sections that could be helpful for your ad. For example, if you are an ecommerce that sells shoes, useful sections could be your newest collections:
Maybe the user wants to go straight to the Man or Woman Collection, or to check out what is on sale:
In any case, sitelinks are extremely useful for expanding information in the most useful way for the user. And they provide a lot of additional ad space!
Sitelink extensions can also look like this:
How exactly they will manifest at the moment of the search will depend on Google´s algorithms on relevance.
2. Callout extensions
Great for: promoting unique or special offers to users / enumerating benefits or products
Callout extensions are another excellent way to provide additional information to your users. You can create up to 20 different callout extensions, each one with a maximum of 25 characters.
What I like about them is that they fit seamlessly into the ad – they look like they are a part of the ad. So they are less distracting than other extensions which might deviate the user´s attention from the actual ad.
Callout extensions are great for enumerating the multiple benefits of your advertised product or service:
Creating all 20 extensions doesn´t necessarily mean that Google will show all of them at the same time. It will only show the ones it considers relevant for the current search.
3. Structured snippet extensions
Great for: highlighting specific values, aspects, or types of your products
Among the most popular Google Ads extensions are structured snippets. They are created by selecting a header from a list of pre-determined headers:
And adding up to 10 different values of maximum 25 characters each.
When Google shows structured snippets, it can show up to 2 headers at a time on desktop and one header on mobile and tablet devices.
However, when a user makes a search on Google, the algorithm determines the best possible combination of headers and values. So you are encouraged to add as many headers as possible to increase your chances for higher ad relevance.
Here is an example of a structured snippet on mobile:
In this case, there is one header: “Types“, and two values: “lead scoring” and “email drip campaigns“.
In the example below, however, you can see that more values appear for the desktop version compared to a mobile one:
4. Call extensions
Great for: local businesses such as restaurants or hotels / making a reservation
Call extensions are really simple to configure, and they are great for B2C companies that receive a lot of calls on the daily. Places such as hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and other local businesses can take a huge advantage of call extensions to increase their clickthrough rates. And of course, boost user engagement!
Of course, call extensions can be used by any company that wants to open more communication channels with the user via Google.
On mobile, call extensions are usually clickable buttons that allow to user to call the advertiser directly, just by clicking on the phone icon or the number itself:
When setting up call extensions, I highly recommend you to restrict them to your working hours – especially if you are an agency or any non-hospitality business. Restaurants and hotels usually have much longer working hours but if you are a Marketing agency that closes at 18.00, you might want to restrict your call extensions.
Otherwise, people might try to call you in any time of the day. Which is not a bad thing necessarily, but if you don´t have anyone to attend the call, users could end up frustrated that they can´t reach you.
5. Message extensions
Great for: local businesses / appointment booking, information request, getting a quote
Message extensions are an excellent way to let potential customers get in touch with you directly from your ad.
Just like call extensions, users can contact you directly via text with just one click on the extension.
Message extensions are highly customizable and you can personalize the Call to Action to be as specific that you would like to be. For example, “Schedule your next appointment today” or “Text us to get a Marketing services quote”.
Additionally, you can set up a default customer message to make it easier for the customer to contact you with a straightforward text:
And leave an auto-reply message until someone from the company is actually able to answer the message. Auto replies are especially helpful if you don´t have your working hours and days restricted.
You can also set your message delivery options via phone number or email.
6. Location extensions
Great for: reaching customers at the exact moment that they are looking for your product / service
Location extensions are great for reaching your customers at the exact moment of their search. A lot of times, people will look for “restaurant near me“, “bakery near me“, or maybe they will even type into Google the name of your business directly.
When these searches happen, having these extensions enabled will make it easier for users to look up your business address quickly without getting distracted:
By just clicking on the extention, potential customers will go straight to the address in Google Maps, without having to look for it manually.
However, it is important to keep in mind that you need to have your a Google My Business account set up in order to add the extension.
Location extensions might also include additional details such as your phone number, working hours or a call button. Google extracts them from your Google My Business account.
7. Affiliate Location Extensions
Great for: Displaying nearby stores that sell the advertised product
If you sell your products through multiple distributors or retail chains, you can use affiliate location extensions to reach customers at the moment of their search for that specific product.
For example, if you a clothing brand that sells in various shopping centers and retails, you can show this information so that people can find the closest retailer nearby.
Here are some examples of how affiliate location extensions look like:
Image credit: wordstream.com
These Google Ads extensions aren´t available for everyone yet. Currently, only retail chains and auto dealers in select countries have the option to use them.
You can find the full list of eligible countries and more information about the limitations of these extensions here.
8. Price extension
Great for: retailers / displaying starting prices of products
Price extensions allow you enrich your Search ads by showcasing the prices for relevant products related to the user´s search.
When clicked, they take the user directly to the product that mostly interests him on your site:
Of course, this extension is not only limited to retail products. You can use it for any type of services and even job position salaries as we can see in the example below:
Image credit: theclickhub.com
You can add up to 8 different price extension items:
Sometimes, price extensions might not appear directly but compressed into a part of the text:
You can check the countries and currency limitations here.
9. App extensions
Great for: increasing app downloads
If you offer a mobile app for your business, app extensions can be a great way to drive more app downloads or just let the user know that an app is available for him at any time. Even if he doesn´t download it at the exact moment of his search, he will know that it exists in case he needs it later.
App extensions enable advertisers to link to a mobile or a tablet app directly from the Search results.
Image credit: clickteq.com
10. Promotion extension
Great for: displaying offers, promotions, and special sales
Promotion extensions are great for companies that want to highlight their special offers and sales, and make them stand out. This way, your potential customers can spot the deal directly from your ad, and as an advertiser, you are not wasting your 180 characters for it.
However, it is important to remember that promotion extensions don´t always show up. So, if highlighting your offer is your main goal for the ad, don´t rely purely on these extensions.
Here is how a promotion extension might look like:
And here is a bonus one but in Spanish:
What are Automated Extensions in Google Ads?
Now that we´ve listed all manual extensions which are created by the advertisers, it is time to explain one more thing: automated extensions.
Automated Google Ads extensions are created automatically by Google when the algorithm predicts that they could improve an ad´s performance.
They work by using search terms to generate additional informational snippets, links, or other pieces of text below or within your ad.
Here is an example of an automated rating extension:
Google applies these extensions automatically without any particular notice, and the algorithm behind how it works is not very clear.
Sometimes, automated extensions can appear in the place of the ones that you created manually yourself. Because there isn´t much information about them, they are difficult to control, which can sometimes lead to inconsistencies.
There are seven types of automated extensions:
- Automated Call Extensions
- Automated Message Extensions
- Dynamic Sitelink Extensions
- Dynamic Structured snipped Extensions
- Automated Location Extensions
- Seller Rating Extensions
- Dynamic Callout Extensions
To learn more about automated extensions and how to take better control over them, I recommend you to read this article by SocialFireMedia.
How do I add ad extensions in Google?
To add Google ad extensions to your campaigns, just follow these steps:
1. Sign into your Google Ads account
2. From the left tab, select the tab Ads & Extensions, and click on the blue + button.
3. Choose the ad extension that you would like to apply, and select the level of application:
You can apply extensions on an account, campaign, or an ad group level.
4. And now, just fill out your company or product information as requested by Google.
5. Once you´re done, click on Save, and your extension is now up and running!
Do Google Ads extensions cost more?
No, there is no additional cost for adding extensions to your campaigns. Any clicks that the user makes on your ad will be charged as usual.
For example, if a user clicks on your call extension, the cost would be the same as you would pay if he clicked on the ad itself.
Google ads extensions are an excellent way to provide additional information to your users and increase your clickthrough rates.
They are absolutely free to create and use, and they are only shown if the algorithm determines that they will be relevant enough for a specific search.
So, you have no reason not to use them!
Which Google ads extensions are you most excited to try? Did this article leave you with any questions or doubts? Let me know in the comments below!