A guide to Google Search Ad Extensions

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

What are ad extensions, and why should they be used?

Google Search Ad Extensions are essentially add-ons to your main ad – they usually tack-on alongside or underneath your ad copy to make them stand out in the search results. PPC Campaigns can run without ad extensions but this is not advisable and Google Ads will fire numerous warnings at you until you add them in.  Taking the time to create a full suite of ad extensions before you launch a campaign can help your ads attract more clicks to your site by improving your Clickthrough Rate (CTR).

What type of search ad extensions are available?

While new ad extensions – like image extensions – can appear in your accounts periodically, perhaps in beta, Google Ads Help currently lists the following types of extensions:

  1. Location extensions – these pull through your business address from your Google My Business account into your ad. If you are offering a local service to a local area, then these are useful to let people know that your business is nearby. They can also reassure customers that you operate in the same country as them and that a product won’t perhaps be shipped to them from overseas.

  2. Callout extensions – these are short and snappy unique selling points (USPs) for your business/organisation that you want to “call out” with your ad. They have to be 25 characters or less and the user should be able to digest these at-a-glance. Classic examples include “Free Delivery”, “30-Day Free Trial” and “500 Five Star Reviews”.

  1. Call extensions – these are simply your company’s phone number, which accompanies your ad. If your business trades completely online and doesn’t accept orders and new sales over the phone and you only accept phone calls for customer service or existing customer queries, then you may want to remove this extension. 

  1. Sitelink extensions – the quintessential and first ever ad extension from way back in November 2009. These are characterised as shortcuts to specific pages of your website. They bypass the final URL of the ad if clicked on them and send the user to other useful webpages. Examples could be a log-in page for existing customers or a pricing page or a sitelink that says “Save 20%” and links to a page with information on a special offer. 

  1. Structured snippet extensions – these extensions help to display the full range of services/product categories you offer. So while an ad may be confined to promoting a single product collection or an individual service, structured snippets can showcase all the other things a company offers. For example, if someone was searching online for a solicitor, then the structured snippet could highlight all the areas of law a legal firm specialise in, such as family law, criminal law, employment law, personal injury law and conveyancing.  There are currently 13 headers available (Amenities, Brands, Courses,Degree programs, Destinations, Featured hotels, Insurance coverage, Models, Neighborhoods, Service catalog, Shows, Styles and Types). More open-ended and ambiguous headers like ‘service catalog’, “styles” and “types” means that almost any business or organisation can use this extension.

  1. Price extensions (please note the prices shown above are for example purposes only). As the name suggests, these ad extensions display a price for your products and services. They qualify your ads and prevent spend on unwanted clicks to a certain extent. If someone is put off by your lowest “from” price and is unwilling to pay this or if they are looking for a free service, then price extensions will discourage a click that is likely to lead to nothing when the user navigates to a pricing page or gets a quote after speaking to your staff.

  1. App extensions (please note: we don’t have an app – yet!). These extensions are a great way to let your customers know you have an Android and/or iOS app and to increase installs of the app on tablet/mobile devices.

  1. Lead form extensions – these extensions are ideal for lead generation. They are essentially enquiry forms that accompany the ad. Customer contact information and even answers to predefined questions like “what is the best time to contact you?” can be captured without the user clicking through to the website. In your campaign settings under “additional settings” there is a lead form setting, which if activated/ticked, enables the lead form to appear when a user clicks on the headline of an ad. While this can be a great way to boost leads, this setting can restrict the amount of traffic and exposure your ads get. To be notified of when a new lead comes in, you can create/schedule a daily report in Google Ads to see if a “lead form submit” conversion action has occurred recently or you can use an excellent tool called PushMyLead.