Cookies disclaimer

I agree Our site saves small pieces of text information (cookies) on your device in order to deliver better content and for statistical purposes. You can disable the usage of cookies by changing the settings of your browser. By browsing our website without changing the browser settings you grant us permission to store that information on your device.

Ad Extensions

Ad Extensions

Contents:

 

AdWords – Ads Extensions

Ad extensions provide users with more reasons to click on your ad and more locations on the ad to click. They also help to provide additional information relevant to the searcher.

You may also be interested in learning more about ad formats:

Introduction to Ad Extensions

If you’re looking for ways to improve the performance of your ads and you haven’t implemented ad extensions, you’re missing a trick! Ad Extensions come at no extra costs, you will be charged for the Clicks but at no additional cost to what you would pay for a click normally. By providing additional information about your business, products, what your customers think, etc to searchers you can encourage people to click on your ads. These people are often more likely to convert as they are more qualified.

There are many types of ad extensions available and not all of them will be relevant to all businesses but usually at least some of them will be useful to most businesses.

Why Use Ad Extensions?

Ad extensions can improve CTR, reduce CPA’s, improve ROI and boost conversion rates. Google have said that ad extensions can improve CTR by 20% to 30%. Ad extensions provide users with additional information about your business, services, products, locations, etc.

If that isn’t reason enough to implement ad extensions, consider the fact that if your competitors are using them you are at a disadvantage; and if they are not using them, then you are missing out of the opportunity get one up on your competitors. Some benefits of all ad extensions are as follows:

  • Scheduling: Like many account components you can create schedules that determine when your ad extensions show, from hours of the day, days of the week, etc. You can also set start and end dates for them to cover period of seasonality.
  • Reporting: AdWords provides detailed reporting on all extensions, Clicks, Impressions, Conversions, etc. You can use this data to split test and optimise your ad extensions.

We cover specific benefits to each type of ad extension later in this guide in more detail.

How Ad Extensions Work

Creating ad extensions does not mean that they will appear; firstly you will need to have an Ad Rank high enough for the extensions to appear. Not all extensions will show all of the time, you may find that only some will show or combinations of them will appear at any given time. You can view ad extension performance within AdWords.

Ad extensions can be added to the account at different levels such as campaign or ad group, depending on the extension itself. This provides more granular control over what extensions are shown.
You can see ad extensions under the “ad extensions” tab in AdWords:

Ad Extensions

Some ad extensions can be managed from AdWords Editor (Sitelinks and Call Extensions). Ad Extensions provide the functionality to be highly granular, creating them at ad group level or for products, categories of products, and all in unique ways.

Summary of All Ad Extensions

The table below is a summary, cheat sheet showing all ad extension types, what they can be applied to in the account, what devices they work on, what networks they work on, where they are available and an example of what they look like:

 

Manual Ad Extensions

As the name suggests, these are extensions that require you to set them up and manage manually.

Mobile App Extensions

Can be applied to: Accounts, Campaigns, & Ad groups

Available in: Globally

Devices they can appear on: Mobile & Tablets

Available on these campaign types: Search network with display select – all features | Search Network only – all features

These extensions are used to promote tablet or mobile apps by providing a link in the ad. The link in the ad can be setup to either direct a user to a description in the app store (Apple store or Google Play) or to download the app directly to the device.

Mobile App Extension

Clicks on the link to the app are charged at the same rate as a click on the ad are therefor managed by whatever biding strategy you are using. The aim of this is to encourage app downloads for advertisers who have this as a goal. Google said that this could improve CTR by 6%, or at least this was on the beta text done back in 2012.

Benefits

There are many benefits to using mobile app extensions; we have listed these below.

  • Customised for different devices: It is possible to create mobile-optimised app extensions (similar to optimised mobile ads) that appear on mobile devices, or you can choose to disable specific app extensions on chosen devices.
  • “Smart” detection of app store and device: If you have created app extensions for each of the available app stores, Google will detect the device and show the relevant app extension for that device to the user. For example if you have an Apple Store app extension, Google will detect the operating system of the searchers device and show them that app extension over the others. This also works for devices, so for example tablet specific app extensions will not show to searchers using a mobile phone.
  • In-place editing: If you edit / amend the app extensions in your account, this will not reset its performance statistics (unlike ads).

To find out what Google has to say about their app extensions, please follow the link.

Call Extensions

Can be applied to: Campaigns & Ad Groups

Available in: All countries

Devices they can appear on: Mobile, Tablet, Desktop (Search and Display Networks on Mobile/Search Network only on Tablet and Desktop)

Available on these campaign types: Search Network with Display Select | Search Network Only | Display Network Only

Call extensions add a phone number to your text ads; this can be a clickable link for mobile users and encourages users to call your business.

Call Extensions

 

Benefits

The below list are some of the main benefits of using call extensions:

  • Adding a phone number to text ads in your account fundamentally makes it easy for users to call your business
  • Call extension phone numbers can shared across ad groups and campaigns
  • Scheduling enables you to restrict the call extensions from showing to office hours only
  • Calls (people clicking or calling the number) can be conversions and you can assign a value to this for reporting purposes
  • Call extensions have been shown to increase CTR by 6% to 8%

To find out what Google has to say about their call extensions, or Google’s policy on numbers please follow the links provided.

Location Extensions

Can be applied to: Account & Campaign

Available in: All countries

Devices they can appear on: Mobile, Desktop and Tablet

Available on these campaign types: Search Network with Display Select | Search Network only | Display Network only

Location extensions provide the functionality to include information about the location of your business. You will need to link a ‘Google Places’ / ‘Google My Business’ account to the AdWords account in order to include this information in your text ads.

Location Extensions

Location extensions are a very powerful tool for ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses, like shops, stores, restaurants, etc. If you want people to visit your premises, using a location extension can help potential customers to exactly that. Location extensions also do the following:

  • Show a map marker with your ad text
  • On mobile devices, location extensions include a link with directions to your business
  • CPC’s are the same as for a normal ad click for the ad being shown

Benefits

Below are some of the main benefits of using location extensions:

  • Location extensions both enable & encourage customers to visit your business
  • By linking up your Google My Business to the AdWords account, it is possible to add multiple addresses / locations
  • Google estimate that ads using location extensions see a 10% increase in CTR (on average)
  • It’s possible to target your ads around your business addresses and locations increasing their relevance

Below we look at how location extensions work and appear on the different network types that they are able to appear on:

Search Network

Location extensions of the search network show the address and phone number of the business (see example image below), this is appended typically to the bottom of the text ad.

Location Extensions

Partner Sites

Location extensions are eligible to appear on partner sites, if you have partner sites included in the network settings of the campaign. Ads do however vary in format and may or may not include a map.

Google Maps

If you have selected search partner sites within campaign settings, then your ads will be eligible to appear on Google Maps. We have two examples below of how this can appear to searchers:

Google Maps Google Maps Mobile

This is very valuable as user intent is typically very high for people searching for businesses in Google Maps, especially for stores, shops, restaurants, etc.

Display Network

Text ads are eligible to show on the Display Network on:

  • Desktop computers
  • Mobile apps
  • Mobile web

When they appear on any of the above, the location is marked on a map. See examples of this below:

Display Network Text Ads

You are charged (CPC) when someone clicks the title of the ad, swipes up, taps the arrow button or clicks to expanded map on a mobile device (in order to see more of the map). When someone clicks on the expanded map they are directed to either the Google Maps for Mobile app or maps.google.com.

On the display network, location extensions may show on text ads if the searcher that is seeing your ad is determined to be near one of your locations.

Desktop & Tablet

If your Google My Business has more than five reviews and an average of 3.5 stars (at the minimum), then this can show a star rating (review score) in the location extension of the text ad. This provides a notable advantage for advertisers as this makes the ad stand out and provides a sense of credibility to users.

Mobile

On most modern phones with full internet browsers, location extensions will show on both the search and display network as well as Google Maps for mobile. This is often the most valuable user, so having custom mobile ads that take advantage of location based targeting maximises ad performance. Mobile users are often actively and physically trying to find either your business or any business that sells your services or products.

To find out what Google has to say about their location extensions, please follow the link.

Review Extensions

Can be applied to: Account, Campaigns, Ad Groups

Available in: Globally in the following languages: EN/GB/AU, DE, FR, ES/419, JP, PT/BR, IT and NL

Devices they can appear on: Desktop

Available on these campaign types: Search Network with Display Select - All features | Search Network only - All features

Review extensions are quotes or paraphrased quotes from third party sources saying something about your business. These appear below the ad in quotation marks and are supported by a clickable link to the source of the quote. Because review extensions are not links, you will not be charged for them specifically, you will simply be charged for a click on the add (at no extra cost).

Review Extensions

Benefits

Reviews are a very strong tool when marketing a business, independent and honest praise from customers lets potential customers know how good you are. As such review extensions are a valuable feature that both convey trust and encourage clicks, but there are strict rules around there use.

Review extensions can increase CTR by around 10% on average.

Rules

In addition to the standard AdWords ad policies, review extensions are also subject to the following rules:

  • Reviews should not be older than 12 months to be valid
  • Both tone and content should match the original source of the review
  • Quoting or paraphrasing must be done honestly and accurately
  • Where paraphrasing occurs ellipses (...) must be used to represent missing text from the quotation
  • Changing reviews or inaccurate quoting is not allowed
  • Use of your business name should not be repeated
  • Use trusted sources
  • Use individual reviews (not organisations)
  • Character limit is 67, including the source name

Genuine reviews are what Google want but the possibility for spam is very high here, so Google do clamp down on abuse of this feature. Below are some examples that Google provide to help steer you in the right direction:

Review Extension Guidelines

Source: Google

To find out what Google has to say about their review extensions or how to set up review extensions, please follow the links provided.

Sitelinks

Can be applied to: Campaigns & Ad groups

Available in: Globally

Devices they can appear on: Desktop, Tablet, & Mobile

Available on these campaign types: Search Network with Display Select - All features | Search Network only - All features

Sitelinks are probably the most common type of ad extension, adding clickable links, to web pages, relevant to the ad with short descriptions. You can create loads of sitelinks typically to different product or service pages, category pages, special offers, etc.

Sitelinks

Desktop and tablet devices allow up to six sitelinks to show at once, if you have say eight in the group, it will rotate between them. Like all ad extensions, they do not always show and in this case not all of the sitelinks may show at once. Typically, the minimum Google will show is two sitelinks.

Descriptions may appear or may not, see image below for an example of how sitelinks can appear without descriptions:

Sitelink Extensions

The cost of a click on a sitelink is the same as the CPC for a standard click of the ad.

Benefits

Sitelinks provide additional options for users to click, more information about what you may offer and this occupies a greater amount of SERP real estate. Other benefits include the following:

  • Customised for different devices: It is possible to create mobile-optimised sitelink extensions (similar to optimised mobile ads) that appear on mobile devices, or you can choose to disable specific sitelink extensions on chosen devices.
  • In-place editing: If you edit / amend the sitelink extensions in your account, this will not reset its performance statistics (unlike ads).
  • Shortcuts: Sitelinks act as shortcuts to valuable web pages on your site, either monetised pages or pages with high conversion rates
  • Easy to Implement: The interface and process is very simple and you do not need to make new ads for them, they can simply be applied to all ads in a campaign or ad group

Tracking Templates & Custom Parameters On Sitelinks

AdWords also provide functionality to setup tracking templates & custom parameters on sitelinks, so that you can track and capture more data:

Sitelink Extension Tracking Options

Tracking Template

This uses ValueTrack parameters, which are similar to URL Parameters, and they allow you to collect information about the user such as the device type they are using when they clicked one of your ads. This works specifically with GA (Google Analytics) and parses information to GA.

ValueTrack parameters can be set up at any level (account, campaigns, ad groups, keyword, ad) and can be implemented in AdWords Editor under the ‘URL Options’ tab.

We discuss Tracking Templates and ValueTrack parameters in more detail in another article.

Custom Parameters

These are an advanced versions of URL parameters where you can define what values are recorded one someone clicks your ad.

We discuss Custom parameters in more detail in another guide.

Rules

In addition to the standard AdWords ad policies, sitelink extensions are also subject to the following rules:

  • The link text must be relevant to the page content
  • The character limit for link text is 25 characters
  • Symbols, punctuation at the beginning, exclamation marks, emoticons, and repeated punctuation are not allowed in link text
  • Trademarked terms are not allowed (unless they are yours!)
  • Sitelinks cannot initiate a download
  • DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion) is not allowed within link text

Please follow the links to find out what Google say about sitelinks or to read their full sitelink policies.

Callouts

Can be applied to: Account, Campaigns and Ad Groups

Available in: Globally

Devices they can appear on: Desktop, Tablet, & Mobile

Available on these campaign types: Search Network with Display Select - All features | Search Network only - All features

‘Callouts’ are, as the name suggests, an opportunity to call-out your selling points, services, offerings, etc. Similar to sitelinks except that they are not clickable links, they can however appear with other extensions as in the example below:

Callout Extensions

It’s important to be as relevant as possible to the ads that they could show on, but also to avoid repetition, listing USPs in both the ad copy and the callout extensions wastes an opportunity to say something unique.

You are required to create a minimum to two callouts at any level of the account if you are to have them show.

Benefits

For products, callouts are highly effective allowing you to add additional information about the product that could not go into the ad copy. More information allows you to meet more of the searcher’s needs and can encourage CTR. Because these can be created at ad group level, it is possible to have unique callouts for all of your products.

We have listed some of the other benefits below:

  • Free: There is no cost to having callouts
  • Customised for different devices: It is possible to create mobile-optimised callout extensions (similar to optimised mobile ads) that appear on mobile devices, or you can choose to disable specific callout extensions on chosen devices.
  • In-place editing: If you edit / amend the callout extensions in your account, this will not reset its performance statistics (unlike ads).
  • Easy to Implement: The interface and process is very simple and you do not need to make new ads for them, they can simply be applied to all ads in a campaign or ad group

Rules

In addition to the standard AdWords ad policies, sitelink extensions are also subject to the following rules:

  • The character limit for text is 25 characters
  • Symbols, punctuation at the beginning, exclamation marks, emoticons, and repeated punctuation are not allowed in the text
  • Trademarked terms are not allowed (unless they are yours!)
  • DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion) is not allowed within the text

Please follow the links to find out what Google say about callouts or to read their full callout extensions policies.

Structured Snippet Extensions

Can be applied to: Account, Campaigns and Ad Groups

Available in: Globally (English)

Devices they can appear on: Desktop, Tablet, & Mobile

Available on these campaign types: Search Network with Display Select | Search Network Only

Structured snippets allow you to show information specific to your products and services to searchers in your text ads. In the example below, we searched for “men’s shampoos” and the ad (see below) appeared with ‘types’ of shampoo that they offer and may be relevant to the search.

Structured Snippet Extensions

The word “type” in the above ad is a ‘header’ and there are a range of headers from which to choose from. The following is a list of all available headers:

  • Amenities
  • Brands
  • Courses
  • Degree programs
  • Destinations
  • Featured hotels
  • Insurance coverage
  • Models
  • Neighbourhoods
  • Service catalogue
  • Shows
  • Styles
  • Types

The screenshot below is taken from AdWords and shows the options available for structured snippets, we have selected ‘destinations’ from the drop down ‘header’ menu:

Structured Snippets

In the values, you could enter relevant destinations to the search, for example; if you were advertising flights to London England, you might have the following values:

  • Heathrow
  • Stansted
  • Gatwick

Benefits

This enables you to provide structured information about your products or services and are specific to them. This can encourage CTR by being more useful and allowing your ad to stand out from other ads. This can have a positive impact on conversion rates and ROI as structured snippets are more likely to encourage clicks from more qualified and relevant potential customers.

Structured snippets are also free as they do not provide a clickable link.

Rules

  • There are a minimum of three snippets in the fields provided, but Google recommends using four.
  • Snippets have a character limit of 25, but for mobile devices, Google recommend using just 12 characters.
  • Snippets must be relevant to the header or the extensions may not be approved.
  • Google recommends that you add as many headers (relevant to your business) as possible
  • All other text policy requirements applying to both Sitelinks & Callout extensions also apply to Structured Snippets

Product Extensions

These have been removed from AdWords ever since 2013, when they were replaced by PLA’s (Product Listing Ads).

Automatic Ad Extensions

Automated extensions appear, as the name suggests, automatically on your ads. These follow the same format for the corresponding manual extension version. You can see how these extensions perform by seeing the Automated Extension Report in AdWords:

Automatic Ad Extensions

These provide the same benefits to ad performance as manual extensions do, but because they are automated you have no control over them. The flip side is that they will not be disapproved by Google as they are made by Google!

It’s always best to create your own extensions rather than relying on Google to create them for you. Creating your own extensions, typically will mean, that Google will show those rather than automated ones. There are exceptions to this such as ‘Seller Ratings’, which do not have a manual extension version.

We detail all of the available automatic ad extensions below.

Consumer Ratings

Available in: US, UK, Canada, Australia

Devices they can appear on: Desktop, Tablet, & Mobile

Available on these campaign types: Search Network with Display Select - All Features | Search Network Only - All Features

These require no setup and highlight industry specific ratings / consumer survey data from independent 3rd party sites.

Consumer Ratings

These only appear on ads for businesses that Google have surveyed the customers of, if they have this data then it may show, if they do not then it won’t show. You can opt out of this if you so choose by Consumer Ratings often enhance CTR.

Some benefits of this are:

  • Highlight your strengths: Consumer ratings highlight a business’s best survey ratings captured by Google. This emphasises the parts of your business where customers think you excel.
  • Increase CTR & traffic: People always like trustworthy feedback from their peers, this is true for shoppers looking for a product or service. Consequently this can encourage CTR, increasing traffic and overall campaign performance.
  • Better feedback: The feedback that Google provide from your customers is typically more balanced than feedback you see around the net. Because Google approach people, rather than waiting for them to leave feedback, you get less people who are really angry or really happy. Removing the outliers is conducive to more constructive feedback less driven by emotion.

Google explain in depth how ratings are calculated, collected and how they work in this support guide.

Previous Visits

Available in: Globally

Devices they can appear on: Desktop, Tablet, & Mobile

Available on these campaign types: Search Network with Display Select | Search Network Only

This feature lets users know when they have visited your site before and when the last visit was, as the example image below shows:

Previous Visits

‘Previous Visits’ allows past site visitors to find their way back to your site and as such can improve CTR.

Seller Ratings

Available in: US, UK,DE, FR, AU, NZ, JP and NL

Devices they can appear on: Desktop, Tablet, & Mobile

Available on these campaign types: Search Network with Display Select, Search & Display Networks and Search Network only

Seller ratings appear automatically in ads where Google have collected data about your business from your customers.

Seller Ratings

These extensions are not the same as most other automated extensions, typically you will need to hire a company (see below) to acquire reviews from which ratings are collected. This service will cost money and is not paid through Google or to Google but to a Google preferred partner. You will also have to meet the following criteria:

  • Have at least 30 reviews
  • Average score must be 3.5 at a minimum

The below list, are all of Google’s preferred partners, you can contact any of these (through following the links provided below). Working with these businesses, will enable you to get seller ratings to appear in your ads.


Ausgezeichnet.org

Hardware.info

ShopAuskunft

Zoorate

Avis-Verifies

KiyOh

StellaService

 

Bazaarvoice

Klantenvertellen

TrustedCompany

 

Bizrate

Poulpeo

Trusted Shops

 

eKomi

PriceGrabber

TrustPilot

 

E-Komerco

ResellerRatings

Viewpoints.com

 

ECナビ

Reviews.co.uk

Yopi.de

 

The Feedback Company

Reevoo

Yotpo

 

Feefo

Shopper Approved

お財布.com

 

FIA-NET

ShopVote.de

クチコミの王様

 

Dynamic Sitelink Extensions

Available in: Globally

Devices they can appear on: Desktop, Tablet, & Mobile

Available on these campaign types: Search Network with Display Select - All Features | Search Network Only - All Features

Dynamic Sitelink Extensions show links to relevant parts of your site underneath your ad. This provides more clickable links and options for searchers, thus increasing the potential for Clicks. The below is an example of how this can appear. We cover sitelinks in the manual extensions list above, all of the benefits are the same for this as for those.

Dynamic Sitelink Extensions

Google create these based on the performance of your organic listings for relevant searches as well as other ads on your account.

If you would like to opt out of this feature, complete this form.

Dynamic Structured Snippets

Available in: Globally (English)

Devices they can appear on: Desktop, & Tablet

Available on these campaign types: Search Network with Display Select - All Features | Search Network Only - All Features

Dynamic Structured Snippets are the automated version of ‘structured snippets’ described in the above section on manual extensions. These provide additional specific information relevant to the search in your ads.

Dynamic Structured Snippets

Dynamic Structured Snippets are free as they do not provide a clickable link to the user. If you would like to opt out of this feature, complete this form.

Social Extensions

No longer available as of December 2015.

Scheduling

Creating a start and end date for your extensions is done through the following interface:

Scheduling

Here you can specify the dates for the ad extensions to run between. If you have seasonal offers, you can set start and end dates to ensure that promotions, prices, discounts, offers, etc are not shown outside of the periods in which they are running.

Clicking the “+Create custom schedule” link in the above screen will show the following options, we have added in some days by clicking “+Add”:

Ad Scheduling

Scheduling is available on all manual ad extensions and enables you to ensure that they are only showing when relevant. For example, if you have a call centre or reception desk that is only manned between 8am and 6pm, you can set the scheduling to only show the phone number between these times.

Reporting and Tracking

Google provide reporting within the Ad Extensions tab, from here you have all the normal controls and options, such as:

  • Segments
  • Filters
  • Customisable columns (See & select any metrics you want)
  • Download report (look at data in Excel)
  • Clickable column headers for sorting

The screenshot below shows how sitelinks look when selected within the tab:

Reporting and Tracking

You can also select a specific campaign, ad group, or the whole account when looking at this data, in addition you will need to choose a relevant date range.

You can analyse and interrogate this data as you would any AdWords data. You can also use this data to optimise for your preferred metrics, whether it’s CTR, Conversion Rates, ROI, etc. By deleting poor performing sitelinks and creating new ones to test you can gradually improve the performance of all ad extensions.

Sign Up For Early Access
& Earn a Chance to Win 1 Years Free Subscription!

What You Get...

There's no obligation to become a full member after your trial, but we think that once you've seen what's available, you'll want to join us.

We are in the process of building our software and are ramping up to launch the Technical Auditing component in early 2018, soon to be followed by a suite of other components such as keyword ranking and backlink analysis.

Sign up today for 1 months free access and get a further 10% off of any package price when we launch for the first year as a reward for being an early subscriber.

Also, you will be entered into a lottery, where we will be giving away five 1-year subscriptions for free!

Sign up for early access today!