November 5, 2018

Why Google Ad Extensions Are Like Free Real Estate

Evie Welborn

You know how people say that “bigger isn’t always better?” Well when it comes to Google Ads, that’s a lie. The more real estate you can take up, the bigger your ads are, and the better results you’ll get. Luckily for you, Google ad extensions are the perfect solution. 

They’re free real estate. Yes, exactly like this:

So let me tell you everything about these amazing boosters for your ads.

What Are Google Ad Extensions?

Ad Extensions are exactly what their name implies. They’re extensions that you add onto your ad. If you’ve ever written an ad in Google Ads, then you know that despite the most recent character count expansion, putting your company’s selling pitch in an ad can feel like this hamster trying to squeeze into a cabinet:

However, Google took mercy on us and gave us extensions for us to add more information to our ads. You can include information such as phone numbers, addresses, lists of services, and much more.

Imagine how small this ad would be if Google hadn’t included all the extensions highlighted in the blue box:

google ad extensions

The point is to give your ad more visibility by expanding how much space it takes up and to provide more information for your customer. Using Google ad extensions can increase your click-through-rate, which can reduce your average cost per click, which can then reduce your cost per conversion – which we’d all like, right? (As a note, extensions are also included in the quality score calculator.)

How To Add Ad Extensions?

From your main Google Ads Dashboard, select the sidebar option: Ads & extensions, then at the top, hop on over to Extensions.

From there, you can see the different extensions that you have set up, and by selecting different campaigns on the far left menu, you can see extensions that you’ve specifically set up for individual campaigns as well.

At the top, there’s that blue plus that will give you a drop down that looks like this:

This does a great job for someone who doesn’t have a lawyer and just wants to ask some quick questions. There’s no demand for commitment, but there’s a promise of instant answers.

The word “today” is similar; while it puts less pressure on someone to buy that instant, it’s still a word that’s heavily overused in marketing. If you still want to use it, again, make sure it’s paired with a tantalizing offer. My personal favorite was: “Buy Today – Delivery In 2 Days”. Will your consumer be more likely to buy today if their product is delivered to their door in just two days? You betcha.

After you select your Google ad extension (more about your options later), write what you want it to say, you can select further options that look like this:

You always want to select Device Preference – Mobile so that when that 60% of searches that come from phones trigger your ads, your ad extensions will still show and provide all of their wonderful benefits.

You can also set up a start and end date on your extensions – in case you have a promotion or sale, etc.

Lastly, you can schedule the extension to run during certain hours – if you only want to run a call extension during the hours you can pick up your phone, etc. Take advantage of the options that Google offers on the extensions so you can run them smarter.

(Finally) What Are The Types & How Can You Use Them Effectively?

Sitelink extension

Here’s what it looks like when you’re building one; although Google won’t show you the Description lines, it will show you all the current sitelink extensions that you’re using:

As you can see, Sitelink extensions can be linked up to any page on your website. This means that you can link more information to your ad such as testimonials, about us pages, blogs, landing pages, and much more. As many web pages as you have built, you can make into sitelink extensions (actually, only up to 20 sitelink extensions are allowed).

A few things to keep in mind while making sitelink extensions:

-Each extension is for a new web page; Google won’t allow you to have three sitelink extensions for one link.

-Extensions should only go to your website; don’t try to sneak another domain into your ad. (The only exception to this is linking to your media page- but you have to specify where this is taking the customer when you write the extension.)

Callout extension

Callout extensions are excellent in that you can list just about anything in them for extra space and information on your ad. It seems like after Google created all of their extensions, they kept getting messages from people who still felt restricted so they threw their hands up and went, “Fine, you can have these extensions where you can write anything. Enjoy.”

The only stipulation that Google puts on these is that you can’t repeat them. So you can’t have three callout extensions saying the exact same thing- no problem, right?

Structured snippet extension

Structured snippet extensions allow you to list up to 10 types of one category that you offer called headings.

Take a look at our cheat sheet below for the types of extensions, what they are, and examples of do’s and don’t for them:

Call extension

After those long extensive structured snippet extensions, a call extension is easy and simple as can be. Simply, it’s a way for someone to call your company straight from the ad. Google also allows you to decide whether you want that to be a conversion or not.

Message extension

This nifty little, mobile-only obviously, extension allows customers to text a support number quickly and easily. The future has arrived. As this example shows, courtesy of Google, the customer sends a text message, and the conversation is moved offline.

When setting up the message extension, you choose the number they text to, what the extensions says, and their opening message so you always know what they’re texting about.

Location extension

A location extension is a must-have for any brick-and-mortar that requires the customer to come to you. You set it up through Google My Business, and then you can easily add it to your extensions. Most of the time, the extension will show the full address, but on mobile, it can drop some of the address and instead offer to open directions to the business in their maps app.

Companies that wouldn’t benefit from location extensions would be businesses that go to the client’s house, services that are provided online, etc.

Affiliate location extension

Affiliate location extensions can be a little tricky to understand.

Let’s say you want to sell your physical product – like a cell phone – but you want the customer to know that they can buy it at any of your authorized retailers – like Radio Shack. When you create your ad, you can give the customer the option of purchasing your phone online, or they can visit a nearby Radio Shack that your product is available at; you choose the store.

Price extension

The price extension ads are pretty simple; they’re upfront pricing for the products you’re selling. It can help people understand what you’re offering before reaching out and booking an appointment or showing up at your store.

Similar to structured snippet extensions, Google gives you a range of options to choose from for the type of product or service you’re selling.

And if your price isn’t exact, no worries because you can add price qualifiers to the extensions:

App extension

If you offer a mobile app, pop this Google ad extension on here. People loathe buying things through their phone’s internet; adding payment information is a pain, web pages aren’t always optimized for mobile, and the load time on those mobile browsers are excruciating. People will always want to download your app before purchasing, and the quickest way to benefit from that is to make an app extension.

Promotion extension

One of the more frustrating things as a company is to have a promotion, list it everywhere you can think of, and then see no one use your code or applies for the promotion. Sure, you just got some full-priced sales, but who knows how many people didn’t make a purchase because they didn’t see your promotion?

You can put your promotion into your Google Ad to list it in one more area. And if your ad is appearing alongside your competitors’, who are people more likely to buy from – you with the promotion, or your competitor without? You, obviously.

The promotion extension lets you choose holidays and occasions to list that you’re celebrating, which makes the ad that much more relatable.

That’s a wrap, friends! What are your go-to extensions in Google ads, and what ones did you learn about? Let us know in the comments!

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Evie Welborn

Account Manager/Content Writer

Evie is dedicated to keeping an eagle eye on her PPC and digital marketing accounts. When she’s not scouring through her accounts to make sure they’re flawless, she can be found ascending new heights in the local mountains or hiding inside the rock climbing gym when it’s too cold

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