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AdWords Ad Extensions: Callouts, Locations and Reviews

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Google Ads (Previously AdWords) Ad Extensions: Callouts, Locations and Reviews

AdWords extensions can make good ads better and successful campaigns even more successful.

In this post we’ll explore some of the different AdWords ad extensions available and explain how they can help you to achieve your PPC goals.

What Are AdWords Ad Extensions?

When your PPC ad is rubbing shoulders with multiple other PPC ads, all broadly offering the same products or services, how can you encourage people to click your ad over others?

By drawing attention to yourself and giving people more reasons to choose your business!

AdWords ad extensions allow you to add additional information that will make your ads stand out in the results. They can be added to your campaign at no extra cost. As usual, you only pay when people click on your ads.

Many ad extensions are available, including call buttons, location information, additional text and links to specific parts of your site. Extensions are either manual – meaning you have to set them up yourself – or automatic – meaning they appear automatically when AdWords thinks they’ll help improve performance.

Google chooses which extensions to show in response to each individual search, so they recommend using “all the extensions relevant to your business goals.” Extensions will only show when your ad ranks high enough in the search results.

Which extensions should you use with your ads?

That depends on what you’re trying to achieve! Different extensions are suitable for different goals.

Is it worth using ad extensions? Yes. Yes it is.


via GIPHY

This Google case study illustrates how a hotel chain used various different extensions to get more clicks and conversions. Not only does this study highlight the benefits of using extensions (14% more conversions!), it also shows how these things should work together as part of an intelligent, comprehensive PPC strategy.

Before we take a closer look at three of the most useful manual extensions, let’s take a quick look at automatic ad extensions.

Automatic Ad Extensions

When should you use these: Don’t worry. If Google thinks an Automatic extension will help improve performance, they’ll add them automatically to your ads. That’s why they’re called Automatic ad extensions!

There are six types of Automatic ad extensions:

  • Consumer Ratings – Ratings generated from various sources and surveys, with multiple categories scored out of 10.
  • Previous Visit – Tells users if they’ve visited the site before, how many times they’ve done so and the date of the last visit.
  • Seller ratings – A score out of 5 stars based on numerous review sources.
  • Sitelink Extensions – A link to a certain piece of content on your site. For example, if your site sells numerous products, an automatic sitelink extension might display a link to your best-selling or best-reviewed product.
  • Social Extensions – Pulls information from social media, such as the number of followers you have or the number of the user’s friends who have liked the company.
  • Structured Snippets – Additional information that Google finds relevant to match search intent or additional information about certain categories on your site.

You can opt-out of any of these automatic extensions. For example, if you have a poor consumer rating and you think that displaying it in ads might harm your business, you can contact Google using this form to tell them not to display this information.

Now let’s take a look at three of the most useful manual ad extensions.

Location Extensions

When should you use these: When you want to drive sales by directing people to a physical location, like a shop or a restaurant.

Location extensions help people find your business in the offline world. They show your address, a map to your location or the distance to your business. Clicking on the extension shows users even more details about your location, including opening hours or an option to give you a call.

There’s also affiliate location extensions. If you make products that are sold in numerous locations, affiliate location extensions can tell users where they can buy your products.

Location extensions show in the search results. A standard text ad might also show your location or phone number. They can also show in Google Maps. If a users searches for restaurants in a given area, an ad for your restaurant might be one of the suggested results.

A study by 3Q digital found that location extensions increased the click-through rate on their ads by 25%. What’s more, a study by TMP Directional Marketing and comScore found that nearly 40% of shoppers visit stores in person having researched them online.

So, if you want to boost offline sales with online ads, use location extensions!

If you want to use Location Extensions, you’ll need a Google My Business account. Here’s how to add location extensions to your ads:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account
  2. Click the Ad Extensions tab
  3. From the Select View drop-down menu above the extensions table, choose Location Extensions
  4. Click +Extention
  5. Enter the email address associated with your Google My Business account under “Request a link”, then click Request

Callout Extensions

When should you use these: When you want to give users a good reason to choose your business over your competitors.

Callout extensions allow you to promote unique offers, like 24-hour customer service or free delivery. They allow you to summarise your business offering or highlight particular areas that make you stand out. Up to 6 callouts can show in addition to the text of your ad, so strategic use of callout extensions can pack quite a persuasive punch.

Of all the available extensions, callouts offer the most flexibility and the highest level of customisation, so it’s possible to get extremely clever with your strategy.

You can add callout extensions at the account, campaign and ad group levels. This means you can include both generic and detailed information within your ads, making it possible to appeal to potential customers at various stages of the buying cycle.

You can also specify the dates, days of the week and the times of day your callouts show. So, you can promote anything that’s in any way time sensitive, from a seasonal sale to a happy hour at a bar.

It helps to be specific with your callouts. Say you’re selling cars. All of your competitors will talk about how they offer “great fuel economy”, but if you can be a bit more specific, and say something like “Up to 90mpg mileage”, your ad will stand out and you just may encourage customers to choose you over your competitors.

It’s also a good idea to think of your callouts in terms of both your entire business offering (“24/7 customer support”) and at the smaller, more granular level (“free gift wrapping”). Google tends to prioritise these low-level callouts over the broader account level callouts, so take the time to decide which features and offerings you want to highlight.

Do callout extensions work? Absolutely! One PPC specialist reported how using callout extensions enabled her to increase her CTR by 221% while boosting her conversion rate by 40%.

Setting up callout extensions is relatively simple, but there’s so many areas to customise and factors to consider that we don’t have the room for a straightforward step-by-step guide. So head here for a detailed guide to adding callout extensions to your AdWords campaign.

Sitelink Extensions

When should you use these: When you want to get more conversions, but you don’t have a physical location to send your customers to.

As we outlined above, Google will sometimes automatically add sitelink extensions to your ads, but manual sitelink extensions give you greater control over which parts of your site you drive visitors to.

With sitelink extensions up to 8 links can show as part of your ads. In desktop results between 2 and 6 links will show, and they can appear either on the same line or across two lines of your ad. On mobile up to 8 links can show, and they appear in a single line in a carousel format.

Like with callout extensions, you can add sitelinks at account, campaign or ad group level. So once again you can appeal to potential customers at various stages of the buying cycle. For example, a link to an FAQ page or a case study can help convince those who haven’t quite made up their minds yet, while a link to a specific product page can make it as easy as possible for those who are ready to buy to make that purchase.

You can schedule start and end dates for each of your sitelinks, which is useful for if you have seasonal promotions or limited offers running. You can even set customised sitelinks for mobile users.

A study by Google shows that sitelink extensions can boost the click-through rate by up to 25% on unbranded terms and up to 50% on branded terms. And, if you’re sending people to relevant, well-optimised landing pages, it should be obvious how this can make a real difference to your conversion rates.

Again, setting up sitlink extensions is relatively simple, but there’s so many areas to customise and factors to consider that we don’t have the room for a straightforward step-by-step guide. So here’s Google’s comprehensive guide to setting up sitelinks in AdWords.

Want to use extensions to make your ads perform better?

We’ve a lot of experience in optimising PPC accounts. Tell us what you’re trying to achieve and we’ll show you exactly which AdWords ad extensions you should use to meet your objectives.

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