If you have any experience at all in digital marketing, you don’t need an introduction to Google Ads. In fact, you don’t really need to be a digital marketer to be familiar with Google Ads; they are presented to anyone who uses the Google search engine to find something on the web. While digital marketing has certainly branched out into countless different formats, Google Ads was one of the original players in this space and it remains as relevant today as it has ever been.
One of the best ways to get even more out of your ad campaigns on Google is to use extensions. Well, these features have traditionally been called extensions, but have recently been rebranded by Google to now be called “assets”. We’ll stick with the “extensions” name in this article but know that these will be called assets when you access your Google account and put them into use.
Below you’ll find a quick explanation as to what Google ad extensions are and why they can be useful. Then, we’ll spend the rest of the article highlighting some of the best extensions to consider adding to your campaigns. Whether you have been disappointed by the performance of your Google Ads, or you are already doing well and just want to see how much better it can get, extensions (or assets) are worth your attention.
Google Ad Extensions: What and Why
Using ad extensions is simply another way to present information to your target audience. Beyond what fits inside of a normal Google ad format, you can pick and choose from various extensions – some of which we will highlight later – to give more information and functionality to your ad campaigns. While plain Google ads can be plenty useful just as they are, you may be able to extract even more value from your ad efforts by utilizing the right extensions for your needs.
There are plenty of motivations to put extensions into action, and what you want to get out of this feature will impact which of the extensions you decide to use. For instance, some of the extensions will allow your ad to grab more digital real estate on the search results page, which may help you grab more attention and earn more clicks. Or, you might add an interactive feature that allows potential customers to interact with your brand as quickly and easily as possible. Like anything else in the advertising world, testing is going to be your best friend when it comes to extensions. Put some of the following options into action and see what impact they have on your results.
This is one of the simplest extensions available, so it’s a great place to start our list. If you want to quickly grab more attention – and take up some additional space on the search page – add an image extension to your listing. What you include in the image is up to you, as long as it fits within the terms of service. Of course, if you are selling a physical product, this would be a great place to display that product, but that’s just one possibility. Even if you sell a service, you might be able to use a picture of your location, or maybe a picture of yourself, to build trust and earn a click.
One important thing to keep in mind when using the image extension is to make sure that your image is high quality and looks good when it renders in the extension. If you wind up with a blurry image, for example, or one that doesn’t properly represent what you are trying to sell, it might do more harm than good. Spend some time taking quality photos if you don’t already have some available, so you can put your best foot forward with this ad extension.
When you run a traditional ad, you’ll just be able to link to a single landing page on your site. That can work well enough, and it might even be preferred in some cases, but you might have ads where you want to provide more options to your customers. This is where sitelink extensions come in handy. The way it works is simple enough – under the position of your traditional ad, there will be an additional menu that includes links to a few different pages on your site. You can add up to four different links, each with unique text.
This can be an appealing strategy for a brand that is trying to increase exposure and bring in as many site visitors as possible. By casting a wide net with links to various pages on your site, you can pick up clicks that might have skipped over your ad otherwise. When should you avoid sitelink extensions? When you have a very specific offer to make, and you want everyone to land on a single landing page to see that offer. In that situation, casting a wide net is not a great idea, and keeping your ad formats more targeted and narrow will be the better option.
Two Useful Contact Extensions
When you think about it, the goal of virtually any ad is to have the potential customer or client who sees the ad contact you in some way. That could mean they contact you by submitting an order for a purchase, or it could mean they reach out to get more information and take the next steps toward becoming a customer. If you want as many people to get in touch as possible through your ad campaigns, look into the following two extensions:
- Call extensions. Adding this extension includes your phone number in the ad, meaning someone who wants to reach you will have your number right there in front of them as soon as the ad appears. With so much web traffic now taking place on mobile devices, those mobile users will already have a phone in their hand and will be ready to call if they are interested. Unless you don’t want to receive phone calls in your business, adding this simple extension is an easy choice.
- Location extension. If you run a business that features a physical location, you’ll almost certainly want to enable the location extension to include your address in your ads. You can even use multiple addresses for the same group of ads if you have more than one location, and you can tune the settings to make sure the address of the closest location to each user is the one that appears.
While this is more of a niche extension, it is highly valuable for businesses that have already built an app and want to accrue as many downloads as possible. When this extension is enabled and properly set up, it will make it possible for users to jump straight from the ad to an app download screen. You need to already have an app that is available either on iOS or Android, so take care of that piece of the puzzle first before worrying about activating this feature.
As the name suggests, this extension lets you display a variety of prices directly within your ads. For example, if you have three different package options for the services you offer, you could have three different prices displayed in the ad for users to see. This allows you to deliver important information right there in the ad before you even pay for a click.
There is a lot of potential power that comes with showing prices in your ads, but perhaps the biggest advantage of this technique is avoiding unwanted clicks. This can be seen mostly for businesses that are selling expensive products or services – they may find that many of the clicks they pay for come from people without the budget to actually make a purchase. So, those leads are no good, and the ad spend on those clicks will have been wasted. By presenting your prices in front of the click, you can steer clear of some of that waste and potentially run a more efficient campaign.
Of course, you will need to actively manage these ads to make sure the prices stay accurate throughout the year. If you are going to run a special sale or promotion, or if you decide to raise your prices, those adjustments need to be reflected in your ads right away.
Speaking of promotions, there is an ad extension for those, as well. When the time does come to run a promotion on your site, consider activating the promotion extension to unlock some useful features. The nice thing about this function is that you can set date parameters from the start, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting that the extension is on and accidentally advertising prices that are no longer valid. So, for example, if you want to run a sale for three days, you just set the start and end date for that sale period within the extension, and it will only be promoted along with your ads until the time runs out.
Lead Form Extensions
Did you know that you can collect information from potential customers without those leads ever even clicking on your ad? It’s possible through the use of the lead form extension. This will allow you to ask leads a few simple questions, collect that information, and store it for later use. If your business relies on a steady stream of good leads to keep the bottom line growing, this is an opportunity worth exploring.
It does need to be said that this extension is going to take more work to set up than most of the others. You’ll need to have somewhere for the leads to land when someone does fill out your form, like a CRM, and you are going to have to work through the process to build the form and get it ready for your ads. All of this effort will be worth it in the end, however, when you see the leads start to roll in as an extra bonus when running your regular ads.
Since it doesn’t cost anything extra to add some extensions to your Google Ads, you might as well do a bit of testing to see what impact (if any) these features have on your campaigns. It’s easy enough to try out various extensions and test their performance, and you can then move forward with those that seem to provide positive results. Good luck!
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