What are ad extensions and why do they matter?

22 Sep 2022

Marketing Tools PPC

Helen Crompton

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What are search ad extensions?

So, you’ve got your Google Ads all set up and ready to bring in customers. But how can you enhance these ads to ensure an outstanding user experience?

Search ad extensions attach extra information and actions to your ads, such as a call button, location information, opening times, and more. These massively increase your click-through rate by providing a specific link to whichever action they want to carry out, such as taking customers to a certain part of your website. Be aware that Google will only show ad extensions if they’re predicted to improve your performance. Whether or not your ad extensions appear will also depend on your Ad Rank.

Ad Rank

Ad Rank is what Google uses to determine the position of your ads on the page. It’s calculated using Google’s Ad Rank thresholds – if your bid is lower than the threshold then your ad won’t show. Thresholds are determined dynamically, meaning that they’re always changing, and your cost-per-click (CPC) will also depend on how your ad ranks.

How can ad extensions grow your business?

Tracking your progress

As well as setting up your ad extensions, you can track their progress and see how well your ad campaign is performing. By weeding out the ad extensions that don’t seem to be helping your business, you’ll be able to streamline your approach to Google Ads and focus more on the extensions that really work well.

Increasing your click-through rate

Google Ad extensions are really valuable for increasing your click-through rate. In fact, Google themselves found that ad extensions have increased click-through rates by at least 10%. This is because ad extensions add lots of valuable information to your ad, meaning users are more likely to click it.

Improved ad quality

Ad quality is determined by the experience that users have when viewing your ads. This depends on factors such as how relevant your ad is to the search, your click-through rate, and the quality of your landing page. You can use your Google Ads account to check your Quality Score and see how your ads fare.

Reach more qualified leads

Because ad extensions give more information to customers on their SERP, they’re able to make a more informed decision before clicking on your website. This means that by the time a customer is on your landing page, they already intend to make a purchase, driving your website’s conversion rate.

Types of ad extensions

Sitelink extensions

If you find that your ads are struggling to compete with similar brands, then this type of extension could be perfect for you. Sitelink extensions mean that your ad will take up more space on the SERP, which is great for outshining competitors. They quickly direct users to certain pages on your website, such as a ‘Contact’ or ‘About’ page, improving your click-through rate.

Google displays sitelink extensions in groups of two, so make sure that you have at least two sitelinks at a time to ensure they’ll show up. You should also make sure that your sitelinks point to the same domains as your ads to avoid any ad disapprovals. Finally, fill your sitelink extensions with as many SEO keywords as possible to enhance your site’s visibility.

Callout extensions

Callout extensions give you a short bit of text to mention anything you might want to promote. These need to be short and sweet, as Google only allows 25 characters for callouts. Callouts can be things such as ‘Free Quotes’ or ‘24/7 Service’ – whatever describes your business’s best qualities.

The best Google ads are to-the-point, so avoid repeating yourself in your callouts. For example, if you’ve already mentioned in your ad description that you provide free delivery, you don’t need to include it in your callout. There will be other attractive qualities about your business to include in your callout extension that the user might not already know.

Structured snippet extensions

Structured snippets are similar to callout extensions, but what’s included in them is different. These extensions are most commonly used to promote products or services due to the format, which allows you to add up to ten 25-character values. For example, structured snippets for a hotel might list its amenities, such as Free Wifi, Free Parking, Room Service, etc. You should make sure that your structured snippet clearly advertises the merits of your business, as these are a quick way to really sell your product.

Image extensions

Users can get bored of staring at a SERP full of blue links, so adding an image extension is a simple way to grab their attention. An image extension allows you to add a square 1×1 image, which will be shown with your ad. These are especially effective if your business offers products or services that customers will want to see before clicking onto your page. However, there are some conditions to using image extensions:

  • Images must be 5120KB or less, and meet the quality requirements of Google Ads.
  • Your Google Ads account must have been open for 90 days.
  • You need to have a good history of complying with Google’s policies.
  • You must have active campaigns running for at least a month.
  • Your account cannot advertise a sensitive industry such as alcohol, gambling, healthcare, or sexual content.

Call extensions

Want your phone lines to be ringing off the hook? Adding a call extension is the best way to encourage users to call your business at the touch of a button. With a call extension, mobile phone users don’t need to click onto a landing page to make a call – they can call your business directly from their Google SERP.

One study found that 20% of calls from mobile phones are abandoned, meaning that a fifth of potential customers aren’t getting through to you over the phone. To avoid losing the benefits of your call extension, make sure your business stays on top of answering the phone to avoid annoying wait times. You could also create a system that allows you to keep track of which calls you’ve missed, so that you can call your customers back as soon as possible.

Lead form extensions

For any business looking to collect information from its audience, lead form extensions are a must. This doesn’t mean asking customers for their whole life story – a typical lead form extension will simply ask users for their name and phone number or email address so that you can get back to them later. This is great for driving leads, as customers don’t have to visit your landing page to give their contact information, making it much quicker and easier for them.

Although these extensions can take a little more effort to set up, they mean customers don’t have to phone up to get in touch with you. This is brilliant for appealing to people who don’t enjoy speaking over the phone, and will increase your leads drastically.

Location extensions

If you have a physical store or office, adding a location extension to your Ad will make it easier for customers to locate you. Not only can users clearly see where you’re based, but they can also click on this extension to load up Google Map directions. However, it’s important to keep checking that your location is up to date to avoid leading customers on a wild goose chase.

Even if your base isn’t open for customers to visit, it can still help to add a location extension. Customers looking to support local businesses will likely appreciate knowing where your company is based, and this adds a more personal touch to your ad.

Price extensions

Price extensions are ideal for advertising specific products, and they do exactly as the name suggests. Adding prices to your Google Ad allows you to target customers who want to pay your prices, as they probably won’t click through to your site if they have a different budget. What’s more, you get to advertise the great bargains on your store that your competitors don’t provide.

However, it’s crucial to make sure you aren’t misleading customers with out of date prices. Like with all extensions, check and update your price extensions regularly to avoid any unpleasant surprises when customers click onto your page.

App extensions

If your business has an app, then you won’t want to miss any opportunity to promote it. App extensions add a link to your Google Ad which takes users directly to your app’s download page. As long as your app is available for either iOS or Android, mobile users will be able to quickly download it straight from the ad.

Promotion extensions

Businesses often choose to run exciting promotions, such as discounts or added freebies. But there’s no point in offering these perks if no one knows about them. What promotion extensions do is add the details of your promotions to the Google Ad, advertising the great deals and allowing users to click straight through to your promotion. You can set start and end dates for these extensions, meaning you won’t have to worry about changing the extension when the promotion ends.

Any business can make use of promotion extensions, as they can be used to advertise both products and services. From BOGOF deals to loyalty programmes, pretty much anything can be included as a promotion extension, making it a great all-rounder.

Dynamic extensions

Like the sound of Google Ad extensions but don’t feel you have the time or expertise to manage them? Google also offers dynamic extensions, which automatically create ad extensions for your website. You won’t be able to customise these extensions, but Google’s algorithm does a great job of analysing your website data and updating the extensions accordingly.

Do you want to grow your business through targeted paid advertising? Our PPC team is always working to adapt to the newest Google Ads trends, so you can rest assured you’re in good hands. Interested? Get in touch with us to find out more.

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