Why should I test image extensions in Google Ads?

12 May 2023


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Lee Frame

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Back in 2020, image extensions were released on Google Ads as a way to make your PPC ads more visual on SERPs (search engine results pages). There have been some improvements along the way, so it’s vital to learn about what image extensions can do, why they’re important, and why you should always test them. Dive in to learn all about why you should test image extensions, reinforced with tips and tricks from our PPC team.

What are image extensions in Google Ads?

Image extensions on Google Ads are images that complement your PPC ad copy and appear on the search and display network. They’re designed to add a visual representation of the product or service you’re selling. This can have a direct impact on your CTR (click-through rate), as the visual element of these ads can stand out against others that don’t utilise image extensions.

Advertisers can also upload multiple images to add additional context about their products and services. It’s also important to note that several image formats are available for Google Ads image extensions, such as JPEGs, GIFs and PNGs with a maximum file size of 5,120KB (5.12MB). The recommended image sizes are:


  • 200 x 200 (small square)
  • 250 x 250 (square)
  • 468 x 60 (banner)
  • 728 x 90 (leaderboard)
  • 300 x 250 (inline rectangle)
  • 336 x 280 (large rectangle)
  • 120 x 600 (skyscraper)
  • 160 x 600 (wide skyscraper)


Images with text or logos are not allowed, and Google may reject images that violate these advertising policies.

It’s important to know that image extensions on Google Ads are not synonymous with Google Shopping Ads. They still operate as a text ad but simply have accompanying images to make them stand out on the SERP.

Why are image extensions important?

Humans are naturally drawn to visuals, so image extensions can play an important role when it comes to PPC advertising. They make Google Ads more visually appealing, which will likely encourage viewers to click on it – especially if the product shows a clear image of the search intent and high quality.

We touched upon file types previously, and these have an important role to play in image extensions too. Essentially, each file type has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the right one, depending on what you’re trying to achieve. For example, a GIF file type will be able to display multiple images in a loop, whereas a PNG can keep the background of an image transparent, which has its advantages for viewers who browse in dark mode.

Why test Google Ads image extensions?

One of the many benefits of PPC is that it can drive quick and instant traffic to your website. If you use image extensions in your Google Ads, but you’re not sure why they’re worth it to begin with, then the following reasons might convince you to give them a test drive:

1. It can help increase ROI

Testing your image extensions can help you gather data on which images get the best CTRs and lead to better ROI (return on investment). For example, if you own a jewellery business, close-up imagery may perform better than an image where you have to squint or manually zoom in to see the product. Obviously, this is a generalisation, but testing your image extensions will help give you a clue of what works and what doesn’t.

2. It can determine the best images by device

Testing your Google Ads image extensions can help you see which images appear better on desktop, tablet or mobile devices. While it may seem obvious to use the same image across each device, this may not be the case, as you can’t predict an image will look great on every single device. After all, we don’t all own the same mobile manufacturers or use the same computers! So it’s a good idea to test multiple images on various devices to see how they’ll generally appear.

3. You can optimise per buyer’s journey

Testing image extensions can also help advertisers optimise Google Ads for different stages of the buyer’s journey. For example, an image that’s more informational may work better for users who are at the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, while a more visually compelling image may work better for users who are further along their buying journey.

How do I measure the success of my Google Ads image extensions?

Harriet, our PPC Manager says: “Ultimately, the success of your Google Ads image extensions depends entirely on your business goals. To determine the success of your image extensions, you’ll need to look out for how many impressions and clicks your ad gets. You’ll also want to see your CTR and how many customers actually convert.”

So what should advertisers look for? Here’s a rough breakdown of these metrics and why they matter:

  • Impressions: This is the number of times your image extension was displayed to users.
  • Clicks: This is the number of times users clicked on your image extension.
  • CTR: This is the percentage of impressions that resulted in clicks.
  • Conversion rate (CR): This is the percentage of clicks that resulted in a desired action, such as a purchase, sign-up, enquiry or other method of capture.

Once you have all of the data above, you can determine whether to keep an image extension as is or change it to see how it performs. You can also run A/B tests to see which type of image performs better.

Ready to take the next step by boosting your visibility with PPC image ad extensions? Contact us today to discuss the many ways that our PPC team can provide an impressive ROI, no matter the size of your company.

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