In my last post, we discussed how the introduction of ad extensions to Google’s AdRank are ensuring that AdWords is now more competitive than ever. With this in mind, today we’ll be looking at how to create ad extensions.
Firstly, if you already have AdWords set up, then you don’t need to create an additional campaign, you just have to adjust the existing one. Do bear in mind at this point that even once you have created your ad extensions, there’s no guarantee that they will be shown on the ad network. Whether they are shown or not depends on your AdRank and whether Google has calculated that showing the extensions will enhance your campaign.
You can track when your extensions are shown in the Ad extensions tab in Google Adwords and whilst there’s no additional charge to use ad extensions, you will still be charged for clicks on them. For example, if your ad extension includes a call button, you will be charged as you usually would for clicks on the ad.
Getting Started with Ad Extensions
There are a variety of ad extensions that can appear with your ad, listed below:
- Previous visit annotations
- Seller rating annotations
Note that not all of these are available globally, some are only available for mobile and tablet devices and some are only displayed on the search network or are lacking some features. For a full explanation of each ad extension, where it’s available, on what devices and network, visit the AdWords support pages.
For a full overview of ad extensions and how they work, check out the video from the Adwords team below:
If your ads are set up as ‘Standard’, then the first thing that you will have to do is go in and change that. To do this, go to the campaigns area of your Adwords account and select the campaign that you want to create ad extensions for. Then choose ‘Settings’ and under ‘Type’ change from ‘Standard’ to ‘All Features’ and hit ‘Save’. Once you’ve done this, head on over to the ad extensions tab.
Generally, location extensions are displayed as default as these are the most popular. These are not available in every country, so if you’re outside of Australia, you may want to check out the available countries first.
Location extensions are available on search and display networks and mobile, tablets and desktop.
To set these up, click on ‘Addresses from Google Places’ and then the +EXTENSION button which then allows you to add the address that you already have set up in your Google Places or G+ account to your Adwords. If you don’t have a Google Places listing (why not?) then you can add addresses manually.
Hit ‘Save’ and the extension is ready to go.
Your ad, when it qualifies for the extension to be displayed, will then appear as the example above, but obviously with your own business details.
The process is pretty much exactly the same for each type of extension, so rather than bore you with repetition, we’ll take a look at monitoring your extensions and which it’s best to use for your business.
Choosing the Right Extensions
Businesses that rely on local business should always enable the location and call extensions and should already have Google Places set up if the business is going to effectively make the most of local SEO.
If you have excellent reviews on Google Places, then of course it’s a good idea to enable the review extension in order to showcase what others are saying about you. This is the same for seller ratings, although they are not available in every country. For the most part though, which extensions you should enable is up to you and the nature of your business and it’s pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t have an app or G+ account for example, there’s no point setting these up in Adwords – not that you’d be able to anyway, without the relevant information. Do remember that ad extensions count towards your Quality Score now though, so use as many as you can as it can have a significant effect on your ad’s CTR.
Making Sense of Ad Extension Statistics
Google shows overall statistics for ads that were displayed with extensions, not for the extensions themselves so bear this in mind, as it can be confusing when you’re checking out the extension tab to see how your ad extensions are performing. This means that in order to break down the stats, it’s necessary to use the ‘Segment’ menu to separate them by the type of click that they generated.
More About Call Extensions
You can set up call extensions in two ways: either using just your standard business telephone number or by using a Google forwarding number, a feature which is only available in Australia, the US, the UK, France, Germany and Spain currently.
This allows you to receive calls through call extensions and gives useful details such as:
- If the call connected
- Duration of the call
- The area code of the caller
- Call start and end time
You can also set up a specified call duration, for example, perhaps calls that last more than a minute, as conversions too, so that you can then go on to refine your bidding strategies to enable further conversions.
Google forwarding numbers assign a unique number to your ad which depending on where you live, appears as either a local or Freephone number. Once you have enabled this, a clickable call button will appear alongside your ad on certain mobile devices.
Again, this is a free service, but you will be charged at the standard CPC when somebody clicks on the call button. However, if someone dials the number manually, there is no charge.
To set this up, just edit the phone number that you’ve already set up in ad extensions and choose Google forwarding phone number, rather than your own. The menu as shown above is again, self-explanatory and allows you to set reporting for call duration, as you can see.
Ad extensions are a must for any business that runs an Adwords account, so do make sure that you get yours set up as soon as possible if you want to continue to compete and get a ROI on your advertising spend.