Optimize Your AdWords Campaigns

With our favorite with Ad Extensions

Optimize Your AdWords Campaigns

You have a lot of great things to say about your products/services, but in SEM, you only have so much space to say it. You have up to 3 x 30 characters for headlines and 2 x 90 characters for description lines as well as 2 x 15 characters for URL paths. With such limited space, it’s important to utilize ad extensions. As the name suggests, they are additional spaces that populate alongside your ads to give you more space to talk about your business.

AdWords offers 10 different ad extension options to open up some customization for how you want to message your business to potential customers. In this article, we’ll go over what I believe are the 5 most important ones that you can implement today to give your campaigns a performance boost if you’re not already using them.

One of my favorite extensions to use is the promotion extension. It’s a convenient way to attract attention to any sort of specials you have running. Available options include monetary discount, percent discount, or if there’s some variability, you also have the “up to monetary discount” and “up to percent discount” options. You’ll have 20 characters to briefly describe your product/service and you’ll be able to include a URL to let users navigate directly to your website’s discount page for that product/service. While all AdWords extensions allow for start and end dates, promotion extensions make the most use out of them. You can create these ahead of time and set them to automatically start and stop during your promotion period.

Some SEM managers will swear by creating brand new ad copy for every promotion their business ends up with and there’s an argument for efficacy there--you can say a lot more about your item and its promotion with 90 characters of headlines and 180 characters of description lines, but as long as your evergreen ad copy is relevant to the search query, a promotion extension will usually suffice to give your ad the extra pop it needs to stand out amongst the competition. And while they would never give away their algorithm secrets, anecdotally, Google generally seems to like when you use their extra features plus it’s a fantastic, time-efficient way to get your promotion on SERPs (search engine results pages) as it takes just a couple minutes to create and you can apply it at the ad group, campaign, or account level with a simple drop-down.

I’m bundling these together because they fill similar purposes and really call extensions are just a less information version of location extensions. What they do is allow users to get to you physically (location extension) or by phone (both extension types) as conveniently as possible. When a user searches a term that triggers your ad and you have location extensions active, your ad will include your store’s address as a clickable link. This is especially helpful on mobile devices as it will generally open up the user’s preferred map/navigation app when the link is clicked so they can quickly and easily get directions to your store. Location extensions also generally include phone numbers also as a clickable link (on mobile devices) if users would rather call first for any reason. Call extensions are generally used when a business does not operate out of a physical location. Like location extensions, they offer users a clickable link (on mobile devices) to quickly and easily call your business.

If you have a physical location, feel free to just use location extensions alone.

Not to be confused with “call extensions”, callout extensions are non-clickable text that add a little bit of flavor or information to your ad. You can use them to ‘callout’ features of your products/services that don’t need their own page such as “0% Financing” and “No Money Down” for some sort of financing institution or perhaps important product specs that might attract a user to your website over a competitor. Maybe your hotel is the only one around with 1000 thread count sheets. It might not be necessary to work that into your ad copy’s headline or description, but it’s a nice feature to mention to sound luxurious.

This is the bread and butter of ad copy. Sitelink extensions (or simply “sitelinks”) give users the opportunity to navigate anywhere on your website directly from the search results page. The also offer the most character count to talk about your business with 25 characters of clickable headline text and 2 x 35 characters for description lines.

One way to make good use of this is if for example you run an apparel store and a user searches for “hats”. Say you sell many types of hats: baseball caps, beanies, fedoras, sunhats, top hats, etc., you can improve your potential user’s experience by letting them pick something more granular than they knew they were initially looking for, right from the search results page. If it turns out they really only wanted baseball caps, they can get right to your baseball cap page instead of a more general hat page that will have a lot of other types of hats your user isn’t even interested in. This will help them find what they want faster which means less frustration which usually results in better bounce rates and better conversion rates.

There are many creative ways to make use of sitelinks though. Another potential use is for upselling right off the bat. If you’re an electronics store and a user searches for “professional cameras”, one of your sitelinks could be “Camera & Lens Bundles”.

If you’ve already implemented these top 5 extensions or if they don’t feel applicable to your business, next time we’ll talk about the other 5 extensions that are a bit less universal in use case, but when applicable, can add a nice bit of extra color to your ads.

Want to optimize your Google Adwords campaigns? We can help!

At Aktiv, our experts understand how search engines work. A successful SEO & SEM campaign requires careful planning to ensure that it results in a positive ROI for your business. Our experts work with you to perform keyword research, write ad copy, manage and track SEO and SEM campaigns. We partner with you and provide solutions and services to manage, maintain, and improve your existing website.

Fill out the contact form below to get started on a customized website marketing proposal.

by: David Hill

view all articles

Other articles tagged with: