How To Use Google Adwords Extensions To Ramp Up Your Results

Ad Extensions offer additional details to expand your ad, which gives people more info and benefits, so they’re more likely to click your ad. 

Written by Phil 27 October 2017

According to Google, typically these extensions can ‘increase an ad's click-through rate by several percentage points’. 

There are a number of extension formats, for different purposes and they include location information, extra text, call buttons, direct links to specific pages on your website and more.

We’re going to explain extensions in general, along with what each extension type does and how to choose the correct extensions for your business, so you can get the most out of this great feature.

Keep in mind, just as with any traffic source, you need to spend a little time getting to know these extensions and deciding which match your advertising goals. Testing until you find the ones that work best for you, can really pay off.

How Do Ad Extensions Work?

Adwords will select for you which extensions to show in order to maximise the performance of your ads, based on each individual search on Google. It’s best if you use all the extensions relevant to what you want from your ad.

The whole point is to add as much content to your ad as possible and thanks to these extensions your ad will have higher visibility and prominence in the results, adding value and improving your ROI (Return On Investment). 

The total number of clicks usually increases, as you are providing people with extra ways to interact and contact you, such as with maps or calls for instance.

There are Manual and Automatic extensions. 

Manual extensions take a little setting up, but the Auto extensions are added by Adwords when it predicts they’ll improve your ad performance. They are dynamic and pull data from your site to generate a suitable extension relevant to a particular search term.

As there’s no setup needed for auto extensions, they won’t show in your options as you’re adding manual extensions. 

When Do Ad Extensions Appear?

Google can approve or disapprove extensions, just like they can with ads and keywords. Any disapproved extensions won’t show and you need to edit these and re-submit to be reviewed.

Extensions don’t appear in your ad all the time, they’ll show when:

  • The extension or combination of extensions has been predicted to improve your ad performance.
  • The position and rank of your ad are high enough for the extensions to show up. To show extensions, AdWords requires a minimum Ad Rank before it shows ads.

As there’s a limited amount of space in the search results, ads in the higher positions will obviously get the best chance for their extensions to show up. Generally, the higher ads will have more extensions than the lower ones.

So because AdWords requires a minimum Ad Rank before your ads are shown, you might have to increase your bid or your ad quality, or both, so your extensions will be displayed.

How Much Do Ad Extensions Cost?

They’re free! The clicks on your ads that contain extensions will be charged as usual. (Other than review and seller rating extensions, which aren’t charged when clicked.) 

A Few Best Practices To Keep In Mind

  • They are free, so make sure you use all the extensions you feel are right for your business. Remember, they’ll only appear anyway if Google predicts they’ll improve your ad's performance.
  • Try adding 4 or more extensions, such as callouts, site links, structured snippets and another you feel is right for you.  
  • You can also create extensions at higher account levels such as account or campaign level, if it suits your larger goals. 
  • Choose extensions to achieve your main goal. Click through, contact, visit, etc.

What’s Your Advertising Goal?

The extensions you use, are obviously decided by your advertising goals. This is too big a subject to cover everything, but the following goals and suitable extensions will get you off to a great start:

1: Attract customers to buy from your business location

These extensions are perfect for directing people to your physical location, such as a store, service or restaurant: 

Location extensions:

Shows your location and a link to your business details page, which can include your opening hours, directions etc. These details can encourage visits your premises. If you’d prefer them to call a centralized line, as opposed to a specific location, you can use call extensions within your location extensions.

Affiliate location extensions:

This will help people find retail chain stores that sell your products.

Callout extensions:

These can help your conversions by offering more beneficial info, such as “free delivery” or “24/7 customer support.”

2: Increase the number of people who contact you

If you’re looking for more potential customers ringing you or sending a query, use the call extensions or message extensions:

Call extensions:

By adding your phone number to your ad, you’ll encourage people to act immediately and call your business right now.

Message extensions:

These obviously encourage people to text you straight from your ad.

3: Get customers to go straight to your website

These extensions are to direct people straight to your website:

Site-link extensions:

Use this to link people directly to specific pages on your site, such as your opening hours, product page or your order page.

Structured snippet extensions:

With this, you can show more info customers may find valuable and attractive, by selecting a predefined header such as a product or service category and listing relevant items.

Price extensions:

Showcase your products, categories and prices so people can browse right from your ad. Only available in select countries. 

Review extensions:

The ability to add useful quotes or rankings from published sources, is available on desktop in select languages.

4: Get people to download your App.

App extensions:

You can easily encourage people to download your app. 

A quick summary . . .

Ad extensions can be incredibly beneficial, as they can really target your perfect potential customers. 

Their value lies in the fact you can easily focus on the goal you want to achieve, such as increase click-through rates to your site, visits to your store, calls straight through to your business and much more.

They’re free and with a little practice they’re easy to implement, so it seems a waste not to use them. 

Yes, you need to spend a little time really getting to know them and it will be time well spent doing your research on each one and testing a few, so you can see the difference they make to your results.

With a little time and practice, you could see a big difference in the number of people that actually engage with your business. The whole point of these extensions is to efficiently and cost-effectively increase clicks to your site, viewer engagement and ultimately, your bottom line.