Any experienced Paid Search specialist will acknowledge that AdWords extensions are a simple and effective way to optimize text ads.

AdWords extensions help:

  • Provide more information about the seller to the shopper
  • Give the ad more real estate on the Google SERP
  • Make the ad stand out visually

 

In this post, we’ll cover 11 different types of ad extensions (note: there are more) and how they can be applied to a retail or ecommerce business.

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Adwords Seller Ratings Extensions
Adwords Sitelink Extensions
Adwords Review Extensions
Adwords Call Extensions
Adwords App Extensions
Adwords Location Extensions
Adwords Promotion Extensions
Adwords Callout Extensions
Adwords Message Extensions
Adwords Structured Snippet Extensions
Adwords Price Extensions

 

Understanding the Value of AdWords Extensions

There are two types of AdWords Extensions–manual (those you have to set up) and automatic (those dynamically generated). So as we said before, there are more than the 11 we’ll cover today. Here are all of the Ad Extensions available:

adwords extensions guide for retailers

 

Here’s an example of an AdWords ad featuring Sitelink extensions (in the green box).

AdWords Sitelinks Guide Example

Notice it features five different AdWords extensions:

  1. Seller Ratings Extension (blue)
  2. Review Extension (purple)
  3. Location Extension (yellow)
  4. Sitelinks Extensions  (green)

 

These provide significantly more information for the shopper than a normal text ad and also take up almost 2x the amount of real estate on the SERP.

Adding extensions is a matter of knowing how to integrate different pieces of information with your ad, with some being easier to implement than others.

 

Seller Ratings Extensions

Seller Ratings highlight 3rd-party seller reviews with an orange star rating:

AdWords Sitelinks Guide Seller Rating Example

These are essential ad extensions for a retailer if you do indeed have a good overall track record in terms of customer service and shipping–and can sway a customer in your favor.

More info on where Google grabs reviews here.

Pro-tip: If you’ve noticed your Seller Ratings aren’t surfacing as much, it could be because Google recently increased the number of reviews required for Seller Ratings–going from 30 to 150 over a 12-month span.

AdWords Sitelink Extensions

Sitelink extensions are “deep” links to specific landing pages below your ad.

These links can be targeted landing pages that you’ve identified as your most popular product categories or brands.

AdWords Extensions Guide Sitelinks Example

You can have up to about 12 active sitelinks but can only 2-6 (for desktop/tablet, six is rare) can show for a given query.

Google will rotate these sitelinks based on relevancy of the query.

If you’re not sure about what type of headline to use, check out our post covering which headlines drive the most conversions.

Google’s recommended setup here.

AdWords Review Extensions

Review extensions show up like this:

AdWords Extensions Guide Review Example

You can manually add reviews to your ads.

However, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can make up reviews because anything you submit, whether it’s a paraphrased review (ex. #1 Best Costume Retailer) or an exact quote review (ex.”These  guys rock.”), will be reviewed by Google and verified with the 3rd party review source.

Google’s recommended setup here.

 

AdWords Call Extensions

Call extensions help influence shoppers to reach out to you directly rather than going to your site and potentially bouncing from there.

They appear like this on mobile:

 

AdWords Extensions Guide Call Example

Local store numbers appear like this:

AdWords Extensions Guide Local Store Call Example

However, they’re a particularly effective and convenient feature for mobile shoppers. Ideally, you’ll have call tracking in place to complement your call extensions.

AdWords call extensions apply your business phone number to your text ads. This can come in three different forms:

  • Phone number for your ecommerce website
  • Phone number for your local B&M location (in unison with location extensions)
  • Click-to-call button on most smartphones (shown above)

 

Call extension performance is tracked by setting up a Google forwarding number and defining how you want the length of the call to count as a conversion.

 

How to Set Up Call Extensions

1. Add a new extension

adwords-call-extensions-add-new

Choose which campaign you want to apply the call extension to and add a new number.

2. Fill out the new phone number info

adwords-call-extensions-google-forwarding-number

During the process, you’ll run into a couple different options to choose:

  • Use a Google forwarding number OR use your own number: Unless you have your own separate system for tracking call conversions, use a Google forwarding number. This way, you’ll be able to see how much business is coming over the phone directly in the AdWords login, with mobile call conversions being reported in the normal conversions column and call conversions from desktop users in the Estimated Total Conversions column.
  • Show both website + phone number OR just phone number: This only applies to mobile searchers. So if you’re a retailer with a B&M location nearby, it might be better to display only the phone number. This should also be considered if you don’t have a mobile-optimized site and are not confident in your ability to convert a mobile shopper.
  • Device preference to mobile: Check this if you’re optimizing specific text ads or ad groups for mobile shoppers.
  • Advanced options: Scheduling is useful here if you don’t have a 24/7 call center. So, for instance, if your customer service reps are only in from 9-5, it may make sense to not advertise the number at 3 am. You’ll also want to check the box to count calls as phone call conversions. A given retailer with call extensions implemented may be receiving 20% of their monthly orders via the phone, and without a proper call conversion tracking system in place, they may never know it. Next step: define what a call conversion is.

 

Ultimately, call extensions are extremely useful for ecommerce sites, essential for stores with B&M locations, and influential in driving mobile CTR.

3. Define your call conversion

adwords-call-extensions-tracking-conversions

The definition of a call will vary from business to business, and so you’ll need to define this yourself.

Does a 3-minute call usually mean that an order was made (or will eventually be made)?

Do longer calls typically mean higher AOV for your business? Of course, a 15-second call with someone who needs a quick piece of information should not constitute as a conversion. You also have the option to set a conversion value per call here (what’s your typical AOV for a given transaction?).

Of course, a 15-second call with someone who needs a quick piece of information should not constitute as a conversion. You also have the option to set a conversion value per call here (what’s your typical AOV for a given transaction?).

Google’s recommended setup here.

 

Consumer Ratings Annotations

Consumer Ratings annotations is an opt-in program that serve the same purpose as seller ratings.

AdWords Extensions Guide Consumer Ratings Example

While not as visually striking as seller ratings, they do get more specific into certain aspects of your business like selection, customer service, and the overall quality of your website.

Google’s recommended setup here.

AdWords App Extensions

If you’re a retailer with an app in the Google Play or Apple App Store, you can drive shoppers there with the App extension.

AdWords Extensions Guide App Example

When you’re talking about AdWords app extensions as they pertain to retail advertisers, you’re probably talking to a small crowd. App extensions (and apps in general) are relatively unexplored territory for even many major retailers.

However, apps give retailers the unique opportunity to remain top-of-mind and find a home where their shoppers spend a huge chunk of their time–their phones.

Clickthroughs on the app link will cost the same as a click-through on your site link, so if you do have an app, it’s worth your time to run a test of the app extension and see if the value of a click-through to download your app is in line with a click-through to your site.

How to Add App Extensions

A couple criteria for app extensions right off the bat:

  • An app that is currently available in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store
  • The package name for your app, which typically looks like the reverse of your store’s domain name (ex. com.retailer.mypackage for a package named mypackage created by the app developer at Retailer.com)
  • Your app store URL

 

1. Add an App

adwords-app-extensions-add-new

2. Fill Out Your App Info

adwords-app-extensions-info

After saving, the app extension should take a little bit of time to verify.

If you know your app is even more functional than your mobile site and has great ratings, then you can feel confident in prioritizing your app extension over others when it comes to mobile devices.

The opportunity to live on a consumer’s phone is too great to pass up, especially if you’ve already sunk a lot of time and resources into your app.

Of course, if after a month or so the historical data doesn’t support you continue showing the app extension, it’s probably better to prioritize a different ad extension instead.

Google’s recommended setup here.

 

AdWords Location Extensions

Location extensions are practically a necessity for retailers with B&M locations, as they help shoppers to find your nearby store location and can also cite the store location’s number:

If you’re a web-only retailer, then AdWords location extensions don’t really apply to you. The main function of a location extension is that they communicate:

  • The location of your closest B&M store
  • Your store phone number

The feature can be integrated at the account, campaign, or ad group level and also be filtered to only show for certain devices: all, desktop/tablet, or phone only.

Google’s claim is that “Location extensions see a 10% boost in click-through rate.”

The key to location extensions, however, are the insights that they provide to the Search advertiser. Depending on how many stores you have, it’s huge that you filter locations by following historic performance in order to limit wasted ad spend and identify new opportunities.

Location extensions are essential additions to your Search campaigns for identifying:

  • The offline impact of online campaigns: How well are your ads driving foot traffic?
  • Optimal geo-targets for paid campaigns: What areas/regions are driving the most conversions / wasted clicks for you?
  • Actionable steps for improving localized campaign performance: What changes can you make to your campaigns to increase ROI?

 

You’ll need a Google My Business (formerly Google Places) account to integrate your store information with your ads.

How to Add Location Extensions

Assuming you’ve already set up your free Google My Business account, the first step is to link that account with your AdWords account.

1. Link AdWords and Google My Business

adwords-location-extensions-add-google-my-business-account

Pro-Tip: We recommend you apply location extensions at the campaign level. Given that you’re breaking out your different physical store locations out by campaign (i.e. a campaign for Walmart San Diego and a separate campaign for Walmart Orange County), you can apply your location extension to each and add filters so that the address shown for your ads only is only for the campaign’s store location.

2. Filter Locations

After filtering store locations to match your campaigns, what you end up with might look something like this:

AdWords Extensions Geotargeting Filter Locations

3. Geo-targeting: Modifying Bids Based Off Location Performance

Once you’ve collected 30-45 days of geo-data, you can start making informed decisions on how to bid differently on your ads. You can head to the Settings tab > Locations and add locations/view performance from there.

adwords-location-extensions-modify-bids-geotarget

The reality is that geo-targeting can be a very complex task in terms of following data (in both AdWords and Google My Business) and consistently modifying bids from there.

Starting at the state level, you can move into cities, zip codes, and ultimately radius zones to certain hot spots of your shoppers.

Google’s recommended setup here.

 

AdWords Promotion Extensions

Google was beta testing promotion extensions back in 2016, and since then, many advertisers have gotten access. Here’s what a promotion extension looks like:

Notice there are actually dates for how long the promotion is valid. This extension is still not featured on Google’s AdWords site, as it’s still in beta and Google hasn’t rolled it out to all accounts.

If you’ve applied for Promotion extensions and would like see if your account is eligible, you can access the feature in the “Labs” section of AdWords.

 

AdWords Callout Extensions

AdWords ads with Callout extensions can appear at the top or bottom of the Google SERP, and are separated by bullets. Chewy uses the terms “Amazing Prices” and “Satisfaction Agreed” below:

AdWords Extensions Callout Example

Callout extensions give viewers an at-a-glance view of what makes your brand appealing. In addition, you can rewrite Callouts to reflect sales and more, all without changing the performance metrics.

Google’s recommended setup here.

 

AdWords Message Extensions

AdWords message extensions started rolling out in 2016, and is yet another way to reach and convert your mobile audience. Here’s an example:

AdWords Extensions Message Example

Once the viewer clicks the “Message” extension button, they will have the ability to text your brand (assuming their phone has that capability).

Advertisers can create a pre-written text message, and it’s a great way to kick off communication and offer help to push the buyer along in their purchase journey.

Google’s recommended setup here.

 

AdWords Structured Snippet Extensions

Upon their initial introduction, Structured Snippets were dynamic automated extensions.

While the performance was promising, advertisers had little control over an ad’s Structured Snippets copy.

Google has since changed the facilitation of structured snippets, giving advertisers more control.

structured snippets

Information in structured snippets are no longer left to being automatically populated, and instead, display the ad copy you believe to be most valuable for shoppers and your brand. This will let you highlight the main features of your product or service exactly how you want them to be displayed.

The Composition of Structured Snippets

Structured snippets only account for one line of copy in an entire text ad, but are actually made up of a few different components; the major components being the header and values.

A new structured snippet is comprised of the following main pieces:

  • Header: the header is the snippet type that best reflects a category, feature, service, or product that your business offers.
  • Values: custom copy that allows you to list at least 3 features, services, or products related to your header. Each item is limited to 25 characters.
  • Device: here, you have the ability to select mobile as a preference. Choosing “Mobile” will indicate that your ad or extension is optimized for mobile devices.
  • Scheduling options: Scheduling controls the days of week and times of day that your extension can run alongside your ad.

 

Of course, not every option is going to be viable for or relevant to all businesses and only one header can be chosen per snippet.

As a result, it’s important to choose a suitable header option that best highlights your product or service offerings, or otherwise aligns with your overall campaign.

Custom values need to include, at least, three descriptions and can include as many as 10. Each value is limited to 25 characters, so they should be brief and to the point.

 

 

Implementing Structured Snippets Into Your Ads

Incorporating structured snippets into an ad is far from being an arduous process and is really only a few steps of initial setup. From there, once your structured snippets have been approved, you’ll be able to leave them running or edit them as needed.

After accessing your account in Adwords, setting up your structured snippets can be done through the following steps:

  1. Choose the campaign or ad group you’d like to add structured snippets to, or stay at the “All campaigns” level to to edit an account level structured snippet.
  2. Click the Ad extensions tab.
  3. From the View: drop-down menu, choose Structured snippet extensions.
  4. Click +Extension, then click +New structured snippet.
  5. Choose a language and then a header from the drop-down menus. This header will be shown in front of the values (snippets) you enter.
  6. Enter at least 3 values. These values should be specific items or attributes that match the header category.
  7. Hit Save and you’re done!

Examples of Structured Snippets

Structured snippets only encompass a small portion of an ad, and how they’re incorporated by businesses will vary dependent on type.

As such, advertisers should look to be flexible and creative in how structured snippets are incorporated. Understanding how you can most effectively showcase your product or brand will likely improve an ad’s conversion efficiency.

Below are a few examples of how structured snippets can be utilized different.

Type Header

structured snippets type

The “Type” header can be used to highlight more than a single product. In a search query for “Nike running shoes”, the company is able to promote other categories from their apparel line without taking too much focus away from the initial search.

Brand Header

structured snippets brands

The “brands” header is ideal for retailers carrying many different lines. In a search for “monitors”, Dell is able to list the different brands available, which shoppers may find useful when looking for comparisons.

Style Header

structured snippets styles

Similar to the previous two, this header option allows advertisers to list off various product types – or in this instance, specific style types.

In any case, how headers are used will be entirely up to you. The best thing to do is find aspects of your product or brand potential customers may find most valuable, and highlight those the most.

The most important thing to note is that structured snippets, despite how small, can be an additional tool for advertisers to utilize when competing with other brands vying for visibility.

“When it comes to relevant text ad real estate on the SERP, more is better” said Adam Harms, Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy.

“Ad extensions are a great way to communicate additional info about a retailer’s product or service offerings.”

I’ve found Structured Snippets are effective on high-funnel search campaigns, since the extension allows me to tell more about what the retailer offers in a succinct, bullet-point format.

For example, let’s say I’m building a campaign for an outdoor furniture retailer. If a user searches something relevant, but non-specific like ‘outdoor furniture,’ we’ll want to show up with an ad from a high-funnel campaign.

We’re not sure what exact type or brand of outdoor furniture the user is looking for. Structured snippets allow us to list the types and brands the retailer offers without using up valuable headline and description space.”

Google’s recommended setup here.

 

AdWords Price Extensions

Price Extensions can work for virtually any company. However, there are a few they will work especially well for including:

1. Price-Competitive Companies

Smaller companies will find that Price Extensions offer them the ability to compete from a price standpoint, particularly if they’re not a well-known brand.

“I like to compare price extensions to sitelinks since these are clickable extensions that can direct to another page on your website. When comparing the two, so far I’ve been seeing price extensions get a higher CTR on the actual extensions than sitelinks,” says Román Fitch, Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy.

“Price Extensions will be great for smaller companies that are competing against larger brands in a space, who are really price-competitive. It’s not always easy to be competitive in text ads, but this will give them the edge,” saysto Meghan Parsons, Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy.

2. Service-Based Companies

It’s worth noting that both of Google’s examples of Price Extensions are based on services—a salon and an auto shop. We predict Price Extensions will be especially valuable for service-based companies.

“If you are a beauty salon, and your Price Extension shows how much you charge for a haircut or color—it gives you much more control over real estate, and helps potential buyers take action sooner because they don’t have to click through to your site,” says Lewis Brannon, Paid Search Manager at CPC Strategy.

 3. Subscription Model Companies

Finally, Brannon and Parsons predict Price Extensions will benefit subscription-models-based companies, as it’s simple to display various price points for subscription packages.

Wondering what else you can get out of Price Extensions? 

Opportunities to Win With Google AdWords Price Extensions

Create Upselling Opportunities

This isn’t just an opportunity to appeal to the thrifty—there may be some searching for better value, even if it costs a little more.

“Say someone is searching for a washing machine. An advertiser’s ad group for washing machines can show a Price Extension for three of my basic washing machines, and potentially, I could add on a bundled washer/dryer deal in one of those slots,” Brannon said.

Take Up Space on the SERP

There’s nothing better than dominating the top of the mobile fold.

“If you’re running upgraded Sitelinks with description lines, the description lines don’t always show, but for Price Extensions, you’ll get those extra 25 characters,” says Fitch.

“Also, you can choose which landing page to drive the traffic to for each item. Sitelinks are the only other clickable extension, so this gives you most links on the SERP that can be clicked, and link to a deeper, more specific page on your site.”

Save Money on Unprofitable Clicks

Are you currently getting a lot of clicks but few conversions? Prices at the SERP level means your audience will be informed before they click.

“If your audience is price conscious and your products are on the expensive side, before Price Extensions, you may get a lot of unprofitable clicks,” Parsons said.

“But if those same customers can see the price before they click on the ad, they will be less likely to click on the ad, and that will save the advertiser money.”

This could also mean better leads for advertisers.

“If price is a barrier to entry for some of your customers because you have higher price points or a luxury item—or your offering is more high end than most of your customers would be interested in—you can immediately improve your lead quality by sharing that information up front,” Brannon said.

Your Google AdWords Price Extension Strategy

1. Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Optimized

This one comes straight from Google: “Price Extensions link to your mobile site, so it’s important to make sure your site is mobile-optimized.”

2. Implement Proper Account Structure First

“Price Extensions should have a positive impact if your account structure is built for it. As an agency, we don’t recommend that advertisers apply one blanket extension at the account level. We would recommend aligning your Price Extensions very closely to the keyword theme at the ad group level,” Brannon said.

Why? Well, if you have multiple ad groups with slightly different themes and variations, you want to apply Price Extensions the group level so you can provide the most specific results for the user.

For instance, if you have an ad group for women’s haircuts, you’d want to provide the most specific prices for that group because you wouldn’t want men’s haircuts to show up for that female searcher.

3. Combine Price Extensions with Other Text Ad Extensions

Price Extensions used in combination with the right extensions will give searchers the best experience and could potentially boost conversions.

“I’m thinking you can leverage Price Extensions with Sitelinks, Callout Extensions, and Call Extensions. The Price Extension allows you to provide several options that you’re price competitive on and drive users to those category or product pages. Sitelinks allow you to try to cross-sell a different category,” Fitch said.

“Callout Extensions allow you highlight specific features of the product you’re bidding on to help sell the product. Lastly, Call Extensions provide users with ways to take action with your business. If you have brick and mortar stores, then I’d recommend adding Location Extensions too so users can find directions to your storefront.”

Cost for Google AdWords Price Extension Ads

Here’s how Google breaks down the cost to run Price Extensions:

  • Cost of a click on a Price Extension equals the cost of a click on the title or display URL of the ad it shows with
  • You’ll be charged the same amount no matter where the user clicks—the ad or the extension.
  • You won’t be charged for more than two clicks per impression.
  • If someone quickly clicks on more than one link while viewing an ad, this may get treated as a duplicate or invalid click and you won’t get charged for the second click.

 

Current Limitations and Key Metrics to Watch

A Drop in CTR

Keep a close eye on your account when you implement Price Extensions, because you could show up less for broad keyword searches.

“If you are used to acquiring traffic through very simple text ads, you could be taking yourself out of the market for potential customers at lower price points, and that could hurt your quality score so Google starts serving you less for those broad searches, like “trips to Tokyo,” says Brannon.

“If I say ‘trips starting from 17,000’ then maybe no one will click on my ad anymore.”

A Lower Quality Score

CTR is a huge part of ad quality score. While you would theoretically improve your lead quality, you could potentially see a drop in your quality score if a large percentage of your current market is price-sensitive.

Pro-tip: The key here isn’t to panic if your CTR or Quality Score drops a bit within a couple days of implementing Price Extensions. Wait up to two weeks to measure results, then change your strategy if necessary.

Limits on Language

Keep in mind that Price Extensions are currently only available in English, so if you cater ads to an international audience, you’re out of luck for now. More languages will be coming soon, so stay tuned.

Update 02/2017: Introducing Price Extensions for Desktop

In February 2017, Google also introduced Price Extensions for Desktop (previously only available on mobile):

AdWords Extensions Guide Price Example

So, should advertisers expect similar results from price extensions on desktop?
“I do anticipate that the results will be more positive,” Eliza Cuevas, Sr. Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy said.

“It’s another feature for retailers to show their pricing for different categories upfront. The retailer (if they have the best pricing) has a big advantage to not only drive more traffic to the site but to see higher CTRs.”

“I’m also wondering if this will open up the doors for shoppers to buy more products and splurge since they have several good deals not just in one area. First thing we know is that desktop converts better than mobile.”

Google’s recommended setup here.

 

Related Posts

 

The Google Shopping Guide: 2017 Edition

Next-Level Implementations in 2017 for Advertisers on Google
 

About the AuthorJon Gregoire is the Director of Demand Generation at CPC Strategy. Jon heads up email marketing, content strategy, co-marketing, and revenue cycle efficiency. A UC San Diego grad, Jon is a Chicago native and full-time San Diego tourist. He enjoys Bear Grylls-like backpacking trips, archery, weekend getaways in Southern California, watching his beloved Chicago Bears, and bidaily coffee consumption. Want to pitch a story? Reach out directly at jon(at)cpcstrategy.com. See all posts by this author here.