April 6, 2020

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Google Ads ad extensions: what they are and how to use

What is google ads ad extensions

As far as you are concerned, Google is interested in making your campaigns successful. And ad extensions are proof of that.

Do you know why?

By investing in resources that improve the performance of their campaigns, both sides win.

You can increase traffic to your pages, offer a product or service to potentially interested people and, consequently, attract new customers.

And on the Google side. Providing quality service to advertisers, entrepreneurs like you, keeps these people investing more money.

That is why this platform spares no effort to find new ways to improve the performance of its campaigns.

This is a fact.

And one of those ways, which I will tell you about in this article, is completely free, you don’t need to pay anything extra to use it.

The only thing is that you need to do your part. That is, you have to know how to use the resource and put it into practice.

And that’s exactly what I’m going to show you here. In the next lines you will see:

  • what ad extensions are;
  • how they work;
  • why you should use them;
  • types of extensions;
  • and how to insert them.

So, let’s go?!

What are ad extensions?

You may have noticed that some sponsored links that appear alongside organic search results have completely different elements from each other.

There are ads with the option to call the company, others already show the price of the product right away, or else there are a series of additional links that redirect you to specific parts of a website.

These are all ad extensions.

This Google Ads feature allows you to expand your sponsored link with additional relevant information to get more attention from your audience and provide extra reasons for people to click on your ad.

But how do extensions work in practice? How much do you need to pay for them? This is what I explain to you now.

How do ad extensions work?

Anyone who creates a campaign on Google Ads can enter extensions.

They are available both during the ad setup stage and after the ad is already running.

That is, if you have, for example, sponsored links active at the moment, you can log into your Ads account and make this optimization.

The thing is, there are several types of extensions (which I will explain to you what they are) and not all of them appear when your ads are shown to users.

Google uses some criteria to define when extensions will show and that’s what I’m going to talk about now.

When are ad extensions showing?

The selection of which and when the extensions will appear is based on the individual search of each Google user.

The tool only displays this feature when it’s likely to help the person you’re searching for and also improve your ad’s performance.

In addition, two other factors that directly impact the exposure or not of extensions are your ad’s position and quality score.

For example, sponsored links that are closer to the top usually show more additional information than those that are closer to the bottom of the page.

So, it doesn’t do much good to include several extensions if the quality of your campaign is not good.

That is if it is not aligned with its target audience if the landing page to which the user is redirected after clicking on the link does not respect Google policies…

If you add extensions and they aren’t showing, assess how well your campaign is doing and what optimizations you can make to improve it.

But is…

How much does it cost to add ad extensions?

As I told you at the beginning of this article, this is a 100% free resource. You do not pay anything more to use it.

Which is a big favor that Google does for your business?

Because in addition to displaying additional information to increase the performance of your ad, it still doesn’t charge anything more for it.

The only thing is that you will pay for the click on the extension normally, just as you would for the click on the ad title or URL.

The CPC (cost per click) of the two is the same.

Now, in addition to being a free feature, this is not the only reason you should use it.

Why should you use ad extensions?

Ad extensions add additional information, which makes the sponsored link with this active feature occupy a larger portion of the page.

This increases the visibility of the ad because, in addition to being in a prominent position, it also draws attention with extra information.

The consequence of this is usually an increase in the click-through rate by several percentage points, as Google itself claims.

That is, you are able to attract more visitors to your page and the result can be a higher number of conversions than you already have.

Are you curious to find out how to include this feature in your ads?

Hold on, because first I need to explain to you what is the…

Types of Google Ads ad extensions

There are two general types of extensions: manual and automatic.

The manuals are the ones you need to log into your Google Ads account, add and make all the settings.

The automatic ones are the ones that Google creates based on the information in your ad and on your page when it is likely that this will increase your ad’s performance.

That is, they are not always included automatically.

In the next lines, first, I will explain to you exactly what each extension is for and then I will give you a list of those that can be added automatically.

Look that:

# 1 Location extensions

If your goal with an ad is to attract customers to your physical store, this extension is right for you.

It displays the address, map or distance from where the person is to your store, according to the type of device they are using to do the search (computer or cell phone).

In addition, when clicking on the extension the user is taken to a page with details such as opening hours and telephone.

# 2 Affiliate location extensions

The location extension is ideal for when you sell your product yourself.

Now, if you only produce and distribute to other businesses to resell, then you should use the affiliate site extension.

For example, I have a friend who makes clothes for the gym, but her brand does not serve retail.

What she has are partnerships with sportswear stores, where her products are resold.

In such cases, when the affiliate location extension is enabled, people will find with the ad the address or map (depending on the type of device) of the nearest store that sells the product.

# 3 Callout extensions

This type of extension serves to highlight the strengths of your company, offer or product in a nutshell, for example, “free shipping”, “24-hour customer service”.

The phrases are separated by periods and displayed on a single line on computers, as in the image below:

And on smartphones and tablets, they appear divided by paragraphs.

You can place up to 10 callouts and the amount displayed will depend on factors such as the browser and the device used.

In addition, it is possible to configure which are the dates, days of the week or times that the highlighted phrases will appear.

# 4 Call extensions

I don’t know if you know, but trying to include a phone number in your ad text can cause it to be blocked.

So, if one of your goals is for potential customers to contact your business, you should use call extensions.

They display your company’s phone number when accessing from computers or a button to place a call if the user is on a smartphone.

In addition, you can define the times when the extension will be active so that people can contact you only during the hours of operation of your business or while there are people available to attend.

And one thing you need to know is that when someone clicks the button and makes a call it is equivalent to a click, so the CPC is charged normally.

# 5 Message extensions

Another way to enable potential customers to contact your business is through message extensions.

This type works exclusively on cell phones because when the user clicks the send message button, the SMS application automatically opens with a text previously created by you.

The user only needs to click on the Send button to initiate the contact.

In addition, you can also define a standard reply message that will be sent to anyone who sends you an SMS.

One of the advantages of this extension is that you can configure how it will be received: on a cell phone of your company or by email.

If you choose the second option, Google Ads makes available a number where people send SMS and forwards everything to your inbox.

When you reply to the email, it is converted into a text message and sent to the cell phone of the person who contacted you.

As with the call extension, then click on the message button is charged at the ad’s normal CPC.

# 6 Sitelink extensions

Sitelink extensions are meant to provide options for specific pages or sections of your site for the user to access.

So, those who are interested in your ad can go straight to the information they would like to know.

In order for your sitelinks to appear with your ad, in addition to having to respect those conditions that I already explained in this article, you also need to have at least two such extensions configured.

That is, you need to define at least two-page options in addition to your sponsored link’s landing page.

Another thing is that you can configure the dates, days of the week or times when the extension will be active.

It is also worth remembering that the click on any of the sitelinks normally counts for CPC billing purposes.

# 7 Structured snippet extensions

Also known as structured snippets, extensions of this type look like this:

And they work as follows.

Google Ads has a list of predefined headers, such as “brands”, “courses”, “destinations” and “services”, which you can choose from and include related items that your business offers.

For example, imagine that you have a business’s niche food and weight loss and sell online courses on the subject.

You could use the heading “courses” and include items such as intermittent fasting, ketogenic diet, weight loss nutrition, weight loss DNA.

It is important, when defining the header and items, to take care that they are related and belong to the same category, otherwise, your extension may be disapproved by Google.

In addition, it is the ad platform itself that decides whether and which headers to display.

So ideally, you should place as many headings as possible that are relevant to your business.

That way Google is more likely to find something that matches the user’s search.

# 8 Price extensions

If your main goal is to sell a product or service, price extensions may be just what you need to increase the number of conversions for your ad.

As the price, the brand and the description of the product are already on display, generally, who clicks is someone who is in the final stages of the customer’s journey and most likely to make the purchase.

That is, the chances are that either the person will become a customer, or he wants to know more details like payment methods and details of the product or service before making a decision.

You can insert up to 8 cards, that is, 8 products or services per extension and when someone clicks on them they will be redirected directly to the specific page of what you are selling.

# 9 Application extensions

If in addition to publicizing your business or offer, you also want to encourage the download of your application, this type of extension is here just for that.

Important detail: it is not aimed at campaigns with the main objective of downloading the app, for that it has a specific goal setting that you must do.

This extension exists for you to give the user the option to connect with you through your website or using an app.

One of the most interesting things is that Google has an intelligent detection system. Then, it sends the user who clicks directly to the app store of the operating system of his cell phone or tablet.

And if you haven’t set up an extension for the App Store specific to that person’s device, your ad will not display this additional information.

So, there is no risk that the user will be disappointed by clicking on a link that will take them to something that is unavailable.

# 10 Promotion extensions

As the name says, this type of extension serves to highlight the promotions that are happening in your business.

Google has a list of special events, like Christmas, New Year, Mother’s Day, which are active at specific times during the year and you can create offers for them.

When configuring the extension, you select whether to show the monetary value or percentage of the discount and can include the promotion requirements such as the use of a coupon or minimum order limit.

The end result looks something like this example:

# 11 Lead form extensions (Beta)

This last extension is still in the testing phase, so it may be that Google keeps it or decides to remove it from the platform.

But it is still worth mentioning here, as it may become something definitive.

The lead form works as follows.

You set up a CTA (call to action) according to the options that Ads offers. Some of them are: learn more, ask for a quote, sign up.

And when the user clicks, it will open a form where they can leave contact details, such as email and phone number to become a lead.

Google Ads stores this information for only 30 days. So, it is important that you often log into your account and download them.

After knowing more about all types, it’s time to see…

What are automatic ad extensions?

As I told you, some extensions you need to manually configure in order for them to be activated.

Others Google Ads can automatically do for you if the platform understands that this is likely to increase your ad’s performance.

The types of automatic extensions are:

  • call;
  • posts;
  • sitelink;
  • structured snippets;
  • place;
  • callouts;
  • and seller rating.

The latter is not possible to configure manually.

What happens is that Google aggregates reviews from trusted sources about companies and displays a rating of up to 5 stars, when the brand has at least a rating of 3.5.

How to enter Google Ads ad extensions

Now that you know all the types of extensions available on Google Ads and know which ones the platform can add to your ads automatically, I will explain the step-by-step to insert manually.

It is a very simple process.

The first thing you need to do, even before opening Google Ads, is to decide which extensions are relevant to your goal.

Think of additional information that will help the user to decide to buy a product or service or to contact your company.

Once you’ve set this up, it’s time to open your Google Ads account to get your hands dirty.

Step 1 – Select the campaign or ad group you want to add to the extension

You can add extensions at the account, campaign, or ad set level.

This means that if you place, for example, an account-level call extension, it will affect all of your campaigns and ad sets.

If it’s at the campaign level, all ad sets that are part of it will get the extension.

If there is the same type at different levels, Google chooses the one that is more specific.

That is, if you have a message extension for the campaign and one for the ad set, the ad set will appear.

When entering Ads, you must choose the campaign or set of ads where you would like to add additional information by clicking on it.

Step 2 – Click on ads and extensions

In the left side menu, click the Ads and extensions option.

The screen that will open is divided into three tabs: ads, extensions and automatic extensions.

In the automatic extensions part, you can see which ones Google has activated in your ads and you can also exclude any of them if it is not in your interest to maintain.

But since the focus here is to explain how to insert the manuals, you must click on the Extensions tab.

Step 3 – Add and configure the extension

Click on the + that appears just below the tab options.

And select the type of extension you want to add.

Then just fill in the information that Google asks for according to the type you chose and click Save.

Ready! Now it’s waiting for approval so that your new extension can run alongside your campaigns.😀

what happens after a potential customer clicks on your ad?

So far you’ve seen how to get potential customers’ attention with additional information to increase the chances of getting more clicks for your ads.

But just as important as having a high click-through rate, it happens after the user takes action.

Which page is he redirected to?

The ideal place is a landing page completely optimized for the conversion you want, be it a sale or lead capture.

Conclusion

In this article, you’ve seen why ad extensions are proof that Google is just as interested in improving the performance of your campaigns as you are.

This feature serves to add extra information to your ads in order to attract more attention from potential customers and thus gain more clicks.

Extensions can be manual (you need to insert them yourself) or automatic (Google itself does this when it believes it will improve campaign performance).

You’ve also seen the 11 types of extensions, such as location, call, promotion, and app.

And finally, I showed you the step by step to use this feature.

Have you ever heard of ad extensions? What did you think of this article? Tell me here in the comments, I would love to know!😉