Google AdWords can be a beast of a software – with all of the settings, menus, sub-menus and options, it can drive the average business owner a bit crazy.
Most of the time, when I’m auditing paid search accounts, I find that most people who setup ad accounts don’t take advantage of the different ad extensions that Google offers.
This is typically the area where I make the biggest dent in an account quickly — adding relevant ad extensions boosts click through rates, ad rank and conversions across the board.
However, digging through the Google AdWords extensions tab can take awhile to setup the best way possible. Below is my quick-start guide on how to setup PPC ad extensions in the quickest yet most effectively way possible.
The holy grail of higher click through rates.
If you have 25 minutes, add sitelinks first.
Simply put, sitelinks are the best way to quickly add relevant landing page links to your ads that will get more clicks. They’re simple to add – increase the size of your ad and drive higher clicks. On smaller websites, you may only be working with a handful or two of pages – it’s possible you’ll be adding every page to the sitelink tab. On larger sites, categorize the pages per campaign or ad group.
My best practices for adding sitelinks:
- Fill up the character count – longer sitelinks means you’re more likely to “stack up”.
- Link to your top organic landing pages – users are already telling you what they want through your SEO efforts
- Add in more than you think you’ll need – Google will rotate sitelinks for maximum impact
- View the “this extension vs other” report in AdWords to learn your top-performing sitelinks
- Adding in the longer descriptions sadly only helps on branded search – you can likely skip this for now.
The social extension is great for showing social proof. It shows up when you have over 100 Google+ followers.
Sadly, this particular extension is automated. After you’ve linked up the AdWords account the right way to your Google account, you’ll need 100 followers or more for it to potentially show up. Given the current state of Google+, it’s not easy to get with smaller businesses. Work this one towards the bottom of your extension-priority list.
For local intent searches, location extensions are probably the single most important extension. To link these up, you’ll need to tie your Google AdWords account to your Google Business listing. After that, it’s just a matter of syncing up your location data.
Call extensions can be more important if you field a lot of calls from customers looking to ask questions – depending on your industry, this could be vitally important or not needed.
Today, you’ll have to verify your phone number to make sure it’s accurate. From there, Google offers the ability to add in a forwarding number from the search results page to track how many customers call from that area. I recommend you do this to allow for better ad tracking ability if you cannot afford call tracking software.
Only helpful if you have a mobile app. If you do, it’s as easy as searching for your app store link and pasting it into the field. On the handful of accounts I do work on that have apps, I select the mobile-only option for app extensions.
To show off your social proof even more, Google introduced review extensions. If you’re like the majority of businesses, you won’t have a third-party review platform out that that Google will accept by default. In this case, use your BBB.org listing and use either the rating of the business or the year started as the review snippet. I picked up this tip on #ppcchat on Twitter (I wish I could remember who shared it) and it’s proved to be very valuable.
I’ve previously shared by huge swipe file of a huge list of callout extension examples, and I’ll stick by what I talked about then – callouts boost click though rates.
Adding these is very straightforward – there is almost no extra information you’ll need other than just entering in your businesses’ unique selling points. I’ve found that maxing out the number of extensions is helpful as Google will rotate and test out what works. Often times, you’ll add what you think are great callout extensions only to have Google show them two times over the course of month.