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What Google Ad Extensions Mean for Your Business

Posted in Strategy & Analytics on December 31st 2013
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Project Manager

There’s a new Google Ad Rank algorithm in town. And if you’re a business owner who’s investing on a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, it’s worth noting how the new changes will affect the effectiveness of your ads and campaign.

First, let’s review how the old Ad Rank used to work. In the past, Google determined your ad’s position in the search results pages based on two factors:

  1. Maximum CPC Bid — the maximum dollar amount you have agreed to pay every time a user clicks on your ad.
  2. Quality Score — Google’s rating of your ad depending on its relevance and usefulness to a user, as well the click-through rate, and the quality of the ad’s landing page on your website. With the new algorithm in place, Google adds two new factors: Ad Extensions **and Formats.**

These are being considered in an effort to improve user experience.

What are Ad Extensions?

Ad Extensions, as their name implies, are additional details and links that extend the information in an ad. Those extensions are displayed under different formats.

Users are more likely to click and interact with an ad when this additional information is presented right away. What kind of information? It could be sitelinks (additional links to other pages in your website), phone numbers, map directions, trusted reviews of your product or service, among others.

Obviously, **ad extensions are just simple tweaks **designed to make everyone’s life easier.

  • For visitors/prospective customers: They can easily find what they’re looking for because the needed info is within a click of a button.
  • _For business owners: _Their business grows because more people are encouraged to click their ads, which can lead to sales. In short, their PPC campaign leads to better ROI.
  • _For Google: _More clicks on an ad mean more money.

Kinds of Ad Extensions for Your Online Ads

Sitelinks Extensions Promote additional landing pages of your website, other than your main landing page.

Call Extension Give users a handy click-to-call button to talk to you right away.

Location Extension Show your business’s address and branches, as well as map directions for getting there.

Review Extension Show positive reviews of your business from verified sources.

Social Annotation Display how many Google+ followers your business has.

Seller Ratings Show the quality of your online business product(s) or service(s), in a scale of one to five stars. This depends on customer reviews and other verified sources.

App Extensions Provide a link to your business’s mobile or tablet app, so users will be encouraged to download and use them.

Previous Visit Annotations Tell people if they’ve already clicked to your website through your ad.

Why and How to Set Up Ad Extensions for Your Online Ads Now

From now on, Google insists that your online business ad use ad extensions because it will favor those ads instead of the regular ones not using them.

As a matter of fact, Google declares:

[...] If two competing ads have the same bid and quality, the ad with the more positive expected impact from extensions will generally appear in a higher ad position than the other.

Fortunately, the above-mentioned extensions are free to set up. This is both for business owners using pay-per-click ads for the first-time as well as those who have existing PPC campaigns.

Business owners who want to increase both ad performance and Ad Rank of their online ads will surely benefit from ad extensions. But take note: they don’t always guarantee a high Ad Rank. Google, of course, still puts a lot of weight on the relevance of your ad to the user’s search query.

In any case, you have to act fast because your competitors might already be using ad extensions and have already been placed by Google on the top of the results pages.

Read more info on ad extensions Google itself.