Digital Advertising

Google Ads Extensions: What they are and How to Use them

What are Google Ads extensions (now ex-Google AdWords)?
Extensions are elements that can appear together with a text ad in the snake. As we know, text ads are composed of 3 titles of 30 characters each and 2 descriptions of 90 characters each. The information that can be conveyed to the user to whom our ads will appear is therefore limited.
For this reason, Google comes to meet us by making these very useful elements available.
The Google Ads extensions are therefore designed to add information to the ad, information that could hardly be included in the ad itself.
A direct consequence of their use is a consequent increase in CTR, why? Simply because their use increases the probability that a user clicks on our ad.
This is because every time an ad appears with extensions, it will take up more space in the SERP, occupying more space you will be able to have more visibility than competitors.
In a space where usually 4 different ads would enter, ours and the competitors’, in this case we would be able to make appear only ours and at most one more (as you can easily see from the image below: in yellow the ad and in red some extensions published).

There are different types of extensions: Sitelink, Callout, Structural Snippet, Call, Location, Message, Price, Promotion and App.

Before going to delve into all the extensions that Google Ads makes available to us, we should make a small clarification on when and how they appear.

The Official Guide of Google Ads that says so comes to our aid:

“The addition of an extension does not guarantee that it will always appear with the ad. Extensions are displayed with the ad when:

It is expected that the extension (or combination of extensions) will improve performance.

The position and ranking of the ad is high enough to allow extensions to be published. To display extensions, Google Ads requires a minimum ad ranking. The calculations for the ad ranking take the extensions into account”.

So it is the platform that chooses when to publish an extension, based on each individual search if it expects it to increase the ad performance.
It should also be emphasized that extensions will positively influence the ranking of the ad.

A piece of further useful information is that all extensions have advanced settings in which it is possible to optimize them for smartphones, set a duration or specific times of publication. Let’s see now specifically the different extensions.

Sitelinks are clickable extensions, i.e. they are elements composed of a target url, 1 title of 25 characters and 2 descriptions of 35 characters each.
Through this extension, we have the possibility to convey the user to specific pages of our site, in addition to the main page of the ad: the offer page, the contact page or for example the subcategories of the site.

Sitelinks, like all other extensions, can be placed at the account, campaign or more in the specific ad group.
Also in this case the official Google Ads guide comes to our aid suggesting what is the minimum number of Sitelinks to set to activate the publication. The minimum suggested is 2 but an ad can be published with a maximum number of Sitelinks that depend on the device on which the user is searching.
If the device is a computer, the ad may appear related to a maximum number of 6 Sitelinks, which becomes 8 in the case of smartphones or tablets and may appear all on one line, on two or more lines in the case of mobile devices.

The platform in this case will not only have the discretion on the publication of the extension but also on its entirety. In fact, the extension in question could appear intact or with only the title (thus cutting the descriptions). Here below, in red, 4 examples of Sitelinks complete with descriptions.

Callout

Callout extensions are similar to Sitelinks, but without the target link and therefore not clickable.
With this type of extension, Google gives you the opportunity to add additional information to your ad to highlight the unique values of the products or services you are advertising.
An ad can appear with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 related Callouts.
Each Callout can have a maximum of 25 characters.
The fact that the maximum number of Callouts that can be displayed is 4 does not prevent us from creating more Callouts to see which ones perform best.
Inserting a Callout, as for the rest of the extensions, does not have a cost, obviously being in the PPC area the only costs that have to be faced are every time a user clicks on the ad.

Visually it is not very easy to recognize the Callouts as they appear as a continuation of the two descriptions. See the picture below.

A few small suggestions on their use

  • Two Callouts with the same text cannot be used (duplicate Callouts)
  • Callout text must be suitable for minors
  • No deceptive symbols or emoticons may be used

Structural Snippets

This type of extension is very similar to Callouts. Also the Structural Snippets are not clickable and have as primary function to provide additional information to the ad. So what is different from Callouts?
While in callouts you have full freedom in the information that you want to add in this case instead Google Ads provides a list of categories that you can enter.
When creating these extensions you must initially choose the language and then the type of header, you will find 12 categories pre-selected by Google.

Once you have chosen the header type, you will need to enter a series of values consistent with the chosen type.

Do you advertise a school that organizes specialized courses? You will choose the type “Courses” and for each value, you can enter the names or types of different courses.
Do you advertise e-commerce? The two types “Brands” and “Models” will probably suit you.

Each value has 25 as the maximum number of characters you can enter and, as mentioned above, the values must be consistent with the chosen header. This is because Google may not publish the extension if it does not recognize its consistency.

Below is an example of how this extension appears.

Call Extensions

We have a club and we accept reservations by phone call? Or do we have a company where probably the easiest way to get in touch with the customer is to be called?
Google Ads also in this case comes to us. With the Call extension, it is possible to add a special button to the ad that allows the user to make a call to our business with a single click.

This extension is very easy to use. At the moment of its creation, it is enough to choose the country where the phone number belongs and enter the number to use.

Its simplicity is also evident in call tracking. By activating the “Call Tracking” option Google, through the use of a fictitious referral number that will replace the real number, is able to count the call and insert it in the “Conversions” column.
Will the conversion be counted every time the phone number is clicked? The answer is no. In fact, if you go to the Conversions settings and select the conversion related to calls from the call extensions you will be able to choose the minimum number of seconds of call duration needed to trigger the conversion.

Message Extensions

Message extensions offer the possibility to send an SMS with one click directly to the SERP. In addition, Google Ads offers the possibility to insert a standard text, so the user, clicking on the extension, will only have to press send to a message already written. As for the CPC, in this case, will be the same as if the user had clicked on the ad.

In the setting phase you have to insert five elements:

  1. the country referred to the phone number (this as for the call extension is necessary to associate the right international prefix)
  2. Phone number
  3. Name of the business (25 characters)
  4. The text that will be displayed below the ad (in simple terms an invitation to custom action) – (35 Characters)
  5. The default message you want to insert to simplify the operation for the user (100 Characters)

Locations Extensions

With the location extensions, you have the possibility to add information about the address or addresses of our business to your ad. A map may appear below the ad to reach the location or distance from your activity. The extension is clickable and once you click on it, it will take you directly to the activity tab on Google Maps. In some cases, this extension may also include the phone number or button to make the call directly.

The location extension can also be used for display ads.

This extension differs from the others in that you cannot build it to your liking. You must have a My Business card in order to use it. If the Google account you are using is the same owner of the My Business card when you set up the extension you will be suggested the location to use. Otherwise, there are two ways to find and connect a My Business account without owning it:

  1. You can use the section “Find an account”, in this case just enter the url of the site and the country of the location and automatically will be suggested the various accounts available (see screenshot)

2. The other method is to select “Connect an account whose address I know”, in this case just enter the email address of the owner of the My Business tab under “Request access to another Google My Business account” and the platform will send an invitation that the owner must accept. (see screenshot)

The My Business account link can take up to one day from the time of the request.

Price Extensions

Price extensions are clickable elements through which information about the price of one or more specific products can be added to an ad.
This type of extension is published, like the rest of the extensions, just below the ad that accompanies it. An ad can be published with a maximum of 8 price extensions consisting of small boxes consisting of:

  1. Title (25 Characters)
  2. Price (which of course can be expressed in any currency)
  3. Description (25 Characters)

At the time of their setting there are more discretionary variables to make these extensions as useful, functional and consistent as possible with the activity and products that are being advertised.

The first variable you can choose is the type that can be:

  • Brand
  • Events
  • Location
  • Neighborhood
  • Product category
  • Product levels
  • Category of services
  • Service levels
  • Services

The second variable to choose is the price qualifier, this can be of three types:

  • From
  • Until
  • On average

The last variable refers to the price unit. This is mainly thought about services (e.g. hotels, rentals, co-working spaces, etc.).
The typologies are these:

  • No Unit
  • Per hour
  • Per day
  • Per week
  • Per month
  • Per year
  • Per night

App Extensions

In case you have an App or in the Android or Ios store, through this extension you can connect an ad directly to the application in order to facilitate its download on a Smartphone or Tablet.

In order to connect it, you must have two elements:

  • The package name (Android) or the ID of your mobile app (iOS)
  • The URL of the page in the store where users can get more information about the app or click to install it.

Once entered you can activate this extension.

Promotion Extensions

The promotion extensions, like all the others before, are shown below the text ads. Depending on the device, the way they are displayed changes. On Smartphones, they have a price tag icon while on the desktop they have the highlighted word “Offer”.

Also in this case you do not face any kind of cost by adding them, the only cost will be faced at the moment of the click, the same in case of clicking on an ad.
Also in this case, as in the case of price extensions, there are several variables to set to customize the offer and make it consistent with the period or occasion.

  • Occasion
  • Promotion Type
  • Promotion Details

Opportunity

As the term itself says, with ” Opportunity” you can choose the reason for the promotion. In a simple drop-down menu you have the possibility to choose the right holiday for your promotion.
Apart from very few types, for example seasonal sales, for all other holidays there are fixed dates within which you can use the extension. So it will be impossible to use the promotion for Black Friday in January, but you can only use it between October 15th and December 15th.
Any dates that limit its use are visible when you select one of the Occasions.

Promotion Type

With this setting you can choose the type of promotion, to make it as truthful as possible. The screenshot shows that the type of promotion can be of 4 types:

  • Monetary discount
  • Percentage of discount
  • Discount up to a certain amount
  • Discount up to a certain percentage
  • Promotion Details

The last option to customize the Promotion extension is “Promotion Details”. Here the options are 2:

  • For orders over
  • Promotional code

With the second option, there is the possibility to have a real discount code appear in the ad which can then be used. This option can be very convenient to further evaluate the real results of the advertising campaign. Creating an ad hoc discount code will provide valuable feedback for those who are advertising a service or product.

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