Last week, the Google Inside AdWords blog announced a change in how they will display sitelinks, callouts, and snippets on mobile ads, which will take effect at the end of this month.
Building on other AdWords updates such as expanded text ads, Google will simplify and improve their mobile ads with more useful and informative sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets.
This is a win for everyone—Google, advertisers, and searchers.
Now that the majority of Google searches are done on mobile devices1, it’s important to take advantage of improvements to mobile PPC ads.
What are sitelinks?
Sitelinks are additional links in your ad that make it easy for users to choose the link that is most relevant to them — operating hours, location, specific service/product, offers, and more.
Using tappable buttons mobile users have come to expect, searchers are able to dive into deeper, more relevant parts of your website/landing page.
In your AdWords dashboard, you can choose what text displays and which pages get linked to. It’s also easy to update the text and URLs to reflect up-to-date promotions and offers without losing data or performance statistics. Statistics are gathered by campaign, ad group, or ad.
For more information on sitelink extensions, visit Google’s how-to article on sitelink extensions.
On the desktop version of your ad, 2-6 links will display, which may take up one to two lines of your ad.
On the mobile version of your ad, sitelink extension appear in a carousel format, displaying up to 8 links. You are able to optimize your links by creating customized sitelinks for mobile and desktop.
Starting later this month, sitelink extensions on mobile ads will be simplified “by using both horizontal buttons and larger vertical links.”
According to Google internal data, “people are twice as likely to interact with your sitelinks in this new format.”
What are callouts?
Callouts are similar to sitelinks, but they don’t contain links. Callouts are short lines of text that promote unique selling propositions, such upfront pricing, 24/7 service, price matching, and book online.
Callout extensions are different from your regular ad text. 2-6 callouts will display below your ad copy in a variety of ways depending on the search device and other factors.
Keep in mind that you can’t have duplicate text in the callouts. For instance, you can’t have upfront pricing in your ad text and straightforward pricing in a callout—those will be considered repetitive.
This is how callout extensions may appear in the desktop version of your ad:
Callouts appear differently on mobile versions. You can customize your callouts for displaying on different devices. Just like with sitelinks, you can schedule the dates, days of week, or times of day that your callouts are eligible to show.
Before Google’s recent announcement, the callouts appeared below your ad. Now, callouts will appear in-line with the ad in paragraph form.
According to Google internal data, people find this new formatting to be more informative and engaging. The new format also allows you to show more of your callouts and structured snippets in the ad.
This new format gives you more room in your mobile ads for callouts and snippets. It makes sense to include this information into the heart of the ad. Although Google has experimented with swipable formats in the past, searchers cannot scroll through these extensions.
What are structured snippets?
Structured snippets highlight specific aspects of your business, such as services, products, amenities, neighborhoods, types, and more. They show up underneath your main ad text in the form of a header followed by a colon.
Snippets allow searchers to see additional information about your business without having to click on the ad. Internal data has shown that structured snippets increase your ads’ relevance and click-through rates, improving your return on investment.
Up to 2 predefined headers will display on computers while only 1 will show on mobile devices. AdWords uses an algorithm to display the best headers, which is why they recommend adding as many relevant headers as you can.
Here is the list of available headers:
- Degree programs
- Featured hotels
- Insurance coverage
- Service catalog
Here is how a structured snippet may display on your ad:
Visit Use Structured Snippets to learn more.
Callouts and structured snippets now appear in-line with the ad copy. This allows more text to be displayed in the ad itself.
Unlike sitelinks, however, searchers cannot scroll through callouts and structured snippets. They appear as text only. Although Google has experimented with swipable formats in the past, this new update makes it so callouts and snippets can’t be interacted with, and they won’t appear outside the main ad paragraph.
About Ad Extensions
Ad extensions help increase ad performance by adding useful information and more reasons to choose your business and click on your ad. They almost always help you increase your ads’ click-through-rates. In addition to sitelinks, callouts, and snippets, you can add things like call buttons, location information, and more.
Using ad extensions not only helps increase click-through rates and conversions, they also factor into your Ad Rank, helping raise your position in search results.
Follow these best practices when enabling ad extensions:
- Use all ad extensions that make sense for your business.
- Control cost-per-click with bids; don’t remove extensions.
- Make ad extensions as high-quality as possible.
More extensions = more visibility and prominence in search results = increased bottom line.
Extensions also prove more ways for your customers to interact with your ad—such as with location and call extensions. This is generally value added for the customer.
Manual v Automatic Extensions
Most extensions require some sort of set-up on your part. These are called manual extensions. Some extensions, however, are systematically added by Google. These are called automatic extensions. These automated extensions require no set-up on your end. Learn more about automatic extensions.
Ad Extension Costs
It does not cost anything extra to add extensions to your ads. Keep in mind that clicks on interactive extensions aren’t free. They count as regular clicks on your ad and will be charged as usual. When users click on other extensions, however, such as review extensions or seller ratings, you will not be charged anything. Additionally, AdWords charges no more than 2 clicks per ad impression.
When Do Extensions Show?
It’s important to know that just adding an extension won’t necessarily guarantee that it will display.
In order for extensions to show:
- The extensions (or combination of extensions) is predicted to improve your performance.
- Your ad’s position and Ad Rank is high enough for extensions to show. To show extensions, AdWords requires a minimum Ad Rank (Ad Tank calculations factor in your extensions).
To learn more about the different ad extensions available to you, visit Select Extensions to Use.
Google AdWords’ latest update to mobile ad extensions gives you more room in your mobile ads for sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets. It makes sense to take advantage of this new format so you can include more information into the heart of your PPC ads.
Contact VitalStorm to get started with AdWords Extensions