Over the next few days, we’re going to talk about AdWords ad extensions and we’ll cover what they do and when to use them. Keep in mind while ad extensions are known for increasing click-through rates and, therefore, Quality Scores, you have to have a high enough Quality Score for your ad to be eligible for them. Today and tomorrow we’ll look at the different types of extensions, and on Friday we’ll talk about tracking and testing — and whatever else we think of before then.
What it does: App extensions are links that appear at the bottom of your ads and give people the option to click on a link and install your app without going through your site or iTunes or the Google App store. A major benefit of this extension is that you can make it device specific, you just need to create a link to each app store and AdWords will automagically match the correct link to the device type and operating system.
Devices: Mobile and Tablet.
When to use it: This is probably the best extension for you to use if you’re advertising an app, with the possible exception of ratings extensions. One of the reasons that extensions lead to better ad performance is because they take up more space, so you should absolutely use this or the rating extension if you have the Quality Score required.
What it does: Call extensions, or as I call them, click-to-call buttons because I am better at naming things than Google, allow you to add a “Call now” button to your ads. If a user is on a mobile device, it will dial out for them. The great thing about this is that you can get a free number from Google that allows you to track each call as a conversion as well as tracking call data, including time of call and duration. You also have the option of using your own existing number, but I don’t know why you would because free!
Devices: Mobile, Tablet and Desktop
When to use it: The real head scratcher here is that Google didn’t just limit these extensions to mobile devices. When going through the process of adding the extension, you can check a box that makes your device of choice mobile, but it’s not automatic. Why on earth would you want to put a button on an ad that doesn’t work for two out of three devices? At any rate, if you have a physical location, this is an excellent extension, although you may want to also run ads with location extensions as well. However, if your address is difficult to find or people need to make appointments before coming in, click-to-call may be the best bet.
Showcase consumer ratings
What it does: Your best ratings from Google Consumer Surveys show up at the bottom of your ads. Note: Google says your best ratings show up, which means that your business could have awful average reviews and still show 9/10 star ratings with your ad. You must have been reviewed by someone through Google Consumer Surveys to be able to use this extension or you’ll get a message saying that there is no data when you try to add the extension.
Devices: Mobile, Tablet and Desktop.
When to use it: If you’re in a highly competitive industry where customer service is a big deal, this is a good extension. These reviews appear to focus more on service than products, so if you’re selling goods, you may want to go with another of the review based extensions.
What it does: It adds a phone number, address and a link to directions to the bottom of your ad, and if your ad is on a mobile device, it will show a map of the surrounding area with a target arrow on your location. Note: your phone number shows up as plain text and does not give a call now button, even on mobile devices.
Devices: Mobile, Tablet and Desktop.
When to use it: This is generally an extension best used for mobile devices, although this can also be a great extension no matter whether you want your sales to come from physical locations or the web because it tends to have a very positive effect on CTR. According to Google, this extension can lead to upwards of a 10 percent increase in CTR, although they do not specify if this is on mobile devices or across all platforms.