Do I Need To Be Using Ad Extensions?

Meet The Author

Name: Aimee-Leigh Prince
Position: Marketing Manager
From: Portsmouth, UK
Expertise: Social & AdWords

You have come to this page to find out whether you should be using ad extensions on your campaigns, right? Well hold fire just a sec because I have some interesting stats for you. Research indicates that 72% of businesses that are currently engaging in marketing activities plan to increase the scale of their PPC functions. That’s almost three quarters worth! Why is this? Well it could have something to do with the fact that almost two-thirds of consumers set on buying a product will click on paid advertisements 65 percent of the time.

With the competition rising it’s now more important than ever to make sure you guys are on top form and the best way to do this is by using ad extensions across all campaigns and all ads. Think about it, if you and your competitor are in an AdWords auction and you both have similar ad ranks and quality scores but only one of you are taking advantage of ad extensions, who do you think is going to win?

Ad extensions boost your CTR by several percentage points, increases your ad visibility, gives your ad greater value and to top it all off are completely free. I know, you’re thinking I must be kidding, huh? But no I’m not, if someone clicks on your extension you only pay the same amount you would have paid if they had clicked onto your ad header.

You can learn more about free PPC hacks Google has to offer here.

Google suggests using all ad extensions relevant to your business goals. This is because AdWords selects which extensions to show in response to each individual search on Google to maximise the performance of your ads.

Remember; just because you are using ad extensions, it doesn’t mean that they will show every time your ad gets an impression.

So, what extensions are best recommended?

Call Extensions

Ads with call extensions get a 8% higher CTR

This one is pretty simple. A call extension is…you got it! Adding your companies telephone number to an ad to make it easier for customers to contact you. Of course this ad extension will only show on mobile devices, however 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from Google Search so I’d be pretty confident in going ahead and saying that this extension is more or less a must have.

Remember your business goals, if you are an e-commerce store and want people to click onto your website to make a purchase then I’d stay away from call extensions.

Message Extensions

50% higher CTR than mobile ads alone

OK, so this extension is pretty similar to call extensions however instead of trying to get a customer to call you, the aim is to get them to send you a text message. Of course this will only work with people viewing your ad on a mobile device but is a great way of allowing your customers to get in contact with you if they’re out and about being busy bee’s. A massive perk to this type of extension is that you populate the message that is sent (for example ‘Get a Quote’) meaning it really is a one click process for the prospect. The most common uses of message extensions is to get someone to book an appointment, get a quote or simply to request some information and remember:

  • When someone sends you a message you are charged the same amount had they clicked onto your ad header
  • You must have a company number that is capable of receiving text messages
  • You can apply message extensions to account, campaign or ad group level


Up to 64% increase of CTR

This ad extension is a personal favourite of mine. They allow you to add links to other pages of your website, making it easier for the customer to land on the exact page they are looking for. You can have up to 6 sitelinks showing on a desktop computer and up to 8 on mobile and tablet devices. Some of the benefits include:

  • CPC is the same amount as if the customer had clicked onto the header
  • Increased CTR
  • Easy customization for mobile devices
  • Can get detailed data about the pages your customers are clicking onto

Sitelinks are useful to almost any company and any business goal so this is one to get cracking on with asap!

Callout Extensions

Up to 221% improvement of CTR

This type of extension is used to show how you differentiate from other competitors. What type of offers do you currently have on? What makes your company unique? Next day delivery? 50% off flash sale? Callout extensions is where you advertise these fabulous offerings to your customers. They show below the description and are a great way to get people intrigued enough to click onto your ad. Need more convincing, well check out reasons why callouts are great:

  • Up to 4 callouts can be used at a time and Google will show the best performing combinations
  • Callouts are customizable to either ad group, campaign or account level and you can optimise based on the data
  • You can use them in conjunction with other ad extensions like sitelinks
  • They are completely free to use! (I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that yet?)

Did you know that using extensions is an Ad Rank calculation factor?

Structured Snippets

Up to 45% increase of CTR

Structured snippets are similar to callouts, however are more specific to your products and services. They show below your text ad in the form of a header and you can choose from the following:

  • Amenities
  • Brands
  • Courses
  • Degree Programmes
  • Destinations
  • Featured Hotels
  • Insurance Cover
  • Models
  • Areas
  • Service Catalogue
  • Shows
  • Styles
  • Types

You need to make sure that you choose the right header for your services and products as this will be the most common reason the extension may be disapproved. Up to 2 headers will be shown on desktops at any given time and only 1 will show on tablets and mobile devices. Want to know the best thing about callouts? Googles algorithm will determine the best combination of headers so you don’t have to! Oh yeah and 1 more thing, guess what? You got it…they’re completely free to use. Happy days.

Be sure to provide enough information (Google recommends at least 4 values per header) and make sure you optimise for mobile users by creating shorter snippets.

Price Extensions

4x the average CTR of tablet and mobile ads alone

This type of extension is another one of my favourites and is so easy to set up! It’s kinda what it says on the tin, price extensions are, well, price extensions. They show below your ad text and up to 8 can show at any given time. This is great if you are an e-commerce store who’s goal is to get customers to purchase a product online. You can link each price extension so that when a customer clicks on it, it will take them straight to the specific product. Price extensions are:

  • A great way to increase conversion rates
  • Easily customizable to account, campaign or ad group level
  • Not just for e-commerce stores, you can use price extensions to advertise your services (see below example)

Seller Rating Extensions

Up to 10% increase of CTR

Seller ratings completely work in your favour, but not everyone can use them. Google will only show the rating if you have 150 unique reviews with a rating of 3.5 or more and the reviews have to come from trusted sites such as:

  • Google customer reviews
  • StellaService
  • Performance metrics from Google-led shopping research
  • Ratings from Google consumer surveys
  • Shopping reviews for your store domain

Google will also remove any reviews that they believe to be untrustworthy or questionable and can sometimes gather information from independent review websites such as:

  • Bazaarvoice
  • Feedback Company
  • Feefo
  • PowerReviews
  • ResellerRatings
  • TrustPilot

Seller ratings are automated by Google and can highly increase your CTR’s because I mean, c’mon, wouldn’t you rather click onto an ad that has a high rating rather than one with none? The rating will show below the domain in your ad and appear as gold stars out of 5. If you’re not sure if you have any seller ratings head to Google. 

Location Extensions

Up to 10% increase of CTR

Location extensions use your address, a map to your location or distance to your business to help customers easily find you. Sometimes these extensions will also include a phone number so you can be easily contacted. The great thing about location extensions is that they work on both search and display campaigns, however to use this extension you must be signed up to Google My Business (a free directory that helps customers find you). Most of the time your address will appear as a standard text ad below the description.

Google My Business is completely free to use to what are you waiting for? Go to Google and get signed up!

The best thing about ad extensions is that multiple can show at any given time. If you see the below image the ad is using a combination of seller ratings, callouts, call and message extensions. I mean compared to the standard ad next to it, doesn’t it look smart? What ad would you be more likely to click on? Right, me too.

To see what your ad would look like with extensions use our free ad preview tool.

So that’s it, I have given you a brief overview of the best extensions that you should be using on your campaigns. It’s now up to you to get them rolling out and watch your conversions sky rocket! And remember….they’re free 😉

The Author

Name: Aimee-Leigh Prince
Position: Marketing Manager
Expertise: Social & AdWords

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