Back to Basics With Ad Extensions

Written by - 14/02/2019

Back to Basics With Ad Extensions

What are ad extensions?

If you don’t already know, ad extensions are things you can add to your PPC ads to give additional pieces of information about your business or product.

It can include things like phone numbers (call extensions), links to specific parts of your website (site link extensions), additional text (callout extensions) and more.

They are really useful snippets that can help you bypass Google’s ad character limit, and best of all, they’re also free (apart from the usual charge you incur from a click).

This is all great, obviously, but other than this, why should you bother with ad extensions?


Other than what we’ve already explored, here are the main reasons why you should consider using Ad Extensions and giving your PPC campaigns a boost:

OK, firstly, they give your ad more prominence on the search engine results page and help you provide relevant information to prospective customers.

As well as new information, you can also provide additional calls-to-action which will be really beneficial.

What’s the benefit?

Well, these changes will likely improve your clickthrough rate (basically, more people will be clicking your ad) which is great for two reasons: more customers (assuming your landing pages can convert them into customers) and increasing your ad’s Quality Score. This is a crucial component of your AdRank and will also contribute towards you getting a lower cost per click.

“According to Google, ad extensions will improve your clickthrough rate, on average, by around 10 to 15%”.

Now, you may be reading this and thinking “I’ll add all extensions to all of my campaigns” and based upon what I’ve just said, why wouldn’t you?

Well, despite all the benefits, there are a few problems with ad extensions if they are not managed properly.

Universal Ad Extensions?

While ad extensions can greatly improve your ads, applying them universally can actually negatively affect your clickthrough rate and your Quality Score (which will result in a higher cost per click).

Again, why?

This is because it is very unlikely that universal ad extensions will be relevant to all searches related to your business. Instead of supporting your ad with extensions, you’ll be sending mixed messages and actually doing damage.

So, now you may be wondering “OK, should I apply for ad extensions or not?”

The answer is: yes, you definitely should but you need to tailor your ad extensions at the AdGroup level and relate them to the user’s search (of course, there may be some exceptions, but this is a good rule of thumb).

For example, imagine if you are a sports retailer and somebody searches for the term “NIKE shoes”. Now, imagine if they look at your ad extensions and see site links related to “basketball clothing” and “men’s golf”.

What relevance does this have to the user’s search?

It’s completely alienating for the user and you may have failed to get this traffic (that was potentially very close to converting) to clickthrough.

This is because the extensions lack context. It lacks an understanding of the user and what they’re actively searching for.

They’re interested in seeing NIKE shoes – so show them that. It’s the perfect opportunity to highlight all of your shoe-related products.

Take a look at this ad.

Don’t you think they’re much more likely to engage with this?

By tailoring your ad extensions to the ad group level, you’re setting yourself up for success. If you fail to do this, or do it, but don’t do it in a considered way, you’re going to be hurting your campaigns and probably wasting some money.

Interested in what you’ve read? For more information on how ad extensions could be beneficial for your website and PPC campaign, please contact us, we’ll be happy to help.