June 25 64

10+ Best Practices for Google Ads in 2021 

Each extension type — and there are many types of ad extensions — has a different effect, as well as different settings, configurations, and targeting parameters. Basically, they are additional pieces of content that are appended to the actual body of the ads on Google.   


Sitelink Extensions Provide the User Shortcuts 

Sitelink extensions are the links in the ad that lead to the separate landing pages of the adversiter’s websites. It looks like creating a submenu on SERP. Sitelinks are by far the most important type of extensions. They provide shortcuts for users allowing them to find the information in question in the most specific way possible. For example, let’s say we’re displaying the ad on SERP and bidding on the keyword "Hiking sneakers" or "Quality hiking sneakers for sale".    

That person didn’t express to us exactly what type of sneakers he is looking for. And usually, people have preferences, people have a price range and sort of know what they want. So, if we only have a headline and are sending them to the product page on our site, we are not catering to the specific needs of the searchers in the best way possible. We’re not doing our best. Sitelinks allow us to cater contextually to a person’s needs in a more specific way. By using sitelinks you give your audience an option of finding the exact type of answer to their questions in one single click. 


Sitelinks Are Not Only Used for Subcategories of Products

Using Sitelinks for subcategories of products is just one idea. You don’t have to necessarily do it. You could use them for different sales you’re running, you can use them for totally different categories. For example if the header of your ad is about sneakers, you could add a Sitelink about hiking boots. Somebody might be looking for sneakers but they also might be in the market for boots. So they could see a sitelink with the word “boots” and click on that and then check out those products on a separate page.   

Each extension type has its own card filled with top-performing assets, important data, and recommendations for optimizing them.

The performance details for each extension are stored in one place:


How to Add the Sitelinks

Click the plus button to add a new sitelink.  

The first headline field contains up to 25 characters. 

You should decide on what you are going to put in there? Where do we want our visitors to go? What additional options do we want to provide our potential customers? 

To answer this question go over the website and take a look. If this is a shoe site we have to create more shoe-oriented sitelinks. Look at the homepage of your website. If it’s a shoe site go to the category, like female, male, or kids. You need to select the type of shoes like running shoes, lifestyle shoes, training shoes, walking shoes, hiking and trail, boots, and so forth. 

So, we can direct people to these pages with our sitelinks. After selecting the right pages we can go back and insert our section name and its URL. Just be clear with where you’re sending your traffic. 

If you provide a specific sale, mention the dates when the sale starts and ends. 

There are many details that you can add to this page. 

There’s an area for mobile URL's. 

There’s a Tracking template feature that is useful when you use an alternative source of traffic insights like, be it Analytics or KissMetrics. 

But when you primarily use Google Analytics, you don’t have to append an external source. In this case, just leave this field alone.         

Have you ever added sitelinks?
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 Specify Selling Points with Callout Extensions

It’s another very useful extension type, just like sitelinks. With a little help from callouts you can highlight some aspect of your services or products, for example, sales. When you plan to get people’s attention to a certain type of event, callouts might come in handy. Those callouts will be displayed only for several days allowing advertisers to specify their selling points — be it free shipping, 24-7 customer support, a discount price (sale -40%), a place of origin, for example, "Made in the UK", "free gift wrapping", and so forth.       

It’s also a very flexible thing: create callout extensions at different levels of the account — like account, campaign, or ad group level. 

Up to 10 callouts are permitted for an ad, it hinges on the browser type, or a target device. With a little help from callouts you get a little bit more place on the SERP.  

Tell your potential clients in detail whether your company has the product or services they need. Thy to be more specific, meaning instead of saying "Great fuel economy", use such phrases as "29 MPG max mileage". 

Callout type of extensions often go in conjunction with sitelinks. It is not a clickable extension, it’s not clicks, but impressions that you receive. 


Call Extensions for Brick and Mortar Stores

You have to connect your Google My business to your Google Ads in order to use the Location type of ad extension. Or you can import the location from your other Google account. Then, your actual physical address and location will be displayed underneath the ad. That’s a suitable case for local companies, brick and mortar stores.

On mobile they are displayed with a click-to-call button. They tick all the boxes for those companies that rely on phone calls as the primary method to connect to their target audience: plumbers, gardeners, roofers, terminators — all these sorts of businesses rely heavily on phone calls. For such organizations call extensions could be a real business driver. You can display up to 10 callouts in an ad.

Call extensions can be scheduled to run between certain dates, it’s a very helpful feature. 


Show that Your Business Has a Following

Those are the reviews that you get on third-party sites. There are lots of different guidelines you have to comply with. For instance, to quote the exact review quote. In case it is not an exact quote, you’ll need to specify that it’s not an exact quote. In addition, you need to add the review source and verify it. Reviews help to increase the loyalty of your customers because in this way you advertise the company that has a following.  

Other lesser used extension types are as follows:

  • Links to apps can be used when you promote a mobile app that acts as an addition to the website, that’s the way to pitch the app page on App Store or Google Play. 
  • Structured snippets are a more complex option. They highlight key aspects of the products. Basically, they are headers — "Destinations" or lists of values like "Sweden, Norway, Finland". Users get more information. The distinguishing feature of this type of extensions is that they list a group of products or services the company offers to people. But callouts, for its part, highlight a single aspect of the business in a few words. 

Update Ad Extensions in Bulk

Ad extensions provide more information to the end user. You can change the link text, URLs, headlines, schedules, and descriptions without having to actually change the body of the ad — the headline and description.

According to Google Help, there should be 6 sitelinks as a minimum for both desktop and mobile. Moreover, you can get up to 20 per ad group or campaign. 

If you are testing the headline with a split-test and you're not ready to change an ad or pause or write a new one, you may swap out your sitelinks without losing data on conversions, impressions, cost per conversions and so forth. There’s no need for editing ads or creating new ones to append sitelinks while keeping your ads up-to-date for specific offers (sales).     

For example, If you have 10 campaigns running callout extensions or 10 campaigns running sitelink extensions you can update them in bulk. So, you don’t have to go into every individual ad group and update those sitelink extents or whatever ad extensions that you’re running.    


Compare Performances of Sitelinks vs. Headlines

Advertisers can find out which extensions are more effective — for example, with callouts or without them — in the statistics. It’s pretty digestible. You can see the number of clicks the ad gets after you’ve appended sitelinks. The stats are broken down by campaign, ad group, or ad. The stats also show the number of clicks on the individual sitelinks vs. the headline, other sitelinks, and the like. 


Ad Extensions Guarantee an Increase in Quality Score 

Ad extensions are the factor that is added when the quality score is calculated. A good quality score is important in determining CPC. They improve CTR drastically because you get more visibility on the search engine. The ads get more clicks as well, since a greater portion of the SERP is now gonna be covered with the ad. 

The more ad extensions you create for your ads the more they take up on the search results page. So, people are more likely to notice your products or services you’re promoting. In this way, you’re providing more information by saying something meaningful in your ad text with sitelinks, callouts, and reviews. 

If you’d like to choose some specific extension then you’d better use Sitelinks. 9 out of 10 advertisers do this. Try new combinations by rotating and testing different options. But for a local business — plumbers, electricians — use other types of extensions, for example call extensions. 

People from Google came to the conclusion that different ad extensions — sitelinks, locations, reviews, etc. — impact the click through rate of the ads on SERP and Google Display Network. That’s why they added such factors as the expected impact of ad extensions to the overall Quality Score of ads. 


Quality Score

Google doesn’t give away how the end formula of Quality Score is calculated. There are different factors involved, including CTR, ad relevance, landing page relevance, etc. But there’s a rough guess that ad extensions account for around 20% of the total quality score of an ad. 

Remember when the QS is too low Google will ignore even the highest bid. If your QS is as low as 1, you are going to lose the auction even though your Max CPC might be quite high. 

If your QS is too low you’ll have to improve it by rewriting ad copies and creating more relevant landing pages, etc. 

Here’s an example. 5 advertisers take part in Google Ads auction, and as we know this ad platform is an auction-based system. 

So, imagine 5 advertisers bid on the same keyword. But only 5 slots for ads are available on Google. So, only 4 out of 5 advertisers will have their ads displayed on Google Search. 

These advertisers selected the following max. CPCs for their ads:   

Ian $9
John $7
Dan $6.25
Matt  $3
Jessica  $2

Here are the quality scores of the ads of these people:

Ian 1
John 3
Dan 7
Matt 5
Jessica 10

That’s how Ad Rank is calculated: maximum CPC of the ad is multiplied by the quality score: 

Ian 9
John 21
Dan 43.75
Matt 15
Jessica 20

Now we can calculate the positions on the SERP: 

1 Ian
2 John
3 Jessica
4 Matt

Ian’s ads didn’t get on the SERP. 


Google Will Ignore Your Ads if the QS Is Too Low 

So, Dan won this auction even though two of his competitors offered a higher CPC. His quality score was higher than that of the others. And he could get first place with the quality score of 7. 

John got the second position. He outperformed the other ads with higher quality scores of Matt (15) and Jessica (20), because John offered higher CPC. Jessica paid the lowest CPC ($2) and got the third position, due to the fact that her QS (20) was higher than that of the others.       

Matt became 4th, because of both the Max CPC ($3) and QS (15). 

Interestingly enough, Ian became an odd one out with his offer of $9 per click. Google just ignored his bid, since his QS was too low and eventually ad ranking became even worse compared to the other people’s ads.

Suppose, John decided to improve his QS. He rewrote the ad copy and made the landing page more relevant. That would increase QS up to 7. Now, instead of the former 21, the Ad Rank of his ad would be 49. He would outperform Dan without even increasing the bid. Solely by increasing QS, he managed to get his ad higher on SERP. But if the QS of his ad had decreased from 10 to 5, he would have lost to Matt.   

Maximum CPC is not always the exact amount of money the advertiser pays per click. This is just a cap over which the advertiser doesn’t want to pay. The quality score weights a lot in terms of how much advertisers eventually pay per click. 


Conclusion

Ad extensions help your ads take up more real estate on SERP hence visibility. At the same time, you increase the relevancy and quality score of your ads. And ultimately, if it's done right, your ads will get a major boost in CTR. So, this is your valuable asset. 

Not all ad extensions go together well though. Google changes this policy quite a bit. For example, reviews are not necessarily shown with callout extensions, or callout extensions are not shown together with location extensions. But be that as it may, it’s always good to have as many different types of extensions as you can.

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