Testing out Google’s New Ad Extensions for 2014
In a previous post, we wrote about Google’s new Ad Rank algorithm and how simply adding a few ad extensions can improve your clickthrough rate and overall campaign performance. For 2014, Google has included even more extensions for you to take advantage of and test.
Image extensions are still in beta but are becoming very popular for advertisers large and small. They are ideal for showing off a new product that you are launching or to provide more detail when words are not enough. Here are some points to consider when you are testing image extensions:
- Can be used on up to 5 ad groups
- Only shown in first position
- Google decides when they are shown
- Dimensions: 640 x 360 pixels (preferred) 320 x 180 pixels (minimum)
- Aspect ratio: 16:9
- File size: 5MB maximum per image
- File format: jpeg
- Color space: RGB
Since your ad must be in the first position for an image extension to show, we recommend testing them in a brand campaign as your costs per click are typically lower and a higher ad rank is more easily achieved. Although you can’t see which images get the most clicks, you are still able to see total clicks, impressions, CTR, average position, and average cost per click for all images. Unfortunately, you aren’t able to designate a different destination URL for image extensions from the one in the ad.
Sitelink extensions were always one of Google AdWords’ best features, but now they are even better. Previously, you had the option to have a headline of up to 25 characters and link to a different page on your site from the ad’s destination URL. Now with enhanced sitelinks, you are essentially creating an ad within an ad, as you have an additional 70 characters below the sitelink. This is especially of benefit for promotions, product descriptions, or a Contact Us page. You also automatically take up more ad space at no extra cost, and as with all other ad extensions, you have the possibility of increasing your CTR.
Review extensions are now out of beta and are available to English advertisers. They offer a new way to show searchers all the wonderful things people have to say about your business. You can submit direct quotes or a summary of a review. Here are some things to consider:
- Reviews must come from a reputable third party source and comply with AdWords policies.
- It is your responsibility to ensure you are allowed to use a specific review.
- All reviews go through both an automated and human-based system to confirm compliance.
- The searcher is directed to the webpage where the review originated.
One downside is you cannot use reviews from sites such as Yelp! or CitySearch. Finally, if you submit multiple reviews, the first extension to be approved will be the only one that shows.
Of Google’s new ad extensions, we recommend adding the ones that make sense for your business goals. If you are interested in extensions that are in beta you will have to reach out to a Google representative. All the extensions mentioned above have no additional fees beyond the cost of a click. At the same time, they have the potential to boost your CTR, improve your campaign’s performance, and enhance your customers’ experience. In short, there’s no reason not to begin testing today.
- Jonathan Stepnitz, Tier III SEM Team Lead
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