AdWords Ad Extensions, Part II: Sitelinks Extensions & Product Extensions

September 26, 2011
Google AdWords Sitelinks Extensions and Product Extensions

As part of our discussion of Ad Extensions last week I showed you the basics of Location Extensions and Call Extensions. This week we’re going to step it up a bit as I give you a crash course in the two more complex Ad Extension features: Sitelinks and Product Extensions.

Sitelinks Extensions

Usually each ad within your Google AdWords account can only link a user to one page on your website. However, the Sitelinks Extensions feature allows you to place supplemental links beneath your ads in search results — thereby increasing the size and prominence of your ad, as well as giving users more links to click.

To enable Sitelinks Extensions

  • Click on the Ad Extensions tab in your Google AdWords account (here’s now to enable the tab).
  • Choose Sitelinks Extensions option from the View drop down menu on the left side of the screen (just below the main tabs).
  • Select New extension and choose to which AdWords campaign your sitelinks will belong.
  • Add your Link text and Destination URLs (4 - 6 links is best).
  • Hit the Save button.

Once your changes have taken effect, the ads for that campaign will look something like this:

google-adwords-sitelinks-extensions.jpg

Please note that Sitelinks Extensions will only appear when your ad lands in the top one or two positions in search results. There isn’t room for lower-positioned ads (which appear along the right side of Google search results) to have Sitelinks Extensions.

Product Extensions

As its name suggests, this feature is particularly great for businesses that sell products online: you can associate the ads you create with photos and details of the products you sell. You can associate specific products with specific ads, or show off the full range of your products as part of every ad.

To enable Product Extensions

Unfortunately, Product Extensions aren’t quite as easy to set up and enable as are the other types of extensions. Before you can enable this feature in your Google AdWords account, you must first add your products to a Google Merchant Center account. Then you’ll need to connect your GMC account to your AdWords account.

Once these two accounts are associated, enabling Product Extensions takes three simple steps: 

  • Click on the Ad Extensions tab in your Google AdWords account.
  • Select Product Extensions option from the View drop down menu on the left side of the screen (just below the main tabs).
  • Select which of your Google Merchant Center account you’d like associated with your AdWords campaign.

Once you’ve saved your changes, AdWords will associate the products in your Google Merchant Center account with the ads in your campaign. They should look similar to this:

google-adwords-product-extensions.jpg

As you can see from the circled area, users will be able to expand and collapse the list of your products. Please note that Product Extensions will only appear when your ad lands in the top one or two positions in search results. There isn’t room for lower-positioned ads (which appear along the right side of Google search results) to have Product Extensions.

A word of caution

Although the four Ad Extensions I’ve described can all be helpful to your AdWords advertising strategy, don’t fall prey to the temptation to enable all four features across all of your campaigns.

  • It will make your ads overly large and distracting in the search results. This may seem like a good thing, but users are more likely to be annoyed by than impressed with huge, distracting ads. This could affect your campaigns’ performance.
  • Depending on your click-through rates, enabling all four types of extensions on every campaign could bring in so much extra data that you become completely overwhelmed and unable to separate the helpful statistics from the useless ones.
  • Too many variables spoil an experiment. Better to test one feature at a time and have complete control.

New to Google AdWords?

Consider downloading our free whitepaper, 9 Smart Steps to Success with PPC. It’s a great overview of the basics of Google AdWords and paid advertising, and includes tips and tricks on creating and managing your Google AdWords account.

Get the free whitepaper!

 

[Image: Google AdWords]