Like most businesses, Google likes to make money. They created a product that organized the chaos of the internet and in doing so, created one of the most valuable marketing channels we know: search. A staggering 84% of Google’s revenue comes from their advertising products, so we should be fairly confident that when they roll out a new feature, it’s been tested and verified to deliver more value – and drive more revenue for Google.
Google introduced search extensions as a way to give their advertisers additional real estate to communicate value. In addition to the standard headline-URL-body structure, Google has a variety of “add ons” – that don’t cost anything to implement, but can increase the physical size of your search ads and give you more opportunity to drive clicks.
Here’s a standard Google search ad for Whole Foods with a headline, which also serves as the link, the URL and the standard body copy.
Here’s the same Whole Foods ad with a search extensions enabled.
Look at all that extra stuff Whole Foods can include! Google offers the following search extensions, broken down into different categories based on your business goals. Further info from our friends at Google’s here. The extension in each example is highlighted with the green dashed line.
Extensions to encourage purchase from a specific business location
- Location extension: designed to showcase information about a business like address, phone, hours, or photos.
- Affiliate Location extension: designed to help consumers find other retail locations that carry your product.
- Callout extension: designed to give specific benefits about your business and product like “Free Delivery” or “5 Year Warranty.”
Extensions to encourage customers to contact your business
- Call extension: designed to give customers searching for you an easy, quick way to contact your business by adding a phone number.
- Message extensions: designed to encourage customers to text your business.
Extensions to drive customers to purchase on your website
- Sitelink extension: designed to “deep-link” into other valuable pages of your website, like a product page or customer service page.
- Callout extension: designed to give specific benefits about your business and product like “Free Delivery” or “5 Year Warranty”
- Structured snippets extensions: designed to showcase information customers might find most useful about your product through pre-defined categories
- Price Extensions: designed to showcase specific price points for your products or services, browsable right in the ad
Extensions to get customers to download your app
- App extensions: designed to, you guessed it, help increase app downloads
In my experience and based on the business goals we had, I can advocate for the sitelink, callout, structured, snippet and app extensions. Adding these to our search program boosted our performance by enabling more effective communication of value and giving searchers the opportunity to access different parts of our site directly from the sitelink extension.
You can see the performance of your extensions separately in Google’s Search Ads (previously AdWords) product – which is great. Taking it to the next step, developing unique campaign tags for your sitelinks also gives you the opportunity to see how each one performs for you so you can make more informed downstream decisions about which pages and products to include in your sitelinks.