Ad Sitelinks, The Next Great Feature

Google AdWords has recently added three new features to the paid platform. Two of the features are still in beta and only available to select advertisers, but all three help to bring better targeted ads to users. John A. Lee of The Clix Marketing PPC Blog does a good job of explaining these new features.

The new feature I am going to discuss is Ad Sitelinks.  Similar to the sitelinks you see in an organic listing, the paid Sitelinks allow four additional links to show within your ad.  Take the example below:

Adidas_Shoes_Sitelinks

Instead of only being able to click on one link, users now have the ability to click on one of five links that best suits their search.

Before Sitelinks was implemented, a search for “shop adidas shoes” would result in an ad like this:

Adidas_Shoes_Single_Ad

For the most part, this is a very good ad because it includes my targeted keywords in all four lines of text and it has a good call to action.  The only problem is that the ad does not know what type of Adidas shoes I am searching for, as I could specifically be looking for men’s shoes, women’s shoes, kids’ shoes, etc.  To be safe, the destination URL takes me to the Adidas homepage.  One of the principles of PPC is that your ad should always take users to the most relevant page.  For instance, if I’m looking for men’s shoes, the homepage is not the most relevant page.  Unfortunately for this particular query, the AdWords system cannot decipher the true intention of my search.  You can A/B test landing pages and change the ad’s messaging to include all genders, but more often than not you will still run into the same problem.

Sitelinks gives your ad the ability to have five potential landing pages.  When I look at the ad using Sitelinks, I immediately click on men’s shoes and bypass the homepage altogether.  You always want to make the conversion process as easy for users as possible and eliminating that extra click certainly goes a long way.  In theory, Sitelinks will improve your click-thru-rate (CTR) because you now have five chances to get users’ clicks.  Normally there are roughly eleven ads per page, and thus eleven links for users to potentially click.  Your ad contains one of those links so you have a 1/11 chance of getting the click.  However, with Sitelinks the ratio now increases to five out of fifteen.  It’s true that paid search is not a lottery, but the more exposure your ads get can only help your campaign.

Though only select advertisers are able to use Sitelinks for the time being, it is a feature that’s sure to catch on.  Stay tuned!

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