Ad Extension Strategies

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with another great question set titled “Ad Extension Strategies.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: With the sheer number of ad extensions, have you reassessed your extensions strategy? Why or why not?

  • Extensions increase ad rank and real estate, but means bids must be competitive enough to show, which doesn’t always mean ROI. – Gil Hong (@Gil__Hong)
  • From the ad group level I’ve been more specific with my ad extensions – when the volume dictates. – Matt Umbro
  • I monitor which AE’s show up the most in each ad group to make sure I’m not duplicating the same message in my ads. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • Definitely changed the what I use sitelinks for vs. what I now use snippets & callouts. – Hannah Alexander (@HanXela)
  • Tried to figure out how to make certain ext show by removing others, but tough since Google removes hard controls. – Max Fink (@maxfink_SEM)
  • Definitely need a strategy, whereas before not as much. Really important to review regularly & keep up to date & purge. – Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
  • Ad Extension Strategy – Use all wherever and whenever possible. – Joel Neustaedter (@JoelNeustaedter)
  • When there were only a few options to show, purging old/bad extensions wasn’t a priority, whereas now it’s a habit. – Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
  • Even Google’s cherry-picked case studies only show limited upside (e.g. 12%). – Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
  • Investigating whether there’s an extension “tax” & if adding hurts/helps. Trying to be purposeful rather than OOOH ADD EM ALL. – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
    • I think multiple extensions can be great, but you’re right they have to have a purpose and not duplicate info in ad. – Hannah Alexander
  • Use the ad extensions that take up the most real estate. but constantly test whatever ext’s you qualify for. – Orlando Valencia (@ValenciaSEM)
  • In my exp I don’t think there’s a “tax” but there is a difference in which ones give you better upside. – Max Fink
  • Evaluate which ones make the most sense to actually implement, and then once they are running see how performance changes. – Heidi Smith (@heidinksmith)
  • The best thing happened to me.amazing features. use all of them all the time. (i’m in travel marketing). – Yuri Shub (@YurisPlace)
  • I try to make my ad group’s extensions deeper in the site structure than the ad group’s destination URL. Not the reverse. – Joe Martinez
  • I am still brand new to this profession and still learning about extensions to a strategy. – Paulina Pytlak (@insideuntdenton)

Q2: Are ad extensions a core component of ad copy or are they as their name suggests, just extensions? Why?

  • To me, ad extensions are just like the normal headline, D1 & D2 ad copy…they are necessary to implement from the beginning. – Matt Umbro
  • Just extensions as you can’t directly control which extensions show with which ads. – Steve Gibson
  • If you play in top of page positions, ext are now part of core ad copy. Ad copy designed with them in mind. – Max Fink
  • I believe you should have sitelinks regardless of what they say. Overall CTR lift outweighs the chance someone clicks it. – Francis Shovlin (@fmshovlin)
  • Some clients like consistency across ad messaging and extensions, others want completely unique CTAs. – Gil Hong
  • Since they don’t always display, I’d characterize as extensions – bonus copy rather than core. – Julie Bacchini
  • As a copywriter….compelling, action-driven copy can make extensions strong additions. Need them from the get-go, I’d say. – Caleb Rule (@CRuleSportsGuy)
  • Given that IS for extensions is never 100%; I prefer to treat extensions as a nice addition, but not essential to the ad copy. – Mark Irvine
  • Extensions are bedazzlers for copy. They can make it better if done coherently, but not if they’re stapled on blindly. – Aaron Levy
  • If your site has a lot of landing page options and info to provide, ad extensions are essential! – Kelsey Cadogan (@KelsC14)
  • Ad real estate has become soo competitive that ad extensions have become mandatory to compete. – Joel Neustaedter
  • Sitelinks aren’t appropriate for every client/campaign. That said, callout extensions usually make sense for everyone. You can find an extension that works. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • The most important info/pitch should be in the ad copy. The extensions should build on why you deserve the click not others. – Hannah Alexander
  • Ad copy is highest priority (get important stuff there) but extensions optimize & expand real estate. – Kelsey Cadogan
  • Core. Users read extentions more than they read description line 2. They respond 2 different copies and u can see it effects CTR. – Yuri Shub
  • Extensions are part of my checklist when starting a new account/campaign/ad group. – Andrea Fine (@AndreaFine)
  • Since you IS isn’t 100#, I think of them as a useful addition that I can’t count on. – Benjamin Elmore (@TheRealBelmore)
  • It drives me nuts when I see generic extensions when I searched for a very specific product type on a site. Show a relation! – Joe Martinez
  • The new Black Friday extensions are definitely great to use for more space to communicate BF offers! – Kelsey Cadogan

Q3: How do you determine which ad extensions get implemented at the ad group level?

  • I do most sitelinks at ad group level. Call exts depends on client setup. Callouts can often be acct level. – Melissa Mackey
  • Higher impression ad groups get ad group extensions if there is something independent to say of the campaign extension. – Matt Umbro
  • I use ad group level extensions on a case by case basis. Usually for one off or limited time keyword groups. – Gil Hong
  • I actually add extension only on campaign level. my campaigns all of them have very short lifetime. so there’s no need for me. – Yuri Shub
  • Ultimate decision is about site design/depth. If they’ve depth for me to have a more granular ad ext strategy, then I go for it. – Mark Irvine
  • Usually start at campaign level and if something has enough traffic & warrants special attention, go to the ad group level. – Joel Neustaedter
    • Exact same strategy, unless it is obvious when a new campaign is launched that ad group level is needed. – Heidi Smith
  • Factor of a few things: how diff is the intent of keywords that we need unique sitelinks, goals, and traffic (is it worth it?) – Francis Shovlin
  • FYI callouts at the ad group level are great for extra features of specific product/category. – Matt Umbro
  • Simple- Do what makes sense for those types of searches. Do you think they need more details? More landing page options? Etc. – Kelse Cadogan
  • What communicates the greatest benefit for target audience in SERP. Ads are sales pitches. After testing what the data says. – Hannah Alexander
  • Look for high-volume, high-performing ad groups within a campaign, see how I can maximize CTR/IS/QS w/ extensions. – Brian Chausmer
  • Depends on if products/services by ad group are unique enough to have specific relevant categories. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Volume. Intent. Uniqueness. Availability. – Orlando Valencia
  • If your account/campaign level extensions can’t speak to every ad group then you need ad group breakouts. Don’t lie in your ads. – Joe Martinez
  • Similar to MBA; can become a bit of a mgmt mess but can be worth time on limited or case by case basis w/broader architectures. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)

Q4: Have you been using structured snippets? If so, how, and what are your impressions?

  • Only using where applicable. Sometimes the category can be a stretch and isn’t ideal for the brand. Also the fact that not all options show can be seen as a limitation by the user. – Gil Hong
  • Absolutely. No idea how much difference they make, but I’d guess a small positive inc in ctr. – Steve Gibson
  • Yes, testing for some clients. Nice to highlight multiple benefits, but annoying how they show cut off at times. – Timothy Jensen
  • Not always easy to find use for them, but def use when it makes sense – more real estate. – Joel Neustaedter
  • Using them to list the types of services a client provides. They’ve been showing regularly for brand keywords. – Francis Shovlin
  • Nice, but wish they had a “specs” structured snippet; would help for e-comm. – Roie Reuben (@RoieReuben)
  • Seen positive performance with “brands” across many ad groups. – Hannah Alexander
  • We’re seeing good results on the few clients that are using them. Pretty decent for B2B. – Melissa Mackey
  • Only on the campaign level. Working better for me on discovery-phase searches. – Joe Martinez
  • Yes, like them too. Need to be thoughtful though of diff betw callouts & duplicity. Enhance ad not shove stuff in user’s face. – Lisa Saner
  • I like them when the approve the terms! Seems like the approval process is inconsistent. – Drew Johnson (@drewdjohnson)
  • I use “Degree Programs” since I am at a Higher Ed Agency. I Love how much more Info I can get in my ad. – Greg Young (@PPCJedi)
  • Q4.1: Are you utilizing the new Black Friday/Cyber Monday structured snippets? Why or why not?
    • In limited fashion…many of my ads speak to the sales so don’t necessarily want repetition. – Matt Umbro
    • Yes. No idea what will happen, but what the heck. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
    • Yeah, as retail, we’re all over it. Why not – takes like 5mins to set up, let’s see what happens. – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
    • Yes, but with tempered expectations. Since CPCs will be competitive, it might not be profitable to bid for eligibility. – Gil Hong
    • Giving it a shot. I’m assuming Google is going to favor ads with these extensions for the two days. – Joe Martinez
    • Yes, using the BF sitelinks since I’m testing BF promo ad copy vs regular ad copy. I don’t think the repetition is too harmful. – Kelsey Cadogan
    • We’re going to use them for Nov 27-30. Coordinating w/ an email blast the client is sending out. Curious to see what they do. – Heidi Smith

Q5: Do you believe the new Bing Ads extensions (image, action link, etc) will have any noticeable impact? Why or why not?

  • They sure didn’t when Google tried them. Ain’t saying I won’t play with them though. – Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
  • Definitely worth a test. – Gil Hong
  • I think it’s worth testing if they see better performance than AdWords betas, but I’m skeptical especially w/ Bing SERPs. – Hannah Alexander
  • I’ve seen them work well in Bing. My fear is that they’re sunset like they were in Google. – Mark Irvine
  • In theory, image ad extensions would seem to be a significantly positive thing for the advertiser (like PLAs, for instance). In my head, something like a travel agency putting up a sunny beach pic in a cold climate sounds like it could work. – Kirk Williams
  • Worth testing. I think they are aware of the shortcomings/issues big G had with their image beta. – Lisa Sanner
  • I’m using Bing’s action link extension to offer a secondary CTA, The ad: learn more/Request Info. The Action Link: Apply Now. – Greg Young
  • I’m leery of the “action link” extension. Bing Ads will do anything in their ads to get more $$ from the clicks! – Kelsey Cadogan

Q6: Is there an extension (in Google or Bing) that isn’t worth the effort of setting up? Why?

  • Not sure if it counts but I have had a really tough time with the “promotional feed” through Shopping for promo extensions. – Brian Chausmer
  • Unless you have BBB, or a certain over-heated place has frozen over, then review extensions are usually a waste of time. – Kirk Williams
  • They are all worth a shot at least. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – MJ – Joel Neustaedter
  • Review extensions are also a real pain. They look awesome, but the rhyme or reason for disapproval is beyond frustrating. – Brian Chausmer
  • I personally haven’t found much benefit from review extensions. – Kelsey Cadogan

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More PPC Chats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.

Participants

Check out the PPC Chat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
• Andrea Fine (@AndreaFine)
• Benjamin Elmore (@TheRealBelmore)
• Caleb Rule (@CRuleSportsGuy)
• Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
• Drew Johnson (@drewdjohnson)
• Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
• Francis Shovlin (@fmshovlin)
• Gil Hong (@Gil__Hong)
• Greg Young (@PPCJedi)
• Hannah Alexander (@HanXela)
• Heidi Smith (@heidinksmith)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• Joel Neustaedter (@JoelNeustaedter)
• Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
• Kelsey Cadogan (@KelsC14)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
• Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
• Max Fink (@maxfink_SEM)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Orlando Valencia (@ValenciaSEM)
• Paulina Pytlak (@insideuntdenton)
• Roie Reuben (@RoieReuben)
• Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
• Yuri Shub (@YurisPlace)
 

Pre-Thanksgiving Streamcap by

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; works at WebRanking in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Connect with Paul @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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One Response to Ad Extension Strategies

  1. Rafay says:

    We always use call-out extensions to highlight important USP’s (Shipping Information, Payment Options, Features etc.) since they act as a natural extension of the ad text.

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