In early 2014, Google made some changes on how ads are being served within the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The two main changes that were rolled out this year. The first has to do with Product Listing Ads (PLAs), as they will now begin to appear on the top of the search results above search ads. The second change was that ad extensions will now be the third factor (in addition to your max Cost Per Click and Quality Score) in the way Google is determining their ad rank algorithm.
This means that advertisers need to keep up with industry trends and tailor their paid search campaigns to leverage all appropriate ad extensions for their account. Failure to do so could lead to fewer impressions and lower ad rank, which will eventually cost advertisers a higher premium every time their search ad is clicked.
At the very minimum, you must have sitelinks running in your campaigns. Enhanced campaigns allow you to test sitelinks at the adgroup level, allowing you to serve up as much relevant content as possible to your target audience.
In addition to sitelinks, there are plenty of other ad extensions that you could leverage for your campaigns. Think about which extensions would make the most sense to use based on the type of account or vertical that you are managing.
In part 1 of this 2 part blog post, I will provide a list of new and old extensions that you can leverage to help improve your overall marketing initiatives.
1. Call Extensions
Call extensions allow you to include a phone number within your standard ad text. This extension would make the most sense to add if your campaign or client has a call center that can take these leads.
2. Image Ad Extensions
Image ad extensions are still a beta product that Google is currently testing and is not shown across 100% searches. From initial experiments that Google has tested, Image Ad Extensions have shown to provide an incremental lift in Click Through Rates (CTR) between 8-10%.
This is a great beta that many advertisers are testing allowing them to provide more engaging, relevant and informative ads for users.
3. Review Extensions
Review extensions allow advertisers to enrich their desktop, laptop and tablet search ads by adding a line of text that highlights a positive article, award, or ranking from a 3rd party site. Initial beta testing from Google has shown to provide a 10% lift in click through rates for this type of ad unit. Review extensions allow advertisers to carry an additional trust signal, which is easily enabled across their entire account to reach all potential customers.
Part 2 of this blog post will highlight new exciting beta extensions that will allow advertisers to capture additional leads directly within their ad unit!