Ad Extensions Boost CTR for Many PPC Advertisers

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The various ad extensions available prove useful in many circumstances, and the use of extensions overall has an impact on CTRs for most campaigns. Most marketers are familiar with product extensions, but there are several other extension options that can dramatically boost results. Here’s a look at a few of the other ad extensions available to you and how to use them to your advantage.

Location Extensions

Location extensions, as their name suggests, enable you to attach location details to your ads. These extensions can be used by businesses that actually offer nationwide services, but want to give the appearance of a more locally-based company. Often, nationwide businesses will set up ads to target a few of their most popular cities or metropolitan areas and include the relevant location information with those ads.

Location extensions also allow users to pull up your business location on Google Maps, so they can visualize your actual proximity and how to reach your storefront. Finally, location extensions can be set to show to users within a certain proximity to the location listed in the extension itself, providing an additional targeting option to attract hyper-local visitors.

Call Extensions

Both location extensions and call extensions are valuable additions for mobile PPC advertising, as mobile users are more inclined to visit a brick-and-mortar location following a Google search than a visitor who clicks on an ad from a standard web browser. The call extension encourages engagement, providing an easy way for a visitor to simply click an icon to get in touch with you by phone.

Imagine the usefulness of this capability if a mobile user is in your vicinity but wants to make sure you have a specific product in stock before he goes out of his way to visit your store. If your business tends to get a lot of phone inquiries, this is an excellent extension to use.

App Extensions

The use of mobile applications is exploding, and it’s becoming an essential business tool. If your business does have an app, the app extension allows you to include a link directly to the App Store where visitors can download it straight to a mobile device. Clearly, this is an especially useful extension for ad groups targeted to appear on mobile devices, but it can also prove useful on primary browsers – as long as it sends the visitor to the information page and doesn’t immediately initiate a download.

Previous Visit Annotations

The previous visit annotation extension may seem insignificant, but it actually encourages clicks. The previous visit annotation shows visitors how many times they’ve visited your page previously. Visitors are often intrigued by the fact that they’ve been drawn to the same page on a number of occasions, and assume that it must be worthwhile to visit again.

If you’re selling products with a longer sales cycle, it can take a few visits for a customer to actually decide to make a purchase. Radio and television advertising are based on a similar concept and generally operate on the idea that it takes a sequence of repeated exposures to an ad in order for a person to actually recall the company name and other information.

Review Extensions

Online reviews are everywhere. That’s why businesses are taking reputation management so seriously. If you’re putting all that effort into monitoring your online reputation, why not take advantage of the positive reviews you know are out there? The review extension allows you to link directly to third-party review sources where visitors can read objective opinions from previous customers.

The key here is that you should always be on the lookout for negative feedback, as the most recent reviews often show up first on third-party review sites. Sending a potential customer straight to negative comments probably won’t create a great first impression.

Sitelink Extensions

Sitelink extensions allow you to include links to other pages of your website, giving visitors more options than heading directly to a landing page. This is also a useful extension for promoting special deals and offers, highlighting your most popular products, including a link to a free downloadable product to build an email marketing list, provide contact information, and more.

Seller Rating Annotations

Similar to the review extension, seller rating annotations provide evidence that your previous customers love your products, but in this case displayed as a star rating. This data comes from Google Shopping and Google Trusted Stores, as well as a list of other third-party review sources that license their data to Google.

For this reason, this data can be displayed differently from time to time. This extension is also only used if certain criteria are met; for example, the seller must have at least 30 reviews within the past 12 months and an average star rating of 3.5 out of 5 or better. This at least ensures that you won’t suddenly have a one-star rating showing up with your PPC ads, but the closer to a perfect 5 you are, the better.

Social Annotations

Social annotations display the number of people who have added your business to their Google+ Circles. This is a valuable metric of social proof that can give visitors the impression that you’re an established company with a large group of loyal followers.

Visitors can click on the extension to view your Google+ profile and read feedback from Google+ users, if available, and check out your overall presence on Google+ for more insights into your business.

If you’ve been running PPC advertising campaigns but haven’t yet taken advantage of ad extensions, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to increase clicks and boost your conversion potential. There are different criteria for using each type of extension. But with so many options available, every business can find one extension that can boost its ROI.