What are Google Ads Ad Extensions & Why are They Valuable?
Google Ad Extensions are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to significantly improve your ad CTR and generate local leads for your small business.
If you’re new to creating Google Ads, Ad Extensions are precisely what they sound like. They extend the real estate of your text ad on the search page, allowing you to communicate more information about your business.
In the words of Google, they “give people more reasons to choose your business.”
Ad Extensions are free. If you’re running paid ads on Google already, you should be using Ad Extensions. Why? Because ad budgets are tight and local competition is high.
Extensions offer your small business the opportunity to distinguish their business from others in the area and refine offers for targeted audiences all from the search results page.
Types of Google Ad Extensions
When you create a Google Ad, there are two options for Ad Extensions: automatic and manual. Manual requires a bit of set-up but it’s worth the short amount of time invested. Google adds automatic ad extensions if they predict that doing so will improve ad performance.
Manual Ad Extensions
Call Extensions are important for every Google Ad. Especially in 2021 when municipal governments can require businesses to modify their hours and in-store capacity, you must make it easy for customers to get a hold of you from a distance.
Site links provide navigation to internal site pages directly from the search page. You can use them for a variety of purposes including promotions and special offers. These are clickable sections of your text ad that appear below the location and description.
This is the physical location or mailing address for your business. The location extension appears directly below the ad description.
Affiliate Location Extension
If you sell a physical product through local extension locations or retail chain stores, the affiliate location extension can help customers find your product in more places near them.
This extension is only applicable if your business owns an app in association with your product or service offerings. The extension allows users to download the app directly for iOS or Android operating systems.
If your business hosts sales or specials around the Holidays or back to school season, promotion extensions allow you to easily highlight those events. They’re especially useful because businesses can choose from pre-populated occasions for discounts (e.g., Black Friday) and simply toggle the extension without creating a new text ad every time.
Price extensions allow you to display up to eight products or services with prices directly under your ad description. They provide an opportunity to highlight the breadth of your inventory, and the price points that customers can expect.
Automatic Ad Extensions
Google will automatically add these extensions to your ad if they predict that they will improve an ad’s performance.
- Call Extension
- Sitelink Extension
- Location Extension
- Seller Ratings Extension
- Callout Extension
Seller Ratings Extension
Seller rating extensions is a uniquely automatic ad extension that can potentially boost a business’s authority and trust. The rating is in the form of 1-5 stars and it’s based on Google Reviews (and affiliated third parties) of your business. This extension only appears if the business has at least an average of 3.5 stars from 100+ unique reviews in the last 12 months.
How to Use Google Ads Extensions to Generate More Local Leads
In this section, we’ll tell you a bit more about a few manual extensions, and show you how to use them to generate more local leads.
Including a location ad extension is a no-brainer for generating local leads. This simple addition directly below the description of your business lets your customers know where they can find you and your services or products.
Even if your business isn’t retail, if it sells a digital product or service that doesn’t require a storefront or office, it’s still crucial to include a location.
When you include a physical address, you’re demonstrating that your business is legitimate. You’re showing Google and local customers that you’re a real, tangible, trusted company in the area.
If you don’t demonstrate this trust, your competitors most likely are and for customers, it will be an easy decision which business they choose.
Coupled with location, site link extensions are a powerful way to get more local customers into your physical retail or service location.
For generating local traffic to your business, we recommend using them to call out social distancing features such as your landing page about curbside delivery, COVID-19 safety protocol, and product delivery options.
Site links provide a great opportunity to quickly show local customers that you’re open and safe. Just remember that you must have a specific page (not just your homepage) to drive traffic from link extensions.
Callout Extensions provide another way to highlight parts of your business that are unique or information that is timely. Callouts appear directly under the description. The dots separating the “callouts” is the only way to distinguish them from the description.
Unlike Site Link Extensions that help the user navigate to a specific page on your website, callouts are meant to simply highlight information.
However, you can use callouts in the same way as site links to generate more interest in your business. Use them to communicate special circumstances around modified hours, socially-distanced delivery, or alternative virtual service.
You don’t necessarily need landing pages with site link extensions to tell customers about your modified service offerings. You just need a few extra words in the ad’s description in the form of callouts.
By including your business’s phone number on your ad, you’re helping customers find you, and you’re learning about how local customers engage with you business. If you’re advertising on the Google Search Network, you’re able to track calls from each ad.
Google does not provide information about specific area codes or telephone numbers, but you can track each call like a conversion that shows up with the rest of your reporting. From call tracking, you can learn:
- Which ads garner the most calls
- What times of the day you get the most calls
- If calls are preceded by clicks elsewhere on the ad or an extension
Note that while call extensions are free, the ability to track calls is not. You can expect to pay about $1/call. Thus, call tracking can get expensive, and we don’t recommend it unless your business already generates a lot of phone calls from the call extension. If that’s the case, then you should be tracking conversions in order to optimize future ads.
Two final thoughts to get the most out of your Google Ads for generating local leads:
- Optimize ads to show to your target audience during peak traffic times and open hours. Keep this advice in mind especially if you’re operating on a modified schedule.
- Don’t guess on which keywords or phrases to use in your ads or ad extensions. Learn from your competitors by using dedicated software or a trusted marketing provider to identify which of your competitor’s ads are performing best for your audience.
The Surefire Local Marketing Platform Does All of This for You
Google Ads are only one piece of the paid local marketing pie. Every small business needs a complete online presence to ensure that customers find, trust, and recommend you. Google Ads management is a full-time job in itself; and that’s before you bring Facebook Ads, Google Local Service Ads, and Yelp Ads into the mix. Building and maintaining that level of online presence can’t be done alone. Let us show you a better way.
Surefire Local is a Google Premier Partner. Our team works closely with the search giant to ensure the ads we run for our customers follow the most current best practices. The Surefire Local Marketing Platform is our signature software. This all-in-one software solution leverages AI and machine learning to optimize your ads based on insights that no human could possibly keep up with on their own. With the Surefire Local Marketing Platform, your leads, the cost to acquire each of them, and the entire ROI of your paid program is clear, optimized, and automated. Request a demo of the Platform today.