google ads extensions

Google Ads Extensions

Google Ads Extensions are now Campaign Assets.

What are they?

Google Ads don’t start and stop at Headlines and Descriptions. True, they are the primary Campaign Assets that you will be using, but there are many more Asset types you can use to optimise, run A/B tests, and generally tweak your ads to fit every possible scenario.

A key, and often underutilised, element of a good Google Ad, are what we used to call extensions. But what are they and how do you use them?

Read on to find out …

What are Google Ads Campaign Assets?

Campaign Assets are what Google now calls the various bits and pieces of content that can make up an ad. This includes Headlines and Descriptions, as well as what used to be called Ad Extensions.

It is a relatively recent change, but for the sake of differentiating Headlines and Descriptions (which you will always use in an ad) from these other assets (which you might not), we will use the ‘old’ terminology of Ad Extensions.

Should I use Google Ad Extensions?

There are a few reasons to use extensions, but they can be summarised as:

  1. They add flexibility to your ad destinations – a regular search ad may have one link for searchers to click in the Headline. With extensions, you can add several, all directing to slightly different areas of your website, all relevant to the initial search. Therefore, if your initial headline link isn’t exactly what the searcher wants, one of the other links should be. This is obviously great for potentially increasing the clickthrough rate (CTR).
  2. They can make your ads stand out – using something like an image extension can make your ad stand out from the crowd – both over ads and organic listings. Getting attention is key for a Google Ad, so any tools that help with that are to be prized.
  3. They take up more of the advertising space – with a good set of extensions, your ad can take up a lot of screen real estate. This means two things: searchers are more likely to pay attention to you, and there is less room on the screen for your competitors. Win, win.

There are a couple of things to be aware of before jumping into the types of Extensions available:

  • The Google Ads algorithms generally won’t allow you to get more clicks using a variety of Extensions at a lower ad position, than if the ad was in a higher position.
  • You will not see Google use a combination of assets that get a higher CTR in a low-positioned ad than in a high-position ad (i.e. an ad at the bottom of the page will not be formatted in any way to get a better CTR than an ad at the top of the page).

So, in short – get your Headline and Description right, first. Make sure your keywords and landing page selection are spot on. And make sure you are generally appearing at the top of the search rankings (if not in the top position). Then, spend time optimising your Extensions.

What types of Google Ads Extensions exist?

There are many types of extensions available, and they all do something a little different. It may be that not all of them will be suitable for your current campaign. 

One thing to note before we proceed – just because you add extensions to your Google Ads, it doesn’t mean Google will show them. Google will use algorithms and machine learning to decide when to show an extension, and when not to. 

Most common extensions

Sitelink extensions

Firstly, they are a great way of taking up a lot of screen real estate. Up to four sitelink extensions can appear at once, which can take up the space of two or three regular search ads.

But, more importantly, they are a great way to offer alternative landing pages to a searcher. This means there is more chance they will find something in your ad they are interested in, bolstering CTR.

Screenshot from author, April 2024

Image extensions

Image extensions are simply a way of adding a bit of colour to your search ad. They help your ad to stand out, and are often underutilised.

A great example of when they can work well is for travel industry ads, as they can offer that little bit of inspiration from a well-chosen image, increasing CTR and putting the searcher in the right mood before even making it to the landing page.

image extensions example
Screenshot from author, April 2024

Call extensions

Call extensions allow searchers to call you directly from the ad itself. This is particularly useful on mobile, where searchers can click and immediately call you, reducing friction in the user journey.

Google Ads tracks these ‘click-to-call’ conversions, giving you an idea of how many people have contacted you thanks to ads.

call extension example
Screenshot from author, April 2024

Callout extensions

Callout extensions are very flexible, and can be used to highlight key marketing messages. It is a brilliant way to pull out those key promotions, USPs, etc., from the ad copy, and highlight them.

You may even want to highlight things like opening hours, offers, special events, and many more.

callout example
Screenshot from author, April 2024

Structured snippet extensions

Structured snippets are another way to highlight who you are, what you do, and your USPs within a search ad, outside of the regular ad copy. 

Google’s standard example is taken from a travel business, for instance, you may have ‘Destinations’, followed by ‘Country 1,’ ‘Country 2’, ‘Country 3’, etc.

structured snippets
Screenshot from author, April 2024

Location extensions

By connecting your Google Business Profile to your Google Ads account, you can highlight your location in your search ad.

This is obviously brilliant for local businesses or larger organisations with multiple branches. It showcases to the searcher that you are present in their area, highlighting your relevance to their search, and generally increasing the likelihood of engagement.

location extension example
Screenshot from author, April 2024
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Do you need help with your Ad Extensions and Google Ads account?

For e-Commerce accounts

Price extensions

Price extensions help to highlight the cost of your service / product up front. This is a great way to set expectations and potentially filter searchers who are unlikely to convert at your desired price point, saving budget for those who will.

price extension example
Screenshot from author, April 2024

Promotion extensions

A lot of searchers are looking for good offers in the current economic climate. These extensions allow you to highlight your promotions upfront in your ad. This could be a key point of difference between you and a competitor, and may well be the difference between a searcher clicking or scrolling past.

promo extension example
Screenshot from author, April 2024

Seller rating extensions

Whether seller ratings appear in your ads is somewhat out of your hands from a Google Ads perspective. If you have enough reviews within the previous 12 months across review platforms (such as Google, Trust Pilot, etc.), and the review rating is high enough, Google may pull that data and add it to your ad. 

This is great social proof to add to your ads, likely increasing CTR and conversion rate (CVR).

review extension
Screenshot from author, April 2024

Product extensions

Designed primarily for e-commerce businesses, product extensions may take a little extra work, as they require a Google Merchant Centre account to be connected to your Google Ads account.

They can highlight a selection of relevant products within your search results. This is a great way to potentially reduce the number of steps from search to purchase for your customer, as they can search for their desired product right from the ad.

Affiliate location extensions

Affiliate location extensions are a little more niche than the others, with the use case being relatively limited. If you produce a product, and it is sold through third-party sellers, though, affiliate location extensions may be suitable for you.

Essentially, you can highlight in your ad if there are any stores local to the searcher that sell your product, where you may not sell it directly yourself.

For lead generation

Lead form extensions

Lead form extensions help you service searchers without ever needing to land on your website; helping them where they search.

For instance, if you offer a software platform, you could add a free trial form to the ad. This is another extension where the aim is to reduce the number of steps for a user to engage with your organisation in some way.

One thing to be aware of, though, is that any contact /personal information collected within an ad is saved within Google Ads until you export it; so don’t forget that final step!

For Apps

App extensions

If you have an app, you can promote it alongside your search ad, and searchers can be taken directly to a download link.

Great for building the number of app users, and also monitoring what keywords might trigger a user to download the app.

app extension
Screenshot from author, April 2024

Account level ad extensions, campaign level ad extensions, or ad group level ad extensions?

Ad extensions can be set up from the ad group level all the way up to the account level. Google will always use the ‘lowest’ level extension, where the order from top to bottom would be account level > campaign level > ad group. This makes perfect sense, as you may have some general extensions that are brand-based and can be used with any ad at the account level, but then you may want very specific extensions at the ad group level, which are relevant to those particular ads.

Whether you should use one or all of those options will depend on your goals, the users you are targeting, and the campaigns you are running. 

You can also exclude account-level extensions from specific campaigns or ad groups, even if you are not planning to replace them with campaign or ad-group-specific extensions.

Making the most of the extensions available will really help improve your account. We recommend you start easy at first, select the top three extensions that will be the most helpful for you, and grow from there. If you’re using an Ad Grants account, you’ll need 4 account sitelinks, 1 group of callout extensions and 1 structured snippet to keep your account compliant. 

Grow your account with Google Ads Extensions. Request a free audit to learn how to get the most out of your account.