When I was a kid I used to love watching Voltron on Saturday mornings. In Voltron, 5 separate spaceships would combine to create a super robot called “Voltron” to fight large enemies. As individual spaceships they didn’t stand a chance, but once they came together as Voltron, they were able to win the battles.
A similar story line is now playing out in Google AdWords accounts. Instead of spaceships, we have text ads and ad extensions combining to form Voltron-like super ads that can dominate the search results page. Take a look at the example below and you can quickly see that one ad has a clear advantage in terms of capturing attention and clicks simply because of how big it is.
How to Create Voltron-Like Ads
The secret to create a massive ad like the example above is to use Google AdWords Ad Extensions. As the name suggests, ad extensions “extend” your standard AdWords text ad (a headline and 2 short description lines) to include more information about your products or services.
Can you guess which ad extension allows you to create the large ad above?
That’s a trick question! The example ad above is actually using 4 different extensions that AdWords combined like Voltron. :) Unfortunately, AdWords determines when and which ad extensions are combined so there’s no guarantee you’ll create a super ad every time your ad is displayed in the search results. Plus, AdWords will only display certain extensions when you’re in the top 3 ad slots (not the right rail).
Why You Must Use Ad Extensions
The obvious reason to use ad extensions is to make your ads stand out and take up more real estate than your competitors in the search results. That’s a no-brainer, right?
But there’s one more important reason. AdWords recently updated their Quality Score calculation to incorporate ad extensions. In the past, Quality Score was calculated using your keywords, text ads, and landing pages, but now there is an additional factor: your ad extensions.
That means advertisers that set up ad extensions gain a competitive advantage with a potentially higher Quality Score. In turn, advertisers with higher Quality Scores can bid and pay less per click for the same ad position versus competitors with lower Quality Scores.
Did you catch that? Not only will your ads stand out and likely get more clicks by using ad extensions, but you’ll likely cut your ad costs while maintaining the same ad position in the search results!
The 6 Ad Extensions Every Business Should Use
In every AdWords campaign you’ll see a tab called “Ad Extensions” which is where you need to go to create your extensions. From there you can click on the button that starts with “View:” to view all of the available extensions.
The 6 I recommend nearly every business create are:
- Call extensions
- Location extensions
- Sitelinks extensions
- Callout extensions
- Review extensions
- Structured snippet extensions
1. Call extensions
Whenever you see a phone number listed in an AdWords ad, you’re looking at a call extension. You have the option when setting up your call extension to display your phone number or display a Google tracking number that forwards to your number. By using the latter, you’ll be able to track how many calls are generated from prospects calling the number in your ads.
Obviously if you don’t want phone calls, then this extension is not a good fit. However, if you do take calls, then this is a great opportunity to provide your prospects with contact information before they even click on your ad.
2. Location extensions
At the bottom of the example ad above you’ll see the address of the business. This is particularly helpful for prospects that are looking for a business nearby. By displaying your address, you’ll be more likely to attract clicks from prospects who want a business near your location, and conversely, you’ll be less likely to waste money on prospects not interested in traveling to your location.
Of course, if you don’t have a store or office location, then this extension is not a good fit. But for every other business, this is another opportunity to provide contact information before the prospect clicks on your ad.
3. Sitelinks extensions
Unlike the two extensions above, I can’t think of a good reason why any business would not set up sitelinks extensions. Think of sitelinks extensions as additional text ads that can be displayed below your standard ad. More often than not, only the headline of the sitelinks will be displayed, but it’s also possible that AdWords will display the full sitelink ad with a headline and 2 description lines. As you can imagine, those ads really crowd out the search results to help your ad stand out!
4. Callout extensions
Callout extensions are essentially bullet points that you can add below your standard ad. Like sitelinks I can’t think of any reason why an advertiser would not include Callouts because it’s a great way to provide additional selling points in your ads.
5. Review extensions
Of all the extensions, this one is the hardest to set up because you need a 3rd party review of your business. To clarify, this is not a customer review. This needs to be a review from another business or media outlet. For example, if you have an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), then that can be used as a review extension to highlight BBB’s review of your business.
6. Structured snippet extensions
Finally, the 6th extension I recommend is the structured snippet, which allows you to add a comma separated list below your standard text ad. Unlike all the other extensions, the structured snippet is not fully customizeable so you must select from the available headers below:
- Degree programs
- Featured hotels
- Insurance coverage
- Service catalog
After you select your header, then you can add a list after the header. For example, if you select “Brands” then you would list all the brands you offer at your store.
Can You Spot All 4 Extensions?
Now that you’re familiar with these ad extensions, go back to the example above and see if you can correctly identify the 4 ad extensions.
Get an Expert AdWords Audit for Free (if you qualify)
Are you spending $1,000/m or more in Google AdWords? If so, you may qualify for an AdWords Audit (normally $300). To apply for your free AdWords audit, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and in the subject line of the email write “Free AdWords Audit.” If you qualify, we’ll analyze your account give you expert recommendations to slash your ad costs and maximize your return on investment (ROI).