Sour Patch Kids. That’s what Google could be compared to with the Enhanced Campaign changes in Google AdWords. The sour in Enhanced Campaigns is the issues with targeting (mobile’s being shoved down our throats, and the tablet/desktop linking is cumbersome at best). But they are sweet by giving us upgraded ad extensions.
These ad extension changes affect sitelinks and other extensions – call extensions, app extensions, and offer extensions, and they really are that sweet. Before you dive in, remember that these features are only accessible with Enhanced Campaigns, so you’ll have to switch over to take advantage (well played, Google).
Sitelinks will stay the same when it comes to how they are displayed (see above). The changes come in the back end. Here is what you get with the upgrade:
1. More Flexible Little Links
Upgraded sitelinks can be added to a campaign or ad group, providing you more control over the specific ads they show alongside. Making this change makes sitelinks more relevant. Before the change, whole accounts would be structured in a different manner just so sitelinks could be more targeted. With the option to add sitelinks at the ad group level, that is no longer a concern.
2. More Detailed Reporting
You can see the number of clicks that occurred on any part of your ad, every time an individual sitelink appeared. The report provides the ability to break down the statistics by campaign, ad group, or ad. You can also segment your statistics using “This Extension vs. Other” to see the number of clicks that occurred on the individual sitelink versus another part of the ad (e.g., the headline, other sitelinks, or another extension).
3. Data Retention
This one is pretty gosh darn nice. You can now edit your sitelink extension without resetting its performance statistics.
4. Customized Sitelinks for Mobile
Just like your Enhanced Campaigns, you can designate sitelinks that you prefer to show on mobile devices. What this will do is intensify the multiplier, just like the campaign option, that determines if the device is mobile. And then it serves no more than four sitelinks on your mobile page.
5. Scheduling with start and end dates
Specify the dates, days of week, or times of day your sitelinks are eligible to show.
Upgraded Call Extensions
Call extensions got an upgrade too. The upgrade is pretty significant as it allows you to gather call metrics and record calls as conversions. When your ad shows on desktop/tablets, the user can either go to your website URL or call the phone number in the ad. When your ad shows on a mobile device, the user can click-to-call.
What are the benefits of call extensions?
Well, Google has done some studies and what they found was that customers who pick up the phone are 10 times more likely to make a purchase than those who only click on a link (Source: Kelsey Group Study). They also found, from a click-to-call mobile beta test, a 6% increase in CTR on mobile devices when using the upgraded call extensions. Additionally, just like any other ad extension, they extend your ad to take up more real estate on the SERPs and are quick and easy to implement:
Here is the complete list of upgrades to the new call extensions:
1. Phone Call Conversion Measurement (Kind of).
Help understand the effectiveness of your ads by tracking conversions. This is done by counting the number of calls you receive that last longer than the duration you specify. If you sell products over the phone still, this is a must. It may not be the most accurate way to track conversions from calls, but I believe there will be updates to this down the road.
2. Free Calls!
With legacy call extensions, calls to the Google forwarding phone numbers shown on desktop and tablet devices are charged a minimum of $1.00 (or similar local currency amount). With upgraded call extensions, these calls are free.
3. Support Across All Devices
With upgraded call extensions, your business phone number can appear on all devices. Legacy call extensions show your business phone number only when the ad appears on mobile devices unless you opt to use Google forwarding numbers (available only in the U.S., U.K., and Germany).
4. Better Reporting
See how many clicks you receive on each part of your ad when a call extension appeared, such as clicks to your ad’s headline compared to clicks on the call extension. Break these statistics down by campaign, ad group, or ad. This allows you to see how many calls you are receiving and the call duration from these calls.
These extensions can be added to ad groups as well as campaigns, while legacy call extensions can be added only to entire campaigns.
6. Data Retention
Edit your call extension without resetting its performance statistics.
7. Start/end dates and scheduling
Specify what dates, days of the week, or times of day when your call extension should appear.
Upgraded App Extensions
The upgraded app extensions work the same way as app extensions for legacy campaigns, except these provide more detailed reporting and are easier to manage. Here are the main differences from legacy to upgraded:
These extensions can now be added to ad groups as well as campaigns, while legacy app extensions can be added only to entire campaigns.
2. More detailed reporting
See how many clicks you receive on each part of your ad when an app extension appeared, such as clicks to your ad’s headline compared to clicks on the app extension. Break these statistics down by campaign, ad group, or ad.
3. In-place editing
Edit your app extension without resetting its performance statistics.
4. Start/end dates and scheduling
Specify what dates, days of the week, or times of day when your app extension should appear with your ad.
Upgraded Offer Extensions
When using offer extensions, your offers are eligible to show when your text ads are in the top spots. Keep in mind that your offer will not show every time your ad is in a top spot. It will only show when Google thinks it has the best chance of getting the offer clicked. When the offer does show, it shows as an additional line as a link with the offer headline that you chose when you had setup the offer (see “View offer” in the image below).
When your offer is clicked, the customer will be taken to an offer landing page that has been assembled by Google’s automated systems. The page will provide instructions for the customer to use the offer.
What this has the ability to do is to measure offline results from online marketing efforts while providing an easy and streamlined approach in managing and utilizing your online offers. When the coupon is used in-store, they will be recorded as a conversion within AdWords.
How much are Offer Extensions?
They are just as much as a click would be. It doesn’t matter what part of the ad is clicked the price is the same.
In the End
Google probably felt that they needed to give us something good to overshadow the bad. While the good has been largely overwhelmed by negative feedback to the bad, we have great new features with the ad extensions that all advertisers should put to use.