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Google AdWords Extensions: What they are and why to use them

For those running their own AdWords campaigns—or those who trust in a partner like Federated Digital Solutions to do so for them—Google has several different ways to enhance your Pay Per Click ads (PPC) via Extensions.

In short, extensions are small add-ons to Google AdWords that make these ads more robust and useful to potential customers. Using a combination of extensions can not only give you more real estate on the search results page, but also improve your campaign performance. And the best part is… they’re free!

While the display of extensions may seem arbitrary, Google has criteria for determining when to show an extension or combination of extensions. For instance, if it is likely to improve your ad performance, your extensions may show. Ad Rank is also a factor in extension appearance, and the search engine can favor an ad with a good position and ranking. Google may even opt to show your extensions because of other extensions you have enabled. At the end of the day, this is about what Google deems as useful to the user, so it’s possible there are even more factors used to determine when they display.

Extensions can be both automatically and manually generated. Today, let’s dive into the manual extensions and how they can drive the overall effectiveness of your ads:

Location Extensions make it super easy for potential customers to find out where you are located, call you and visit your location. They can contain info such as the distance to your business, a map to your location, and even your phone number or a click to call button. Please note, you must have a linked Google My Business account for these to eligible for display.

Callout Extensions are great for highlighting your Unique Selling Proposition, and can also boost the coveted Click Through Rate (CTR%) metric. With a 25-character limit, these are designed to be brief. Google gives examples of mentioning “24/7 support” or “free delivery” as effective use cases. Also important—these can display along with your ad text, so you will want to be aware of any duplicate messaging.

Call Extensions display your phone number with your ad, enabling the click-to-call feature for smart phones. This is a great way to track conversions. Plus, another upshot is you can boost your CTR%.

Sitelink Extensions quickly take users to specific pages of your site. For example, a clothing store may have direct links to “women’s shoes” or “men’s sportswear” using this extension. Knowing they can easily get the information they want immediately makes it more enticing to click. Google allows for 2-6 to display at a time on desktop, and up to 8 for a tablet or smart phone. A huge benefit here is more presence on the page.

Structured Snippet Extensions are used to highlight what potential clients would deem most valuable about your products or services. Users are instantly able to find out more about what you have to offer before even clicking on your ad, increasing your ad’s relevance and boosting CTR%. This type of extension uses predefined headers for which you would add the supporting details. Available headers include Amenities, Featured Hotels, Brands, Styles, Services, and more.

Review Extensions are an excellent way to share the great things people have said about your business, accolades, awards, etc. This could compel more potential customers to click, as well as give your ads more coveted space on the page. Some advertisers see CTR percentages increase exponentially because of these extensions.


If you have added all available extensions, you’ve set yourself up to boost your CTR%, gain more presence on the page, and get more of those customers you know are out there.

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Heather Riley

Written by Heather Riley

Heather Riley is Director of the Campaign Team for Federated Digital Solutions. She has been in the advertising industry for over 15 years and is fortunate enough to be able to leverage that experience into helping maximize the ROI for clients by implementing processes for campaign optimization and monitoring, as well as helping develop customized advertising strategies to help clients move forward in a way that aligns with their business goals.

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