Just how important are the Ad Extensions within Google Adwords, and in particular why should we be using Structured Snippets Extensions?

Google Adwords Ad Extensions can be powerful tools for a variety of effects, including increasing your click through rate and boosting your conversion rate, but the real bonus is that your cost per click isn’t changed by using them. A Google report suggests that using ad extensions can increase CTR by 30% on average

Towards the end of 2015, Google Adwords announced the introduction of structured snippets to enable your customers to preview even more of your site content within your adverts than ever before, these extensions are similar to Callout extensions in that they are not clickable; they simply provide that little bit more information for the searcher, and in turn, give you the opportunity to show more key features in your ads.

 

How do they work?

You have to select a type of snippet you want to add for your extension which is chosen from a predetermined list of categories set by Google. They are:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Structured Snippets

Like all of Google’s Ad Extensions, Structured Snippets will help you to boost your ad space and play a role in your Ad rank and overall account quality score, it’s a quick way to gain a great competitive advantage.  This is also great news for retail, these snippets offer the chance to give customers more detail on the brands you sell or the different styles of products available – without having to use precious ad text space.

However, if none of the headers apply to your industry, they won’t be of any use to you.

Interestingly, it appears that these headers have a clear bias that favour the industries with the highest average costs per click such as Insurance, travel & accommodation and education.

Should you add Structured Snippets?

Of course! The more ad extensions you have, the bigger impact your ad will have on the page, and the more information you can give to your customer.  You will also see an improvement on your ad rank, Quality Score and CTR. Google changed their Ad Rank formula in 2013 to include ad extensions, this is because the expected benefit in terms of CTR for ads with extensions is clear. The only reason not to use this extension is if you simply can’t find a header that falls in line with your campaign.

You can then add up to 10 “Values” that must be relevant to your header, as always, 4 being the recommended minimum. Each value has a character limit of 25 – although by keeping them short Google will typically show more.  The Structured Snippet extensions will show under your ad copy and above any sitelinks, as below:

What is the difference between Structured Snippets and Callout Extensions, and should we be using both?

The difference is very subtle, callouts are to highlight what makes your business, products or services unique (i.e. “Trained Technicians” or “24/7 Support”), whereas structured snippets should be used to highlight a specific aspect of the products or services you offer (E.g. “Models: V40, S90, XC60, XC90”). They can – and should – be used together, only always ensure you’re not duplicating the information you are highlighting in both.

By Terri Foster