How to Use Ad Extensions in Google Ads

As their name suggests, Google Ad extensions extend your ads with additional information. There are several reasons to add extensions to your search campaigns.

  • More space in the search results = More chances of your ad being seen
  • Extensions typically increase CTRs (click-through rates)
  • More space to add information about your product

There are a few more reasons which are relevant to specific extension types, I'll elaborate on them later in the article. If you’re looking to improve your Google Ads performance, read on to learn about the wonderful world of extensions.

The 11 Types of Ad Extensions in Google Ads

Sitelink ad extension taking up space in the SERP

Site link extensions increase your ads space with titles and descriptions. In this example, Confused's site link extensions are helping them dominate the search results.

At the time of writing, Google is offering 11 extension types on their ad platform. Here is a quick list of all of them and what they do.

  1. Sitelink extensions - Give you the option to add links to specific pages on your site along with a short description. What’s not to like?
  2. Call out extensions - Allow you to add a short call out to help you entice action or shout about benefits. “Free Shipping, “10 Locations”, “In-Stock” etc…
  3. Structured snippet extensions - Add more information about your product but in a very err… structured way. E.g Neighbourhoods: Mayfair, Marylebone, Soho.
    Brands: Addidas, Nike, Puma.
  4. Image extensions - This new extension adds a thumbnail image next to your ads. It’s a great addition to the extension family and works well for visual products.
  5. Call extension - Show your number next to the ad and allow searchers to call you before they even visit your website.
  6. Lead-form extensions - Ads a form on the search results page so that users can contact you before they even visit your website.
  7. Location extension - Show a pin with location info under the ad. This is really handy if you want to drive in-store visits.
  8. Affiliate location extension - If you sell your products through retail outlets this extension can show their locations.
  9. Price extension - Shows prices for products or categories that you choose to feature here. You can show an exact price, a from price or a price range and add a URL to a landing page for each product/ category.
  10. App extension - To encourage downloads of your app. If you already have the app installed on your phone clicking this extension will open the app.
  11. Promotion extension - Shout out about any sales or offers you have running.
  12. Automated extension - Not an extension type per se. Just be aware that they exist and should usually be disabled (more on that later).

Adding Ad Extensions at the Right Level Within Google Ads

Ad extensions at campaign or adgroup levels

If a campaign or an ad group is selected on the left-hand side of the interface, any extensions you create will be added at that level.

You can add Google Ad extensions in 3 places within your account.

  • Account level extensions
  • Campaign level extensions
  • Ad-group level extensions

Adding them globally at the account level is the quickest and easiest. Adding them at the campaign or ad-group level does take more time but gives you more control.

Here are a few examples of how I normally choose where to add the extensions.

  1. Call extension for a small business - If there is only one phone number that is relevant to all the ads I will add the extension at the account level.
  2. Location and sitelink extensions for a business with multiple locations - I will probably run separate campaigns for different locations. With that in mind, I want the option to control which extensions show for each campaign and will add the extensions at the campaign level.

It's generally better practice to add extensions at the campaign level as this allows you to tailor your message to each campaign.

Which Google Ads Extensions Should You Use?

With Google Ad extensions, the general rule of thumb is the more, the merrier. There is a caveat here, and it is that you should check extension performance and remove or change the ones that are underperforming.

I find that link extensions, image extensions and call extensions have always worked in my favour and increased CTR.

I have found that for some products, adding price extensions doesn’t help, it really depends on what you sell and if the price is a deterring or encouraging factor.

How to create Google ad extensions

I won’t go into much detail as this is fairly self-explanatory. The only thing to watch out for is what level you’re in when you’re creating the extension. If you’re at the account level, the extension will be created for the whole account. Campaign level … you’re smart, you get the picture.

Monitoring Google ad extension performance

Monitor ad extension performance in Google Ads

You want high CTRs and this is the key metric you should be looking at when you check ad extension performance.

Set yourself reminders to check extension performance every month or so. You want to have enough impressions and clicks to reach valid conclusions. For some accounts this will be every other week, for others, this could be every 2-3 months.

If an extension isn’t getting high CTRs, click on it and edit the text to make it more appealing. Remember, your ads and your extensions are the only places you can communicate with the searcher, so refine your messaging until you see improvement.

How to Disable the Automated Ad Extensions

Disabling automated ad extensions in Google Ads

The option to disable automated extensions is tucked away in the advanced options.

The automated ad extensions are hidden at the bottom of the extension page. It is generally good practice to disable them but this setting can be hard to find. Click on the automated extensions and then click the three-dot menu on the right and choose "Advanced options". Now you can disable the automated extensions.

Using Google Ad Extensions - Conclusions

Ad extensions in search campaigns are a no-brainer. Yes, they take time to create and manage, but they help you stand out. Text ads on Google have a very limiting character count. Adding that extra bit of text can give you an edge over less skilled advertisers. Adding eye-catching features like image extensions or price extensions help you stand out from the crowd. Use your extensions, and great things can happen.

About me

I'm a London based PPC consultant with over 10 years experience. I specialise in managing Google Ads for lead generation and work with many clients. I also run Effectivemarketing.uk, a digital marketing agency. If you have any questions about Google Ads or need help with your account, get in touch I'd be glad to help.

Odi Caspi

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