With the launch of my new Pay Per Click (PPC) program, I thought it would be a good idea to post an article that outlined several tips to help my readers write effective PPC ads. In that post I mentioned ad extensions and received a couple of questions about them, so I thought it would be a good idea to outline what ad extensions are, how they work, and how they can benefit you. First off, ad extensions are FREE, so there is not added cost. As to what they are, Bing Ads defines ad extensions as “additional pieces of information about your business, like a phone number or a link to a specific page on your website, [that] you can add to your ads”. This can help you out in several ways. For one, if you include an image, your click through rate (CTR) will almost certainly increase, while including your webpage or phone number could allow users to look you up without clicking on your ad, which means you could get free traffic. There are different kinds of ad extensions though, so it is important to understand how each one works so that you can choose those that might work best for you.
If you are looking to increase your CTR, one of the most effective extensions is the image extension. With so many text-only ads out there, having an ad that contains an image can make your ad more noticeable. Likewise, if potential customers are looking for a specific kind of product, making sure they see what you have to offer is a great way to get them click. One report suggests that images can increase your CTR by as much as 30%, so it is worth checking out. Try running two campaigns with the same copy: one with an image, and one without. Let them run for a couple of weeks and see which one get you more traffic.
This is a feature present for both Bing Ads, and Google Adwords, and it is particularly valuable for business that depend on local clientele as it shows the location of the business. If somebody is looking for an Indian or Mexican restaurant, or maybe a party store, gas station or bakery, having an ad that shows your address, or even a map to your location, will let your potential customers know exactly where you are, and if you are close to them. Obviously if you are running a mail-order business where you ship items, this extension will not be helpful, but if you depend on local traffic, especially in tourist locations where people don’t always know which businesses are closest to them, this extension is a must.
With a growing number of web users accessing the internet through mobile devices, having an app is becoming increasingly important to running an online business, and having an app extension is a great way of letting your potential clients know that you have an app available and are keeping up with current trends. If most of your traffic is coming from home computers, then this extension may not be as helpful, but if you are getting most of your traffic from tablets and smart phones, making sure your clients know you have an app lets them know that you website and product will be easily accessible through their mobile device. If you aren’t sure what your demographics are like and want to know if this is an extension you should include, install Google Analytics on your site and the stats they keep will show you which devices are being used to access your site.
The beauty of sitelink extensions is that it shows your website’s URL in the ad, which gives the client an opportunity to type your address in, rather than clicking on the ad. This means that it could generate traffic without costing you any money. It also allows you to post links to different pages on your site, so that while somebody may have been looking up books when they stumbled upon your ad, they may come across your Ebay or Amazon store and see that you also sell DVDs that they are interested in. Alternately, you may have a restaurant and want your audience to see different sections of your menu: the sitelink extensions can link your customers to different sections of your menu in the same ad. These extensions can be very helpful, but if you implement them, be sure to track which pages are being visited so you can determine how effective the extension is working for you.
The call extension has the benefit of both the location extension and the sitelink extensions. If a potential customer is interested in your product, especially locally, having your number lets them know you are nearby. Unlike the location extension, though, this is not limited to local clientele as you can also include national numbers or 1-800 numbers and thereby reach clients all over the world. Like the sitelink extension, you also give the potential client a way to contact you other than clicking on a link; therefore, you may be able to get a conversion without having to pay for a click. If you do use this, try and keep track of where you clients are getting your number, that way you can see which advertising methods are most effective for you.
Though I would not recommend overloading your ads with all of these extensions, I would encourage you to consider which extensions would work best for the product or service you are offering. If you are unsure which extension, or combination of extensions would work best for your product, be sure to run some different campaigns simultaneously and see which ones earn the highest conversion rates and CTR, and if you are unsure how to do this, check out my new PPC program, which takes you through this process step-by-step. In this way, you will be able to ensure you are getting the most cost-efficient traffic and conversations, and will make your advertising dollars for further.
If you found this article helpful and would like updates on my latest posts, be sure to follow me on Twitter @MikeBashi, on Facebook, or add me to your RSS feed, and if you want access to my PPC program, which teaches you how to get higher click-through rates, go here.