Google Ads Extensions: Best Practices & Why You Should Be Using Them

A laptop open to Google Search with a plant nearby and a calendar to the right of it. Sticky notes above referencing google ad extensions
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What’s the Big Deal about Google Ad Extensions?

What are Google Ad Extensions? Google Ads Extensions are a way to provide potential customers with additional information about your business at no extra cost to you. As part of your google ads campaign, google ads gives you the ability to create manual extensions that will improve your search ads by adding more valuable content for the user. Extensions show with your google search ads on both mobile devices and desktops, helping you to take up more space on the search results page.

In this blog post, we will be covering the many different types of ad extensions inside google ads, who should be using them, and why you should be using them. As well as covering what each extension looks like on the SERP, what extension is best for, and covering extension best practices for each.

Why should you be using extensions?

Google Ad Extensions are free real estate. It doesn't cost you anything extra to use ad extensions yet it provides you with the opportunity to show additional information to users. It allows you to focus your ads on your specific messaging and use extensions to provide important information like your phone number, and location among other things. Most importantly it helps you to take up more ad space on the SERP. Therefore you should be using as many ad extensions as you can as long as they are relevant extensions to your business. It's worth noting that four is the maximum number of ad extensions that can show for a particular query or device at any given time.

Where Are Extensions Located Inside Google Ads?

Extensions can be found inside your Google Ads account, Under the ‘Ads & Extensions’ section. From there you can add a new ad extension, view existing ad extensions or update an existing ad extension.

What Levels Can Extensions Be Used At?

Google Ads Ad Extensions can be added at the account level, campaign level, and ad group level. You can have multiple at each level. However, Google will always work from the lowest level first. For example, if you have a phone number at your ad group level and at your account level it will use that phone number over the phone number you have set at your account level.

Account Level > Campaign Level > Ad Group Level

What Levels Should I Make Extensions At?

You should use extensions at each level depending on what’s most relevant. So broad things like your phone number and location should be at the account level because no matter what your ads are about those two pieces of information will always be relevant to the user and remain the same. However, more specific things like what types of specific service you offer should be at the campaign or specific ad groups that make the most sense. Be sure to use multiple ad extensions.

What Types of Extensions Are There?

**Additional Extensions that are in Google Ads that won't be covered in this blog: lead form extensions, affiliate location extensions, price extensions, app extensions, promotion extensions, and automated extensions.

Sitelink Extensions:

What they look like on the SERP:

As shown below you can see two different ways that sitelink extensions can appear on the SERP. The first example is what sitelink extensions typically look like when you snag the first place ad slot. Your sitelink title is displayed as the clickable link, shown with its two additional descriptions below it. Whereas the second example shows the more common way sitelinks appear when you don't snag that first ad spot. Instead of including descriptions, a few sitelink titles are displayed in a line for the user to click on.

What they are best for:

  • Providing users quick and easy access to more information about your business and/or services

  • Providing more chances to show the user you have what they are looking for on your website

  • Showing multiple links that can take the user to a specific landing page on your website

Best Practices:

  • Try to include at least 6 sitelink extensions per campaign or ad group

  • Make sure to use descriptions with your sitelinks.

Who should be using this extension type?

Everyone! All businesses can benefit from using this ad extension. Whether it's your products, blogs, team page, or FAQ page, every website has a few landing pages that will make for good sitelink extensions.

Callout Extensions:

What they look like on the SERP:

Callout extensions appear within the description of search ads as short-to-the-point sentences. They typically point out things like shipping policies, benefits, or costs.

What they are best for:

  • Highlighting key information and unique selling points of a business

  • Providing easily digestible information about your business that's important to the user

Best Practices:

  • Try to have at least 4 callout extensions, 2 is the minimum number of callout extensions that can show at a time.

  • Highlight the benefits of your company! (Free Shipping, Quality Guaranteed, 30 Years of Experience, etc.)

  • Use these to highlight what makes you unique and stand out from the competition.

Who should be using this extension type?

Everyone! Just like with sitelink extensions, every business has callouts that they can come up with and use. By highlighting these small bits of information in callouts, you can save that valuable space in your ad descriptions. Allowing you to use it to share something else with the user since you'll already have covered that you offer free shipping in your callout.

Structured Snippet Extensions:

What they look like on the SERP:

Structured snippets are another extension type that builds into the length of the description portion of the ad, they appear after any callout extensions. Structured Snippets are identifiable by their category header followed by a colon. In the case of the example below this appears as 'Types:', it's just one of several category options available inside google ads.

What they are best for:

  • Highlighting specific aspects of your product or service

  • Providing more information to the user

  • Giving a quick peek at what kind of products or services they can expect to see on your site

Best Practices:

  • Pick header types (categories) that make the most sense for your business. Amenities, courses, service catalog, styles, and types are a few of the most common headers.

  • Aim to include at least 4 values per header, with a max of 10 values per header.

  • Try out different structured snippets, with different headers and values to find which combos will work the best for you.

Who should be using this extension type?

Structured snippets are for anyone who has multiple categories of products, different sizes, and/or different colors. Anyone whose products/services can be put into a list categorized as one of the following: Amenities, Brands, Courses, Degree Programs, Destinations, Features Hotels, Insurance Coverage, Models, Neighborhoods, Service Catalog, Shows, Styles, & Types. If one of those headers applies to your business that these are for you!

Image Extensions:

What they look like on the SERP:

Image extensions are, well, images. They typically appear on mobile but also can appear on desktop. As everyone knows images can speak a thousand words! So if you are able to include image extensions in your account we highly recommend it.

What they are best for:

  • Showing an image of your product or service

  • Showing real examples & evoking emotion

  • Giving users a chance to get a better feel about your company

Best Practices:

  • Be sure that your images are relevant to your keywords, and topics in the ad groups or campaigns

  • Be sure to upload both square and landscape photos.

  • Include the max number of image extensions (20) so that you can test which kinds work the best for you.

Who should be using this extension type?

Everyone! - Image extensions are fairly new to Google Ads - so not all accounts may have access to it just yet. However, if you do, you should be using it! After all, photos can add so much that words simply can’t convey.

Call Extensions:

What they look like on the SERP:

As probably expected by the name, call extensions appear as a phone number that a user can click on that will allow them to immediately begin calling your business. Typically appearing on mobile phones.

What they are best for:

  • Encouraging calls to your business

  • Offering users a direct way to get into contact with you

Best Practices:

  • Make sure you enter the right phone number.

  • Use Call Schedules! This allows you to only show the call extension when someone from your business is actually available to answer the call.

  • Make sure you have call conversion tracking setup, that way all your phone calls will be properly counted as conversions.

Who should be using this extension type?

Call extensions are for everyone...who wants phone calls. If you don’t want phone calls or don’t answer phone calls this extension isn’t for you. However, if your business answers their phone and gets business via phone - this one’s for you.

Location Extensions:

What they look like on the SERP:

Location extensions connect to your Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) so that when a user clicks on your address it will open Google Maps with directions to your business. The top example is how the location extension appears on desktop and the bottom example is how it appears on mobile.

What they are best for:

  • Showing business information like address, store hours, etc.

  • Pairs well with your Google Business Profile(Google My Business), Google Maps listing

  • Building trust with the user that you have a physical location

Best Practices:

  • Make sure your address is correct.

  • Be sure to keep your Google Business Profile up to date with accurate photos, contact info, and reviews.

  • Google customer reviews can also help boost the trust in a user when they are viewing your business through your location.

Who should be using this extension type?

Anyone who has a physical location that customers can come to. If you don’t have a physical store or your business is managed out of your home and you don’t want random customers showing up - Don’t use the location extension. If you’ve got a physical store or business front and you don’t mind walk-ins you should most definitely set up this extension. Having a physical location on your website and your ads helps build credibility that you are real and builds confidence in your business making customers more likely to buy from you.

Top Things to Remember When Using Extensions:

  • They’re free!

  • Use as many extensions as you can.

  • They help your ads take up more space on the search engine results page.

  • They offer extra ways a potential customer can interact with your business.

  • Make sure that your extensions are valuable, don’t just make them fluff or false.

  • They can increase your ad's click-through rate.

In conclusion, Google Ad Extensions are important, helpful, and free! So there’s really no reason not to be using them. They help your ad take up more space on the SERP, they offer potential customers more ways to interact with your business, and they can help increase your click-through rate. So what are you waiting for? Go set up some extensions and start reaping the benefits!

Do you have any questions or comments about Google Ad Extensions? Feel free to reach out!

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