Not only do ad extensions work to encourage immediate sales, but they can also be used to move consumers along the decision journey/buy cycle. In our work, we’ve effectively used ad extensions in many stages of the buy cycle, for instance:
In this article, I’ll cover appropriate ad extensions for the decision journey stages I mentioned above. I’ll also provide pointers and warn of potential ad extension pitfalls.
At this stage, our goal is to convince shoppers that they want to buy a particular product/service. The most effective extensions for the research stage are:
Below, I’ll talk specifically about extended sitelinks and video extensions.
Sitelink extensions give you the ability to add additional links to your ads. When we talk about “extended sitelinks,” this means that you have filled out the optional description line for each sitelink.
Extended sitelinks create more room to grab interest and encourage people to engage with your brand/product/service. It’s also a good place to focus on information I know will resonate with searchers.
Here are a couple of sitelink pointers:
Video extensions (Bing Ads only)
Many people watch videos before buying a product or service. For example, many folks who do DIY home repairs gauge the difficulty of a job by watching a video or two. If the job doesn’t seem difficult, many searchers will then go on to buy the products needed to make repairs. So, easy how-to videos are a great way to encourage sales.
Here are some effective video tips:
Once searchers are interested in your brand and/or company, we like to use callout extensions or image extensions to provide additional information.
Below is an example from Nike. In the ad, they provide more info and “call out” the following info: “Extended 60 Day Returns · All Orders Ship Free · Now Delivering to Canada.”
We also like to use image extensions (Bing only). Images really grab users’ attention, and a big reason we’re seeing more images in SERPs in general is that they are so visually engaging. Below are a couple of ways image extensions can appear in Bing:
If your product feed isn’t up to snuff, image ads are certainly an alternative way to get eyeballs.
Ad extensions are also effective at directing people to offline locations. Naturally, location extensions and call extensions are a good way to encourage people online to transact offline.
Here are some pointers:
Seller ratings are also good at encouraging offline sales (and can be effectively used in the research phase as well). It’s worth noting that the thresholds for Google Trusted Store seller ratings have recently changed.
Now, in order for star ratings to appear, you need at least 150 unique seller reviews from the past 12 months. The previous threshold was 30 reviews over a 12-month period.
There are new extension products that help people buy directly in PPC ads. For example, Bing has action link extensions,which allow advertisers to include a direct call to action, like a “buy now” or “reserve now” button directly in an ad. Google has been testing variations of this type of ad unit as well.
There are also app extensions, which naturally help people download apps. Of course, the trick with any app is not the initial download but finding ways to keep people engaged and using your app.
Ad extensions were created for a reason: to make your ads more engaging and useful to searchers. When used strategically and thoughtfully, ad extensions can help move prospects closer toward the final sale at all stages of the buyer journey.