Google Ad Extension Types & Examples

Google ad extensions are an ads’ best friend. With ad extensions, you give your customers tons of extra reasons to click on your ad. You can show them your best offers & prices, make them download or use your app, bring them to other pages on your site, give them your nearest location, have them call or message you - all right from the ad.

Besides that, they are said to be improving your Google Ads campaign enormously, and the best thing: ad extensions do not cost you anything more. You simply pay the usual cost per click.

Google Ad Extensions & Quality Scores

First up: quality scores are determined by how relevant your ads + keywords + landing pages (+ context of the search) are to each other. A high quality score means better ad rankings and lower costs - for lower quality scores, it's the other way around. So, how do you increase your Google quality score?

You could think of adding new relevant keywords to your campaigns, writing more effective ad copies, optimizing your landing pages, putting irrelevant search terms as negative keywords - and here’s also where the ad extensions come in. Note also: only when your ad rank is good enough, Google will show ad extensions - so keep on working on your quality scores in general, too.

Google weighs your quality score (on a scale from 1-10) on different factors; one of them being your click-through rate.

Google Ad Extensions & CTRs

Ad extensions typically improve click-through rates, simply because your ad takes up more space in the search results and you give people more reasons to click on your ad.

They come in two types: non-clickable and clickable. With a non-clickable ad extension type you could add more text, showcase more unique selling points, present more benefits, eg. that wouldn’t all fit in your ads description text or headlines. With clickable ad extensions you could direct people to other pages on your site, to your nearest location on Google Maps, or have them call you instantly. Whether you add non-clickable or clickable ad extensions, an ad extension makes your ad stand out from the rest.

Manual vs Automated Extensions

We are the ad extension superfans and we use them whenever and wherever we think works. Also Google knows its value and is able to add the extensions on your behalf.

However: not all manual ad extensions can be added by Google automatically, just like not all automated ad extensions are available to set up yourself. The seller rating ad extension is something only Google can add, and you yourself would need to create promotion and price extensions; Google can’t. If you wouldn’t like Google to create ad extensions for you, you have to switch this feature in your Google Ads account off: go to ads & extensions, then automated extensions, tick the three dot menu on the right and choose advanced options. From there you are able to press turn off - note: each automated extension has to be switched off individually.

Click to go to the ad extension directly: sitelink extension / callout extension / structured snippet extension / call extension / message extension / location extension / affiliate location extension / price extension / app extension / promotion extension / seller rating extension.

Sitelink Extension

The sitelink extension is our absolute favorite - they are a clickable Google ad extension that allows you to send your customers to different pages on your site in addition to your main landing page, and which makes your ad larger and more visible in the SERPs.

google ads extension sitelink example
google ads extension sitelink example

Along with your ad, Google may show between two to six sitelinks (max 8 on mobile devices). Make sure to set up at least 2 sitelinks to be eligible, but preferably more so you can discover which sitelinks do and do not work well.

  • Sitelink extensions character limit:

For the headline you may use up to 25 characters, and 35 characters each for the 2 description lines. The description lines are optional, but recommended - here you can write additional info about what people can expect when clicking the link. Google will show these description lines when it believes that it could improve your ad’s performance.

  • Manual or automated:

Both. But you might want to set these up yourself, just to make sure you’re sending people to pages that are relevant, and where you’d like conversions to happen.

  • Sitelink extensions best practices & tips:

(1) don’t use a standard text: create unique descriptions for each of the sitelinks,
(2) make sure your sitelink extensions are relevant and relate to the ad, and
(3) set your sitelinks at campaign or ad-group level, not account level: not every sitelinks is suitable for each campaign, plus this way it makes it easier to control and organize.

Sitelink extension example: Serdar owns a bookstore in Turkey and sells besides books, also games, toys, stationery and more. To promote his products he sets up sitelinks for the different campaigns that he runs. When customers are searching to buy books, sitelinks redirect them to pages like bestsellers, ebooks, and books under 10 TL. When searching for toys, sitelinks refer them to eg. puzzles, outdoor toys, or popular brands like Lego, Barbie.

  • Good to know:

When your ad appears at the first position of the results page, your sitelinks are shown as a tappable row with a sitelink on each line. Below the first position, your sitelinks are shown as a single line carrousel.

You are not allowed: to use the same text for multiple sitelinks; not even when the sitelinks are redirecting to a different landing page / to have multiple sitelinks in an ad group or campaign that redirect to the same landing page / to use third party URLs, meaning: from a domain different than your ad’s final URL. Under limited circumstances you are allowed to use links to select online retailers, Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube video, LinkedIn profile, or Instagram account / to use punctuations and symbols in your sitelink text or description.

Callout extension

With Google Ads callout extensions you can highlight your unique offers, promote your products, showcase your USP, state your benefits, your service details - lots of things! They are similar to the sitelink extensions, only without the links.

google ads call out extension example
google ads call out extension example
  • Callout extensions character limit:

For each callout you may use up to 25 characters - as a tip, try to keep them short. Shorter texts means more callouts can be shown in your ad. You can add as many callouts as you like.

  • Manual or automated:

Both. Google will set up callout extensions if you haven’t. Again, you would want to set this ad extension type up yourself. When Google creates the callouts it will scan your landing page to collect words - often, these words are call to actions rather than unique selling points or benefits, eg.

  • Callout extensions best practices:

(1) keep the callouts between 12 to 15 characters to have more callouts fit in your ad,
(2) customize your callout extensions for each campaign, and
(3) create mobile specific-callouts when offering something relevant to mobile-users and when you want to encourage them to visit your site.

Callout extension example: İrem created the perfect peanut butter, that she now sells online to customers. She runs search campaigns in order to promote her products and drive sales. Also she sets up callout extensions to show customers why they should buy her peanut butter, using wordings like ‘no added sugars’, ‘quality ingredients’, and ‘10 different flavors’.

  • Good to know:

If your campaign or ad group only has mobile-optimized callouts, they are eligible to show on desktop as well. Make sure you set up standard callouts to avoid this.

You are not allowed: to use punctuation and symbols in your callout text / to repeat the callout text with other callouts, ad text, or sitelink texts that are running in the same ad group, campaign or account.

Structured snippet extension

With a structured snippet extension you can give a snapshot of your products and services to your potential customers before they click on your ad. When you add Google Ads structured snippets to the system, you first have to determine the category type that fits your products and services. Amenities, brands, courses, degree programs, destinations, featured hotels, insurance coverage, models, neighborhoods, service catalog, shows, styles, types are the categories you can choose from.

google ads structured snippet extension example
google ads structured snippet extension example
  • Structured snippets vs callout extensions:

With callout extensions you highlight what’s unique about your business, product or service, and with structured snippet extensions you highlight certain aspects of the product and services you offer. Example (for us, as a digital marketing agency):

Callout extension: Award winning. Boutique. Transparent.
Structured snippet extension: Services: Organic marketing, Paid marketing, Analytics Consultancy.

  • Structured snippet extension character limit:

For the structured snippet values you may use up to 25 characters, and you are allowed to use a maximum of 10 values per header.

  • Manual or automated:

Both. Which actually comes in handy: sometimes it’s hard to determine which category your product or service falls under, then Google is able to select the most appropriate category type for you based on your own site’s content categories.

  • Structured snippet extensions best practices:

(1) if applicable add more than 1 structured snippet: a shoe store, for example, could add styles (heels, flat), models (sneaker, loafer, espadrille) and even brands (Adidas, Nike). On desktops, one to two structured snippets can be shown in an ad at times,
(2) use structured snippets to inform, not to promote, and
(3) aim to write at least 4 values per category header type.

Structured snippet extension example: Şafak has his own airline company. To tell more about the airline’s services he sets up 3 different structured snippet extensions: (1) ‘destinations’, eg. Turkey, Germany, Holland, (2) ‘types’, eg. economy, premium, business class, and (3) ‘amenities’, eg. seat selection, in-flight entertainment, meal included.

  • Good to know:

You are not allowed: to use punctuation or symbols in your structured snippet texts / to repeat structured snippets within a header, or across different headers / to add multiple items in one structured snippet value (by separating eg. with a comma or dot) / to include any call to actions or promotional text in your structured snippet extension. Your structured snippet extension may be disapproved when your value is not matching the category type that you selected.

Call extension

With Google Ads call extensions you are able to show your phone number in your ad. Then when someone is browsing from their mobile phone and sees your ad + call extension, they can call you directly by clicking on the phone number or telephone button.

google ads call extension example
google ads call extension example
  • Call extensions vs call-only ads:

Call-only ads are like a text ad - only this time people aren’t directed to a landing page, but the clicks are turning into a call. For this reason, call-only ads can only be shown on the search network and on devices eligible to make calls. Google Ads call extensions can show up on almost all devices, appear on both search and display network, and only when someone clicks the extension a phone call is made; when someone clicks the ad itself, the landing page will open up.

  • Manual or automated:

Both. If your goal is to drive phone calls and you haven’t set up a call extension, Google will create one for you. Note that when you have different locations with different phone numbers, it might be tricky to let Google set up the extension in case they match the wrong phone number to the ad.

  • Search and display:

Call extensions can be used on search as well as on the display network. When you add a phone extension to your display network campaign, there are a few things you need to know: your phone extension only shows when searching from a mobile phone (not when searching from tablets, desktops or laptops), there is no ‘call reporting’ option available, and call extensions won’t work when running a remarketing campaign or display network campaigns with goals like ‘increase app installs’.

  • Call extensions best practices & tips:

(1) use call extension scheduling: choose what hours on which days of the week you want your call extension to show, and
(2) a tip for local businesses, use Google Ads call extensions in combination with location extensions: Google will show your location + your phone number from the call extension next to each other. It can show multiple locations and their corresponding phone numbers at the same time.

Call extension example: Pınar runs her own event planning business. She noticed that customers prefer to reach her by phone, rather than sending out emails. To make her phone number more visible to the ones searching for businesses like hers, she adds a call extension to her search campaign. With this, potential customers see her number in the ad and can make a phone call directly.

  • Good to know:

You first have to verify your phone number by Google before it can be used as a call extension. You are not allowed to use a phone number that is inaccurate, irrelevant or that is not connected to your business.

Message extension

Google Ads message extension allows someone to send you a text directly from the SERPs. Message extensions only serve on mobile phones and are the perfect solution for customers who’d rather text than call.

google ads message extension example
google ads message extension example
  • Setting up a Google Ads message extension:

When creating a text message extension on Google Ads, you need to prepare an extension text that will be shown in the ad itself, a default message to the customer that will appear after clicking on the extension, as well as you can write an auto-reply message (optional) to be sent out after someone wrote you a text. The extension text that appears on Google can be 25 characters long, you may write up to 35 characters for the default customer message, and up to 100 for the auto-reply.

  • Manual or automated:

Both. When a phone number is mentioned on your website or when you’ve already set up a call extension, Google might use this mobile phone number to create a message extension, when your goal is to have people message you. But be careful: when Google has created a text message extension for you and you are not aware of this, these messages can come as a surprise to you.

  • Message extensions best practices & tips:

(1) set up message extension scheduling: make sure that when someone sees your message extension and decides to send you a text, you are able to reply them pronto. A message that is replied within a short period of time is ‘more likely to lead to an enjoyable and productive experience’,
(2) match your message extension ad text to the ad group or campaign its serving for: try to stay away from the general “text us for more information” extension ad text but instead motivate people to message you, eg. ‘text for a free quote’, and
(3) when preparing a default SMS text for the customer, write as if you are the person himself who wrote the text. Your default message shouldn’t be: ‘reach out when you want to know more about X’ but rather something as ‘I like to know more about X. Please text me back’, eg.

Message extension example: Gökay owns a gym and uses search ads to attract new customers. He also set up a message extension so that he is able to quickly communicate with his potential customers about memberships and training programs. When someone clicks the message extension, a default SMS shows up to requests more information about the gym, in the customers’ messaging app.

  • Good to know:

You are not allowed: to use a phone number that is inaccurate, irrelevant or that is not connected to your business / to use a phone number that is not local or domestic for the country you are targeting: you can not use a german phone number for a campaign running in Turkey, eg. / to respond slow, in an unreasonable time frame, or irrelevant to the query / to collect financial or governmental identification data.

Location extension

Help people to find your business location by adding a location extension to your ad. You are able to show your address, the distance to your business, and a map to your location all within your ad. When a person clicks on your location extension, Google Maps will open up giving even more detailed information about your business.

google ads location extension example
google ads location extension example

Note that to set up a location extension, you have to have a Google My Business profile to link it with.

  • Manual or automated:

Both. When GMB is linked to your Google Ads account, Google itself may set up location extensions and show it when someone specifically is looking for a location. Keep in mind that Google syncs all locations, so you might want to review and remove the ones that don’t make sense for that particular campaign.

  • Search and display:

Location extensions are eligible to run on Google search as well as on Google search sites like Google Maps (incl. the Maps app). When someone is near or has shown interest in your local area, your location extensions may also show up on the display network, and even on YouTube trueview- in-stream and bumper ads.

  • Location extensions best practices:

(1) a must-have extensions when you want to increase visits to your store; especially for mobile campaigns, and
(2) if you have multiple locations, you can add up to 4 different locations to a campaign: if more than one location is near the searcher, all of them can be shown on a mobile device and the searcher can select the most favorable one.

Location extension example: Holly has a coffee shop in Berlin and wants to increase foot traffic to her place. She sets up a location extension so that when someone is searching for “coffee shops nearby”, she gives coffee-lovers the chance to see (1) the distance to her coffee shop, (2) her coffee shops’ address, (3) a detail page of her location incl. opening hours, photos, and directions, and (4) a number to call her shop directly.

  • Good to know:

You can only set up location extensions when you have a Google My Business account: note that GMB is not supported in all countries and territories.

You are not allowed to advertise a business location without the approval of the business owner.

Affiliate location extension

Affiliate location extensions are like regular location extensions, only this time designed for retailers and manufacturers that sell products through retail outlets. Affiliate location extensions will show the nearest location of the stores that sells your products - if you want to promote your own business location, you have to use location extensions instead.

  • Manual or automated:

Manual. You will have to define in which stores your products are being sold. You can only choose from the stores that Google has in its system.

Price extension

With price extensions you are able to showcase some of your deals, offers or services in your ad, including their prices. Good thing: price extensions are clickable and redirect people straight to the page where they can view the deal (and if possible, purchase). Price extensions are shown as a carousel / swipeable cards at the bottom of your ad.

google ads price extension example
google ads price extension example
  • Setting up Google Ads price extensions:

When preparing price extensions, you will need to choose the language, currency, and the price qualifier (from, up to, average - or non). Each price extension consists of a header of 25 characters, a description of 25 characters, the price and its unit; whether it's the uniform price, or per hour, per day, per week, per month, per year, or per night. You can only set up price extensions for brands, events, locations, neighborhoods, product categories, product tiers, service categories, service tiers, and services, and you may feature up to 8 different items in your ad (minimum of 3 is required).

  • Manual or automated:

Manual. Google may suggest you to create price extensions, but isn’t able to set them up for you.

  • Price extensions best practices & tips:

(1) if you offer a free trial you can also promote this with price extensions: just set the price as 0,
(2) when you set up price extensions on account level, make sure that they are relevant to all campaigns and ad groups: to be on the safe side, add price extensions on ad group level to stick with the ag’s theme, and
(3) double check that the price on the price extensions is exactly the same as the price mentioned on your site.

Price extension example: Tuğba has a travel agency and sells tour packages to Turkey which customers can book online. To highlight some of her tours, she sets up price extensions. When searching for general ‘Turkey tours’, the price extensions show tours she offers to cities or regions in Turkey such as Cappadocia and Black Sea. When searching for trips specifically to a city, eg. ‘trips to Istanbul’, the price extensions showcase the daily excursions in that city.

  • Good to know:

Price extensions are at the moment only supported in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish, and you won’t be charged for more than 2 clicks per impression.

You are not allowed: to use promotional text or price information in the header or description / to redirect users to a different URL than your domain URL. Your price extensions may be disapproved when your header and description text are not relevant to the category type you selected.

App extension

If you have an app, this extension is just great for you. With an app extension you are able to promote your app by showing your app + download button in your search ad. When someone already has your app, a click on the extension will open the app and automatically links it to what the person was searching for.

google ads app extension example
google ads app extension example

Also: when your app is listed only on the Apple App Store, someone seeing your search ad from an Android device won’t see your app extension there. Same goes for when the app is only available for mobile devices; someone seeing your search ad from an tablet won’t see the extension either.

  • App extensions vs app campaigns:

With a Google Ads (universal) app campaign you are setting up a campaign that’s solely about advertising your app. Your goal with this is to drive app downloads or in-app actions: your app’s ad will appear all over Google’s largest properties and clicks go straight to your app’s listing on the app stores. Google’s app extensions on the other hand are just a way to tell the ones who see your search ad, like - hey, we also have an app that you could download and use. If you want to boost downloads for your app, app campaigns are the way to go.

  • Manual or automated:

Both. If you have an app, Google will encourage people to download or open your app by showing an app extension in your search ad.

  • App extensions best practices & tips:

(1) if your app isn’t working well on tablets, make sure to tick the ‘exclude tablets’ box at the device preference section: you don’t want to be wasting clicks.
(2) when you have multiple apps, you are able to create app extensions for each of them: however, only one app extension can show up at a time.

App extension example: I have an ecommerce store that sells everything you need for your furry little friends. I also have an app; however, not many people are aware of this. In order to promote my app I set up an app extension. Now when someone is searching for my brand or the products I offer, they will see my mobile app, are able to visit the app store and download the app - all right from the ad.

Promotion extension

Usually when setting up an ad in the holiday season (or in any sale-period), you want to mention the discount in the headline - and you should, as it’s the best way to make sure your message comes across loud and clear. Promotion extensions are great to highlight any additional sales, discounts, deals apart from your main ad, for which you don’t prefer to use your valuable, limited headline or description characters. An example would be for a discount on the first order - if a first time visitor is searching for meal boxes (eg.), sees your ad along with the promotion extension for a discount on the first order, I’m sure he or she will take a peek to see what you have in store for them.

google ads promotion extension example
google ads promotion extension example
  • Setting up a Google Ads promotion extension:

You can set up a promotion extension for special occasions (like christmas, black friday, father’s & mother’s day, easter, winter sale, and so on), but also for any other regular deal you may have (here: set the occasion as ‘none’). When you select an occasion, the occasion will appear in the promotion extension, but note: your promotion can only run on those qualifying dates.

You then choose the promotion type: (up to) monetary or (up to) percent discount, add the value, and write a promotion text of 20 characters. Optionally you can add a promotion code or “on orders over”-condition, and promotion display dates.

  • Manual or automated:

Manual. Google Ads promotion extensions are worth to set up as they allow you to promote any deals and offers alongside your search ad.

  • Promotion extensions best practices:

(1) it’s a great ad extension for e-commerce brands: highlight additional promotions in your ad without changing the ad copy, and
(2) use the scheduling setting to prepare the promotion extensions in advance: no last-minute hassle needed.

Promotion extension example: Çiçek has a flower shop and at the moment runs a ‘25% spring sale’ campaign on Google Ads for general flower delivery keywords. In order to inform customers searching for occasional flowers (eg. for birthdays, anniversaries, to wish someone well) about her promotion, she sets up a promotion extension.

  • Good to know:

You won’t be charged for more than 2 clicks per impression.

You are not allowed to use any other information than the promotion code, in the promotion code section: eg. phone number or product descriptions will be disapproved. Your promotion extension may also be disapproved when you add unavailable offers or when prices and headers do not match the page / when your text is written in an unsupported language and links to a page in an unsupported language.

Seller rating extension

Seller rating extensions are the five little yellow-and-grey stars that you see in a search ad. They make your ad stand out from your competitors, simply because it shows that your store is trustworthy before even clicking your ad.

  • To be eligible:

First of all: you should have a website with a checkout flow including an order-confirmation page, and meet all of Google’s Customer Reviews policies. Second up: you should at least have 100 verified and unique reviews per country, with an average rating of 3.5 stars of higher, collected in the past 12 months - if so, the seller rating will be shown in your Google search ad in that particular country.

Are you eligible & collecting reviews already? Find out, by adding your URL behind this link:
https://www.google.com/shopping/ratings/account/lookup?q=
like: https://www.google.com/shopping/ratings/account/lookup?q=www.mavi.com

  • Manual or automated:

Automated. When you are eligible, Google is able to add a seller rating extension to your search ad. Note that people can’t click on the seller rating extension to check out your review comments - the only place to click is on the search ad itself.

  • Seller rating extension benefits:

(1) they show that your business offers high-quality products,
(2) they can increase CTRs: and so, also lower your CPCs, and
(3) attract more qualified leads.

(Manually) Adding Google Ad Extensions To Your Ads Campaigns

To set up a Google Ad extension, you go to your Google Ads account and select your campaign, tick on ads & extensions, at the top: extensions, press the big blue plus button where you then can choose the type of ad extension you want to create.

You can set up ad extensions on Google search and display: all ad extension types are eligible to run on the “Search Network Only” and “Search Network with Display Select” campaigns. Note that only call extensions, location extensions and affiliate location extensions are Google display ad extensions, and can be set up for “Display Network Only” campaigns.

For each extension that you create, you can either set it on account, campaign or ad group level. At account level, the ad extension will be showing up with every campaign in your account. At campaign level, a Google ad extension will pop up for only for that campaign. And at ad group level, a Google ad extension will be appearing only for that particular ad group - tip: most of the time, not every ad extension fits to each single campaign in your account. Build your ad extensions on campaign or ag for much better control and relevancy (I often come across English search ads that have Turkish ad extensions - make sure you prevent that).

Jolien Storteler
06 May 2019

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