Continued from ‘How to Maximize your Presence on the Google SERP’ Part 1.
When it comes to paid results, we also have a range of options to enhance brand presence and capitalize on establishing prime positions on the SERP.
Ad Extensions enable you to capture more ad space on the SERP whilst standing out from your competitors. There are a number of benefits to using ad extensions, such as enhanced visibility, as ads with extensions more often appear above the search results (rather than down the right-hand sidebar), increased brand recognition, better Clickthrough Rate (CTR) and a higher conversion rate, as the customer is given extra information, they already know what they are getting before they even click.
Keep in mind that implementing Ad Extensions can help improve your brand’s quality score just as a high quality score can increase the chances of your ad’s extensions being displayed in the search results.
The following are examples of Ad Extensions that will boost your ads in Google’s SERPs.
Sitelink extensions offer the customer additional ‘shortcut’ links into your site. They appear below the text of the ad and can show (in addition to the ad’s display URL) between 2 to 6 links for desktop and tablets and up to 4 links for mobile. When targeting general queries, sitelinks should offer the user a way to narrow down their search, not expand it even further (as the image below shows).
Implemented at either the campaign or ad group level, sitelinks can be added to existing ads and can be changed according to your marketing goals, such as to attract traffic to a limited time special promotion or a high-converting page on your site.
The Callout extension enables you to add an additional line of non-clickable text to your regular text ad. Just as the example below shows, we recommend including your product/site’s generic USPs in the Callout section rather than placing them in the ad description, where they would take up precious characters better used for your advertising text.
Just as the name suggests, location extensions allow you to add information about your business’s location to your ad. The address in the ad is pulled from your brand’s Google My Business details, so make sure your account is set up accurately. The extension links to a map for directions and is available for both desktop and mobile. However, you may wish to only show the location extension on mobile, where directions are usually more relevant, therefore saving wasted clicks on desktop ads.
You can add your business’s phone number to your ad on both desktop (non-clickable) and mobile (clickable) devices. For standard call extension ads, you pay for every click on the phone number, whether or not the user actually makes the call. However, with Google Forwarding Numbers, we can count actual calls as conversions and integrate it with a smart telephone system to get a unique forwarding number for each ad group. This way, you only pay when the call is made.
There are two types of review extensions, either the seller’s rating from the advertiser’s site or a review from a 3rd party site. In some cases, Google + reviews may also be used. When using a 3rd party review, the source must always be the domain the quote came from, not the individual. If your site has quality reviews, we recommend using this extension, having seen one of our client’s conversions double by adding this feature to their ads.
If your site has a native app, implementing the app extension in your ad is an effective way to encourage downloads whilst users are searching for related terms to your site.
Social extensions are automatically created by Google to show how many followers your brand has on Google +. It goes without saying that your brand/ business requires a Google+ page with a verified URL and the domain in the Google + page should be the same as the domain of the ad’s landing page. If you do not wish to show this information in your ads, you can opt out of it.
With the shift in users’ search needs from simple answers to navigational, transactional and on-the-go (mobile) queries, the opportunities for answering those needs continue to grow. As Google continues to evolve, but keeps the user experience as its central purpose, we will see Google attain more control over users’ actions within the SERP, with a likely drop in direct traffic to a brand’s website from Google over time. Take for example news this week that Google is experimenting with offering users the ability to book hotels directly from the SERP.
In the face of these changes and what Google may do next, adopting the above recommendations will help maintain your website’s- and your brand’s- presence in the SERP. Whether it be through structured data, offsite properties (such as social profiles or external sites) or by optimizing your paid search initiatives, make sure you enhance your brand and it’s online presence in a relevant and appropriate way.