New PPC Extensions and Why You Care

Even if you don’t know PPC like an expert, you have probably heard of the elusive ‘Quality Score.’ Simply, quality score (QS) is the grade between 1 and 10 that Google gives your keywords; 10 being absolutely perfect. It is determined primarily by the number of clicks v impressions on your ads, your Click Through Rate (CTR). You want a higher QS because it will lower your cost per click. 

Ad Extensions improve the click-appeal of your advert and increase usability for your potential visitor, as well as increase the amount of real estate your ad takes up compared to your competitors. They are one of the top recommendations I make during account reviews and are also listed in my 8 Spring Cleaning Necessities, meaning they aren’t used as frequently as they should be. Check your account!

If your ad is the only possibility your company has to obtain a click, you cannot ignore ad extensions OR the beta tests that are happening now. Some of the newest extensions are...


Mailing List Extension Beta

If you are logged in to gMail while searching, your email address will automatically be generated into this form. All you have to do is click “Get Updates” and you are then subscribed to yet another mailing list.

This is the most recent version of a contact form Google has been testing since January 2010, and it has no official name as far as I can tell: Email Capture, Mailing List, Contact Form, etc.

We say it’s been in ‘beta’ but really it’s undergone such an extensive makeover it’s probably getting close to Zeta. 

I think this one could be very beneficial to any industry and niche. From a user perspective, I’m never going to use this extension when paired with a normal ad. Even though there’s a Privacy link, this seems sketchy on every level to me. I’m only getting more junk mail with nothing in return from this service. Where is my white paper download or free video email? Reward me for feeding your mailing list.

Because this extension is still in beta, you will need to opt in. Here are a few guidelines to follow when setting up ads to pair with this extension:

1. Reflect the email offer the user gets in the ad copy.
2. Set up an AdWords Only mailing list that this filters into and immediately send them a “Cheers! Here’s Your Free Video!” email.
3. Send traffic to an equally relevant landing page if the user clicks on your ad. This advert should work the same way without the extension as it does with it.
4. Immediacy is key with AdWords traffic. Have an autoresponder ready to go for that AdWords Only mailing list and provide them with something that your normal mailing list doesn’t get, so this potentially new client feels special. 

It should go without saying that your Thank You email should also go through your CRO expert so you are putting your best foot forward.

If your mailing list email is all text with a thick outer boarder and one centered image, you should probably think about testing a redesign to make sure you are appealing to this fast paced audience appropriately.

Why You Care: You have reviewed your attribution modeling in Analytics and see that email marketing is sending converting traffic to your site; you want to expand your mailing list.


 Live Chat Extension Beta

This little live chat button is also in beta and opens a pop up window that can be customized by the client. The catch is you must already have a live chat system in place on your website and you must be available to answer it. Call AdWords to check if you qualify for this extension test.

Like with the Mailing List Extension, immediacy is key here. If you already are using a live chat program on your website then you should have someone on standby at all times. This person should not be distracted by also answering the phone. This should be someone whose job is to stare at the computer screen from 9 to 5. This could be the same person designated to run your social media channels.

A CEO, CMO, or any other ‘O’ should not be in charge of this. Yes, this includes SEOs and CROs. These people are just too busy to answer initial inquiries about your business. If you’re a lean startup, draw straws every Monday or adopt an intern! 

Why You Care: If Google is starting to push live chat and you don’t have it yet, maybe you should (re)investigate it’s potential for your business. Kiss Metrics has put together a brief article on why you should consider live chat for your business.


Mobile App Extension

Mobile App Extensions are available now across Android & iOS platforms. This extension will only show up on iOS and Android. (Just for the record, I am not voting for or against Android. It’s the first option and as such it is checked by default.)

Even if your company doesn’t have a mobile website, it’s imperative you separate your mobile and tablet traffic in AdWords if not for any other reason than just for bidding. 

Why You Care: The cost of traffic from Tablet v Mobile is normally very different. You shouldn’t be overbidding if you only need to be in the second spot. Keeping these metrics separated by campaign will help your bidding methods in the long run, and save you money.

If you aren’t already doing this, please go to:

> All Online Campaigns
  > Segment (above the graph)
    > Device (in the drop down)

Here’s a brief screen shot of how your account should look.

Are you getting more Mobile traffic than Computer? Or more Tablet than Mobile? 

1. Assess Data.
2. Make Adjustments.
3. Effect Change.
4. ???
5. Profit.

It’s always important to remember that when searching on mobile, your audience will potentially only see 1 or 2 ads. 

Bid accordingly.
Always put your best ad forward.

Last but Not Least,

Social Extensions

Before you get too excited, by social I mean Google Plus only. Keep in mind, Google plays fair. #sarcasm

Social extensions are also available now in your Ad Extensions tab and you should definitely be using them.

Google Plus, or G+, doesn’t double up on codes. For DistilledU we have a +1 share button straight from Google that has the necessary code hidden inside it. Don’t be fooled: this will not work for both your +1 share button and your ads. You need a second piece of code for your AdWords ads (at least, when this went up you did. Let’s hope it’ll change soon). 

As Big G continuously socializes our search results, we will see more and more marks of social verification for ads and organic results from Plus. We might as well embrace it now. 

The +1 Annotation will show up two different ways, but each is connected to the landing page you are sending visitors to.

IMPORTANT: If you are sending traffic to your home page, and you have no +1s there, then you won’t receive the benefit of this extension.

Your social extension will show up in 1 of 2 ways: Personal or Basic.

Just as the graphic says, Personal will show you who and how many other non-circle people have liked the landing page.

Maria and 28 other people +1’d this 
(Maria is part of your circle).

The other option is Basic. Which will just show you now many people in general +1 your landing page, without stating that your aunt loves it.

Why You Care: Social extensions give your ad social validity. It shows that something interesting is going on here, and searchers may be interested in seeing it. 

The same thing happens in Facebook with Yahoo! Sponsored Stories. If 1500 people have read an article, you are probably more likely to click on it to see what the fuss is about. 



Ad Extensions are your friends. Use them across all devices as frequently as possible.

Why You Care: The more you have, the better your ad looks, the more clicks your ad will receive, the higher your CTR will rise, the higher your quality score will be, and your CPC will start getting cheaper.

If you have created a mobile app, you should take every opportunity to publicize its existence because the Android Market and Apple App Store seem to be the two worst places to be able to search for anything. You need to know what you want when you go in. It’s not a place for browsers. Get credit for the hard work your team has put in by publicizing your mobile app every chance you get!

If you are already using every extension you can, and are still getting low click through rates, you should take advantage of our Free Account Audit service.

If you want to start using either of the beta extensions mentioned here, call Google AdWords (866-2-GOOGLE) with your log in email and your account number to see if your account qualifies for this extension. You don’t need an Account Manager to do this.

Jasmine Aye

Jasmine Aye

Jasmine is our most senior US member of our advertising team and has had several years experience running paid promotions in house and at Distilled. She has become exemplary at understanding offline conversion attribution processes for large and...   read more

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  1. It's interesting article for PPC.Thanks for sharing it.

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  2. sweet!!!

    i especially like the heads up about live chat beta... hadn't heard that anywhere else!

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  3. Thank you for sharing info about these additional extensions. I am looking into the chat and app extensions as we speak.

    Great post!

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  4. Nick Bordeau

    Awesome post Jasmine! Looks like it's about that time to start a follow up to see how each of these directly effect conversions!

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  5. Thanks for the round-up Jasmine. At work we're currently debating the live chat ideas. Is there a global list of those supported by Google?

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    • Jasmine Aye

      Hey Aaron!
      I wish I had more information on which live chat systems Google will allow. I know for sure that they allow Olark, as that's what my client has and it integrates with GA. But because it's still in beta, they aren't providing a great deal of information yet. Your best bet would be to call AdWords and have a chat with them about what services are allowed, then move on from there.

      If you do end up getting a list, would you mind tweeting it at me (after you blog about it!)?

      Great Question! I hope Google will supply you with an answer!

  6. Looks like some great extensions. Definitely want to test our for my company. Opt in extensions can be very powerful

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  7. Thanks for the detailed explanation about PPC extensions. My account is not qualified for this extensions. what I need to do for accessing these extensions?

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    • Jasmine Aye

      Hi Chris,

      I'm not entirely sure what Google is looking for for these beta extensions. It's best to ask them. If you have a mobile app (for Android or iOS) or you have a G+ page for your business/client then you can use the others. If you don't, then they aren't applicable to your business. I think it is a good idea to have a G+ business page without the PPC benefit.

      Where the app is concerned, you should really make sure it is the best option for your company. Maybe start a brainstorm email thread within your company to gather ideas. Someone might have already been thinking about it!

  8. Hi jasmine,

    Superb article over new features of PPC. I would love to see your more writings.



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    • Jasmine Aye

      Thanks Saif!

      Here's everything I've written on the Distilled blog. I've answered a few questions on SEOmoz as well, but I haven't been very many other places yet; I'm working on it :)

  9. Great list of the AdWords Extensions.

    It's also important to take into account how people are successfully interacting with your site when setting up extensions. A client recently hired me to manage their PPC account. At first I had the mobile click-to-call extension set up. I had a few conversions on the click to call, which was great, but eventually turned off the campaign entirely on mobile devices because I had such a high bounce rate on the mobile ads - the client still doesn't have their mobile site up yet. Lol in this case I wish it were possible to just have the ad and the click to call, with no URL destination.

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    • Jasmine Aye

      Hey Cynthia. Yeah, this is definitely an issue for more than just your client; I've seen this before as well. If you don't already have them, you should get proper call tracking metrics in place. If you have the phone number available on a regular desktop-intended landing page, could it be that you hare having such a high bounce rate because customers are calling you? Correctly displaying the phone number (for whatever country you are targeting) will allow your phone to just click it and go, I think. This could definitely lead to higher bounce rates and lower time on site, but more uncredited PPC phone calls.

      If this isn't what is happening, I hope you are prioritizing this feedback for the client and keeping them notified that it is a major issue (I think it's major, that's a good chunk of traffic) and needs to be resolved. Constant communication is always best about these sorts of things. It's part of why they pay you ;)

  10. Jasmine,

    Do you know anything about Google selectively rolling out certain extensions? I have been waiting for the mailing list extension for several months; even the live chat extension would be a welcomed additional. Currently, despite our spend being in the several thousand dollars per month, we only have the Google+ extension.

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    • Jasmine Aye

      Hey Terry,

      You should definitely give G a call about these extensions. They are in beta still and if you want them, you should definitely request to be included. There is a chance that they aren't rolling it out to everyone because the return isn't great enough. Even though I've gotten the live chat session for my client, I haven't been able to see the data. Google is keeping this new extension success under tight wraps and will roll it out to everyone when they are sure that it works and helps increase our CTR. Thankfully, Google & the advertisers have this common goal.

  11. Hi Jasmine and thanks for the sum up

    I think I missed those points in my everyday news "diarrhea"...

    Everyone has used the mail listing feature ?

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    • Jasmine Aye

      Glad I could help shine some light!

      Not everyone has the option yet to use the mailing list feature, but you should definitely call AdWords (8662GOOGLE from N. America) and see if you qualify to participate in the beta. I know, it's been around so long, why is it still in beta? I have no clue.

  12. Thank you for sharing this infos.
    Actually, i was looking for the opt-in field extension. So sad to learn this is just in beta right now !

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