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:

Account
> 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.

ex:
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. 

 

Just SHIP IT!

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.