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How to Use Google AdWords "Enhanced Sitelinks" to Bolster Paid Search Performance

The sitelinks extension in Google AdWords is a powerful way to help maximize the real estate of your paid search ads. In essence, the sitelinks extension enables paid search advertisers to display links to certain pages within the website.

During the early stages of testing, Google claimed that ads that included sitelinks experienced an average of 30% greater click-through rates. Additionally, for more broad-based keyword targets, sitelinks can also help facilitate conversions by taking users to a more specific landing page (a big bonus for ecommerce advertisers.)

The advantages of using sitelinks continue to grow. Now, Google will display "enhanced sitelinks" on select keyword searches that are very relevant to the advertiser.

Currently, enhanced sitelinks are automatically generated by Google, so they may vary in appearance. Nonetheless, you'll want to take advantage of sitelinks and try testing this Google AdWords ad extension. Below I show you how to do it.

Setting-Up Sitelinks Extension

Upon creating a new campaign, you'll want to enable the checkbox under the section "Ad extensions" that reads, "Sitelinks: Extend my ads with links to sections of my site."

For existing campaigns, click into the "Ad extensions" tab in the main AdWords interface of the campaign. Next, choose to view the Sitelinks extension, and proceed to set-up a "new extension."

Each sitelink that you implement should have a unique landing page, in addition to having one ad to match each sitelink. In order for the sitelinks to work properly, users must omit the "http" when entering URL's.

Depending on how keyword relevant the query is to the site, ads may display two, four, or six sitelinks. Mobile ads will show a maximum of two sitelinks.

Google suggests keeping the text for each sitelink short and concise to maximize the number of links that can be displayed in each ad.

Last Word on Enhanced Sitelinks

Enhanced sitelinks are in their early stages of adoption amongst advertiser. They will only appear in ads that are directly above the organic search results, otherwise known as the premium placements.

Paid search advertisers can increase the likelihood that their enhanced sitelinks will be displayed by improving their Quality Scores and/or increases their max bid. Stay tuned for more insights and strategies on leveraging sitelinks and other ad extensions in Google.

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