This is the second part to my initial post about AdWord extensions, if you missed the first one you can catch up here. I’ll get right back into it…
Product Extensions and Product Listing ads
Product extensions show selected products in an expandable ‘PlusBox’ (or occasionally as a handful of text-only links – see second screenshot), allowing customers to get a sense of a website’s product range and price competitiveness before clicking; they work by linking an advertiser’s AdWords and Merchant Centre accounts. The particular products that are shown are chosen by Google matching the search query with the product names and descriptions in the feed.
Product Listing ads on the other hand are a stand-alone format that again use information from an advertiser’s Google Merchant Centre feed, but operate in a separate campaign and require neither keywords or ad texts. Typically appearing in the top-right, they feature information such as an image and price, and an optional promotional message.
Suitable for: any ecommerce site with a Google Merchant Account should definitely give these a try. For larger sites with quickly changing stock, it increases the potential ad exposure in a way that would be hard to keep pace with through manual keyword updates.
Dynamic Search ads (beta)
In a way, similar to product listing ads – but rather than using Merchant Centre, Google crawls your website (or specific subsections as you choose) to maintain an index of your product range and creates ads using an ad body template written by you, with a dynamic headline. Always be wary of ceding too much control to Google, but if approached thoughtfully, perhaps worth a trial. These ads will look like any other text ad (so no screenshot!).
Suitable for: sites with quickly changing stock, where it can be hard to keep pace with the full range of keywords that you’d like to have in order to cover the full product range. While ideally you would have keywords for all products, this option does present an intriguing compromise. It could also be used as keyword research, with those search queries that do generate sales also being added into existing campaigns later.
As this is in beta, Google’s assistance is required to get the account whitelisted first.
Communication extensions (beta)
Ideal for lead generation campaigns, this adds one or two input boxes for searchers to input their email and (optionally) name or postcode – for newsletters sign-ups, callback requests, etc. For each lead submission, an email with the full details is sent – for more tech-savvy advertisers who anticipate a large volume of leads, there is also a bulk-processing option.
Suitable for: advertisers interested primarily in lead generation.
Offer extensions (beta)
Another new one, offer extensions let you distribute offers online in a highly targeted fashion, for either in-store on online redemption.
Speak to Google about getting your account whitelisted for this product.
Assuming the criteria are met, seller ratings appear automatically, and are eligible to appear alongside other extension types. The key criteria is that a business has at least 30 reviews and a rating of four stars or above on Google Product Search, where ratings are drawn from reviews on third-party sites and Google Checkout.
For advertisers keen on social marketing, social extensions might be interesting since they apply any +1’s on your ad (an option there by default to all advertisers) to your Google+ Page, as well as providing annotations such as in this example:
So there we have it, I’d like to hear your thoughts on these extensions, their applications and any results you’ve seen from them! Get in touch on Twitter or leave comments below.