Two AdWords Opportunities Your Local Competition is Missing

Published Oct, 5 2015
Paid Campaigns

AdWords extensionsI’d like to share with you two new (and easy!) ways to improve your AdWords ROI that your local competitors likely are not yet taking advantage of.

But first, a quick refresher on how Adwords ranks ads.

Quick Review: How AdWords Ranks Ads

A major goal of AdWords management is to improve your AdRank. A higher AdRank means your ads can show up higher on a page than your competitors’ — even if they were willing to pay more money for the opportunity.

AdRank is based on your bid, Quality Score (expected ad clickthrough rate, landing page experience, and ad relevance), and impact of ad extensions.

Boost AdRank with Extensions

Extensions are what we’re talking about today, since few small businesses that are using AdWords know about extensions. Ad extensions can improve clickthrough rates by making your ad stick out, tell more of your story, and help people find what they were looking for.

Site extensionsAd extensions improve your ads and thus your AdRank, making you more competitive. But don’t take my word for it. According to Google:

Ad extensions typically boost the performance of an ad and are also a factor in AdRank. Though ad extensions aren’t always eligible to show, the more you provide, the better the auction is at selecting the best combination of extensions to improve performance.

You (and your competition) may already be familiar with popular, older extensions like call, location, and sitelinks. Extensions like these are powerful tools that can improve your AdRank and ROI, and now there are a couple new extensions available to further improve your ads.

Callout Extensions

Callout extensions, unveiled back in early September, 2014, allow you to add additional information to ads about your products and services. A Callout could be your long warranties, 50+ years experience, free shipping, or anything else that communicates your brand value.

What AdWords callouts look likeHere’s an example of what callouts look like in an ad. The callouts are highlighted in the red box.

Callouts help you differentiate, and, as you can see, let you gobble up a bit more real estate on the page. Regardless of these marketing benefits, callouts are another tool to improve your AdRank vis–à–vis your competitors.

New Ad Extension: Structured Snippets

Structured snippets are the just announced new ad extension that is rolling out in the next couple weeks. Snippets, like callouts, tell more about your business in your ad.

Google unveiled the similar dynamic structured snippets back in early March of 2015, but they were automatically generated by AdWords based on the categories of content on the account’s associated website. These snippets were popular, but inevitably

AdWords managers wanted more control over what was included in the ad.

Ask and receive, these newer structured snippets can be manually managed. Here’s how structured snippets appear in ads:

AdWords structured snippets look like on mobile

These snippets are communicating a lot of useful information quickly. They are also a cinch to set up in the “Ad extensions” tab at the account, campaign, or even ad group level, giving you a lot of flexibility to segment your customers and tailor your ads.

Structured Snippet Header Options

From Amenities to Types, you’ve got options. Here’s what the selection dropdown looks like:

Structured snippet setup

Although these categories clearly cater to big-buck industries like universities and hospitality, between “Service catalog,” “Brands,” and “Types,” you should be able to work in a structured snippet for your business.

Here’s an example I made for a fictitious neighborhood computer repair store. Nothing to it!

Structured snippet example

Callouts vs. Structured Snippets

Callouts and structured snippets are similar, but there are advantages to using both. Here’s a handy breakdown of how the two extension types compare:

Callouts vs structured snippets

Extensions Are an Easy Win

Just like how we’ve recently pointed out some small things you can do with your SEO and blogging to outmaneuver your sleepy local competition, setting up ad extensions will help give you an edge in AdWords and improve your return on investment.