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How to Leverage Ad Extensions for Better Paid Search Performance

AdWords Ad Extensions Ad Extensions are powerful tools in Google AdWords that allow paid search (PPC) advertisers to improve the overall appearance and click-through rates of their ads.

In short, AdWords Ad Extensions are simple enhancements that promote the visibility of an ad, and in some cases, the campaign's conversion funnel.

There are four primary Ad Extensions that you can learn to leverage for your paid search advertising efforts. These are:

* Location Extensions

* Call Extensions

* Sitelinks Extensions

* Social Extensions Before we depict each type of Ad Extension, let us first show you how to activate them in the Google AdWords interface.

Activating Ad Extensions

First and foremost, it's important to keep in mind that Ad Extensions are set on a campaign basis. This is crucial to take into consideration, because often times campaigns are set-up to have a number of ad groups that are vastly different from one another. Just be sure that any Ad Extensions you activate will be relevant and logical for the entire campaign as a whole.

To activate Ad Extensions in the AdWords interface, open up the desired campaign in the account you're working on. Next, click the tab that says "Ad extensions," just to the left of "Dimensions."

In the "view:" drop-down option, you can activate one of the four Ad Extensions mentioned above for the given campaign. Below we define and describe the best applications for each extension.

Location Extensions

Location extensions are ideal for geo-targeted AdWords campaigns that have local relevancy. This type of ad extension will include an address (and sometimes a phone number) directly below the ad copy. If the ad appears in the upper-most premium listings in Google search, users can click to expand the address information. This will then show a corresponding map of the specific address of the business that's being advertised.

Call Extensions

For mobile-specific AdWords campaigns, call extensions are a highly powerful way to facilitate conversions. Call extensions allow a search engine user to directly place a call to the company by clicking the phone number in the ad listing.

Similarly, advertisers can set-up "Click to Call" mobile campaigns that are specifically designed for this functionality. With "Click to Call", businesses can run AdWords ads without a landing page, or website. All they need is working phone number to capture the traffic.

Sitelinks Extensions

Sitelinks extensions offer many creative possibilities for paid search advertisers to improve their web presence. Under this extension, custom links can be included in the ad. This not only makes an ad stand-out more, but sitelinks can take users to a more specific landing page, which can aid conversions.

What's nice about sitelinks is that they are applicable for virtually any type of AdWords campaign. It is important, however, to ensure you're bidding enough to have premium ad exposure. Only ads in the top three premium listings will show sitelinks.

Social Extensions

Social extensions are tied to the business's Google Plus page. The ad simply shows how many people have +1'd their Google Plus page. Like the other extensions, it helps make the ad stand-out more. In addition, implementing social extensions can help make your company appear more credible in the search results.

The Takeaway

Utilizing Ad Extensions is a powerful way to maximize your search exposure and enhance the effectiveness of your AdWords campaigns. These features are free and fairly easy to set-up. The challenge is determining which Ad Extensions are most effective given the context of you campaigns and overall business model.

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