Google AdWords Ad Extensions & New Formats – Top Tips From SMX London

For everyone that missed the brilliant SMX conference in London this week, here are the top tips from the session on” Google AdWords Ad Extension and other new ad features”.

The Panel consisted of:

  • Christine Churchill, President KeyRelevance – session moderator
  • Ann Stanley, MD Anicca Digital – an overview of the 4 types of ad extensions
  • Biren Kalajaria, Sales development manager Google – introduction to new audience targeting in Google display network
  • Brian Lewis, VP Engine Ready – use of Merchant Centre feeds for product extensions
  • Links Walls, Director of product Management ChannelAdvisor – optimising your product feed for use in free and paid listings

For a summary of each of this SMX session – see below……..

Ann Stanley – Overview of Google AdWords ad extensions


  • Most popular form of  ad extension
  • Used to promote offers and cross-sell
  • You have to be in top 3 but you will not always show
  • Can cause bid inflation
  • Large effect on CTR (x 3+) and potentially quality score
  • Users mainly clicking on headline

Phone extensions

  • Ideal for local businesses and services
  • Lower take-up than sitelinks
  • Much lower number of calls as compared to clicks to website
  • Have to bid higher to be in top 2 or 5,  this can cause bid inflation – so keep in a separate campaign

Product extension

  • Can make you stand out
  • Many users still don’t click on + sign or image links
  • Will also appear on right hand panel
  • Unpredictable – will not be displayed very often

Location extension

  • Ideal for local businesses or where you have multiple locations
  • Normally displayed at the same time as the map which can push ads down
  • Bigger ad with address and phone number (even on desktops)

Download the full presentation at “Overview to Google AdWords ad extensions”.

Biren Kalajaria – introduction to new audience targeting features in Google display network

Google advertisers can now access 82% of web users in UK by using AdSense and Double Click ad Exchange.

Targeting will be achieves by 2 approaches:

1. Contextual

  • keyphrase targeting in Google automatic display network
  • choosing URL (placement or managed display network)
  • category and interest

2. Audience based segments

  • Remarketing
  • Interest demographics
  • Similar  users
  • Audience insights

Google have introduced 4 new products:

1) Interest Category segments

  • Using Cookies from Double Click the user behaviour of visitors on AdSence websites has been categorised.
  • Google has identified 800-1000 segments to target, eg could be a travel enthusiast even if they are no on a travel site

2) Inferred demographics

Using profile data (eg Google profile), and user behaviour – users have been classified users as male or female, with ages to be added later.

3) Look-a-like technology

  • Used in conjunction with remarketing campaigns where cookies are used to tag users who have visited your site and then serve ads to them when they go to another website within the AdSense network
  • Problem can be getting sufficient users that have visited your site, this technologies serves your ads to similar users even if they have not been to your site

4) Audience insights

  • Reports that can be used to understand the characteristics of the people on your remarketing list.
  • Can be used to determine the demographics and user behaviour (website visited) of the list that have converted; to allow you to target more users with these characteristics
  • Tool can also be used for the people that click on your ad

Brian Lewis – use of Merchant Centre feeds for product extensions

Characteristics of ads with product extensions

Research at Engine Ready found the following results:

  • only 14% of the impression displayed the + box – so it was unpredictable when it was displayed
  • can be correlated with higher click through rates (CTR) – 76% higher CTR when shown
  • can be correlated with cost per clicks (CPC)
  • conversion rates were the same – so this actually resulted in the cost per sale being slightly higher
  • + signs do not show at the same time as sellers reviews (which Google scraps fr0m other websites, but only shows if the score exceeds 4 out of 5 and more than 30 reviews)

When can product extensions be used?

  • Product must be shipable in the local country
  • Must have fixed price but can have a different price for larger quantities
  • There cannot be any log-in or registration barrier
  • Results will not be displayed on Smartphones, display network or search network, but will be displayed on tablets and desktops

Merchant feeds optimisation

  • Use scheduled feed (daily) so it does not elapse at the end of the month
  • There are some compulsory fields,  extremely important fields as well as additional fields which can help with optimsiation
  • Tax and shipping details have to be added which can be problematic for some eCommerce systems where this is added at the basket rather than the product level
  • Unique identifiers now need to be added including brand/manufacturer and barcode/MPN number – if you don’t have this do not leave it blank!

Use of product attributes  for free vs paid listing in AdWords product extensions

  • This feature is not yet available in the UK.
  • The idea is to be able to tag the individual products in the feed so that this determines whether they are shown in the free shopping results and/or the paid AdWords results (product extensions).
  • This  feature can be used to exclude low value or lower converting products from the paid results, but without excluding them from the free results.

Links Walls – optimising your product feed for use in free and paid listings

Product listing

  • New feature available in the USA only
  • Appear top right similar to where the map now appears
  • Do not bid on keywords and there are no ads


  1. Post product feed
  2. Analyse what works
  3. Refine – adjust bid and strategy

Post your product feed

  • Use unique identifiers (URL tags, which can be identified in Analytics)
  • Need to add unique identifiers (brand, UPC or MBN)
  • Use ad extensions and attributes to enable or exclude products form the paid listings (product extensions)

Analyse results

  • Use campaigns in Analytics to understand which brands and SKU’s generate volumes and sales (and revenue)
  • Also understand which ones don’t work so these can be excluded
  • Check effect of image and landing page

More on product attributes

  • Can be used for products below certain value (attribute = FALSE) – can exclude these
  • Poor converting products (attribute = poor-converter) – can exclude these
  • Best brands (attribute  = Top-brand) – you can also pay more for these

In the Extension tab, there will be a new filter feature at teh bottom of the screen where the AdWords attributes will be managed (not yet available in the UK).

More information

If you would like any more information then you can contact me by Twitter Ann Stanley #AnnStanley, email [email protected], or phone  0116 298 6460.


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