I was recently listening to Seth Godin give a talk at
Google where he said that the internet is the first medium that wasn’t invented
specifically to carry ads (unlike magazines and television). So to become successful
as a company, Google had to figure out a way to make ads just as useful as
their search results and that’s exactly what they did with AdWords. After some
10 years where the look and feel of the ads didn’t change much, now Google has
started offering all sorts of ways to make the ads more interesting through ad
Ad extensions are a way for advertisers to enhance their
text ads with additional information that the user might find interesting like
a location, a phone number or additional links to a website.
Because extensions make ads bigger, they draw more
attention and because they make the ads more specific, the people who click are
better prequalified. And just as with AdWords in general, creating an extension
is free and you only pay for clicks.
Here are some of the available ad extensions:
The sitelinks extension is great if you're trying to
promote multiple parts of your business through a single ad. You can add up to
10 extra links in addition to the main destination URL of the ad. This helps
you tell potential customers about the different products or services you
provide and lets them go to the section of your website that talks about those
specific things. When a customer lands on a page that is exactly what they were
looking for, chances are better they will convert.
The location extension adds your business address to the
ad and also shows it with a blue pin on the map. You can manually add your
address but I recommend adding it automatically from your Google Local page.
The Google Local page is a one-page website for your business that's hosted by
Google and that is shown to people who use Google Maps to search for a
business. It's free to set up and it's a good way to give potential customers
another way to find you.
Some businesses would rather get a phone call than a
visitor to their site and that's what call extensions enable. Rather than using
valuable space in your ad text to put in a 10 digit phone number, you can now
use the ad text to tell people a good reason to call you, and then the number
appears below the ad. If your business is local, showing a phone number on a
mobile device is a no-brainer... it lets potential customers call you when
they're ready to walk into your business. Rather than getting a lead through
your website, a phone call lets you connect with that prospect in real time.
Social extensions let you show potential customers how
popular and trusted your company is by including the number of users who have
given your site a +1 on Google+, Google's social network. If you don't yet have
a Google+ page for your business, you can set that up for free and use it to
share posts, photos and videos that your customers and fans might find
Frederick (“Fred”) Vallaeys got involved in online
marketing in 1998 when he ran search ads out of his dorm room at Stanford
selling VHS cassettes of popular movies. After graduating in 2000, he joined a
tech company that went under in the dot-com bust and to make ends meet, he
became the Bay Area’s first digital wedding photographer. While placing ads for
his small business, he noticed a small search engine company called Google that
had some innovative ideas in the online ad space, and he joined in 2002.
At Google he helped grow the AdWords search marketing
system and served as Google’s AdWords Evangelist, teaching advertisers about
which Google products are best to support their marketing goals.
In 2012 he left Google to start his own business, Top Tier,
because he saw an opportunity to make online marketing more accessible to small
businesses through education, tools and services. He speaks at numerous events,
including the annual ASBDC conference, helping businesses get their business
online and grow it through online marketing and online tools.