In today’s post, we are going to discuss the question, “Why would an advertiser use sitelinks?” This question has been frequently asked in Google AdWords Examination and the choices given are as follows:-
- To showcase customer reviews with high-quality survey data
- To let customers click a button to call the business
- To show a link that sends people to the app store or starts downloading an app
- To give customers quick access to multiple pages of an advertiser’s website
The Correct Answer is:-
To give customers quick access to multiple pages of an advertiser’s website
Sitelinks can take people to specific pages on your site—your store hours, a specific product, or more. Sitelinks will show in a variety of ways depending on device, position, and other factors. When your sitelink extension appears with one of your ads on a computer, it shows 2 to 6 links, which may appear on the same line or fill up to two lines of your ad.
What Are Sitelinks?
The sitelinks ad extension is an add-on available for Google AdWords and Bing Ads (although this post will focus on Google’s implementation) that enhances your ads with additional links and copy. Rather than sending all people to the same landing page, sitelinks display up to six extra links below your ad that users can choose from. And as of June, sitelinks can include two lines of description text each– they’re like a cluster of free mini-ads!
You’ll still have your standard ad, but you’ll be able to supplement it with more messaging and direct links that take up more of the coveted real estate on the search engine results page. It’s no surprise that advertisers who use sitelinks see their ad click-through-rates improve by 30% on average. Utilizing sitelinks is all upside!
Great Points about Google AdWords Sitelinks
Sitelinks have a click-through rate (CTR) that’s far above average. One of my clients has an overall CTR of just over 2 percent, while the sitelinks in their account have a CTR of more than 10 percent. That’s a five-fold improvement – not too shabby for a few minutes of setup.
Helps Quality Score
Google is generally tight-lipped about the quality score factors. Still, we all know that CTR is the biggest factor affecting quality score, so it stands to reason that anything you can do to increase it in your account, including sitelinks, will help.
Additional Space for Ad Text
We all know that 95 characters aren’t a lot of space in which to expound the virtues of your PPC offering. Sitelinks offer up to six additional opportunities for additional ad text and/or calls to action. As long as the text is relevant to every ad group in the campaign, this can be a great way to sneak in more ad copy and take up more space in the SERPs.
Alternate Conversion Paths
Along similar lines, sitelinks can be used to point visitors to conversion-oriented landing pages that may be different from those in the individual ad groups. This gives more options to the searcher and makes it easy for those who are close to converting to find where they need to go.
Can Send to Multiple Landing Pages for Relevancy
Yet another benefit of sitelinks is the use of multiple landing pages, a different one for each sitelink; thus giving searchers more options to find relevant information. This is a great option for small businesses without landing page budgets. If you run a small business and can’t afford to create individual PPC landing pages, sitelinks are a good alternative – you can test multiple landing pages in one campaign.
Gives Better Sense of Legitimacy
One really cool thing about sitelinks is that most searchers can’t tell the difference between PPC sitelinks and organic sitelinks. For all they know, sites with additional links are just more relevant, according to Google.
Allows for More Targeted URLs to Deeper Content
Where else can you run a PPC ad with five or six different destination URLs? For example, you could use sitelinks for broad or general terms this way: A search for “Hot Drinks” could use sitelinks showing “Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, More Tea,” etc. This is a great way to help searchers narrow down their choices and get closer to a conversion.
For years now, advertisers have coveted the premium top spot above the natural search results. By including sitelinks in these ads, advertisers gain an even bigger competitive advantage.
Ability to Optimize for “in-ad” Text/Links
Similar to increasing the length of your ad copy, sitelinks enables advertisers to optimize for multiple landing pages and calls to action.
You can use sitelinks to promote social media profiles, such as Facebook and Twitter. While the AdWords editorial guidelines somewhat restrict what can be said, there are creative ways to include social media links in sitelinks and build brand awareness and loyalty.
Why Should Advertisers Use Sitelinks?
Implementing sitelinks into your Google AdWords campaigns can provide a ton of additional value for advertisers. Here are three reasons why you need to start using sitelinks now:
- Increase click-through rates: Similar to other ad extensions, sitelinks enable PPC ads to take up the more real estate on the SERP. As a result, we typically see ads with sitelinks earning a click-through rate of 10% – 20% higher than ads without sitelinks. Implementing relevant sitelinks is a great way to boost CTR.
- Increase conversion rates: By providing users with a handful of pertinent links and landing pages to fulfill their needs, users have the opportunity to hit a conversion point faster. When implemented properly, we typically see conversion rates rise with the presence of sitelinks.
- No change in cost per click: Regardless of having sitelinks display with your ad or not, the average cost you pay per click does not change.
How Do You Setup Sitelinks?
To enable and create sitelinks for your campaign or ad group, follow these steps:
Setup Sitelinks within Google AdWords
- Go to your AdWords campaign.
- Click the Ad extensions tab.
- Choose Sitelinks.
- Next, to the Sitelink settings link, click Edit
- Create a new sitelink or edit an existing sitelink by clicking it.
- Fill out the sitelink text and URL.
- The Description field is optional but recommended.
Setup Sitelinks within Bing Ads
- Go to your Bing campaign.
- Click the ad extensions tab.
- Click the Sitelinks Extensions tab.
- Click Create.
- Fill out the sitelink text and URL fields.
What Ads Get Sitelinks?
AdWords has a few different sitelink formats (from Google’s documentation on sitelink formats):
- Three-line and two-line formats – Sitelinks are designed to trigger in situations where an ad provides the ideal answer for a search query. These ads are most likely to trigger on unique brand terms.
- One-line format – Sitelinks will trigger with more generic terms, but may also include brand terms.
- Embedded format – Sitelinks will trigger whenever your ad qualifies to appear above the search results and the text in your ad exactly matches one or more of your sitelinks.
Basically, the idea is you’ll only be showing sitelinks on ads/queries that you’re seen as highly relevant for (read: have a high click-through rate on) already.
Read More: How To Add Adwords Conversion Tracking
Tips on How to Get the Most out of Google Adwords Ad Sitelinks
Keep Your Sitelinks Fresh
One of the worst things you can do just keep the same Sitelinks in place for long periods of time. For example, searchers who are familiar with a specific brand will often expect to see fresh promotions are offers in the Sitelinks in order to keep them coming back. Just as with PPC in general, Sitelinks provide a fast and effective way to push offers and promotions faster than other media.
Keep Sitelinks in the Same Family
Don’t try and up-sell a product or service that is not related to the search term which is serving the Ad. Of course, avoiding this requires a deeper breakout of relevant campaigns, but the extra effort will not go to the waste side. Since Ad extensions are created at the campaign level, it may make sense to create campaigns based on a Sitelink Strategy.
Use Sitelinks to Reorganize Campaigns
In some cases, it may make sense to reorganize a few campaigns in order to get the most out of your Sitelink Strategy. For example here are some ideas:
- Create campaigns for each of your Top Selling products and identify other products/promotions that are “historically” relevant to that product
- Create a campaign consisting of a related group of products and create a holistic yet relevant group of Sitelinks. (i.e. brand names, categories, etc…)
Best Practices of Using Sitelink
When it comes to selecting links and copy for your sitelinks, use these best practices as a guide:
- Link text should be concise and relate directly to the landing page it links to.
- Link text and landing page content should directly relate to the standard ad the sitelink is paired with.
- Do not use the same link text for multiple sitelinks.
- Use a unique sitelink for each landing page or URL you’re using– no two sitelinks can link to the same page.
- Stay away from symbols and excessive punctuation.
- A sitelink can direct users to a download page, but the link text cannot contain the phrases “download here” or “click to download.”
Tactics to Make Your Sitelinks Perform Better
Sitelinks go a long way to help you create richer and more relevant ads. These tactics will make your sitelinks perform even better:
- Create sitelinks for popular pages that people would want quick access to (e.g., About Us).
- Create sitelinks for promotions to make updating your ads easier (e.g., Winter Sale).
- Use sitelinks as an extension of your ad copy by mentioning benefits (e.g., Free Shipping).
- Create sitelinks for calls to action (e.g., Make an Appointment, Get a Quote, etc.).
- Set unique URLs for your sitelinks, or else they won’t show.
- Create as many sitelinks as you can, then review their performance to improve them.
- Keep the text brief and simple.
Sitelinks are a powerful way for advertisers to build click-through and conversion rates. When executed properly, these extensions can provide a ton of extra value on top of your standard PPC ad. And with no extra cost associated with these ad extensions, all advertisers should be using them when applicable to their Google AdWords campaigns.
Main Advantages of using Descriptions in Sitelinks Extensions
- Pushes competitor sites further down the page
- Decreases bounce rates since users can now focus on specific pages
- Higher link visibility, which leads to more traffic
- Increase in click-through rates
- Keywords will be shown in bold to attract users even more
- Richer more relevant ads
Finally, it is important just to highlight that not all advertisers will be able to see sitelink extensions yet, due to a variety of reasons such as quality score, positioning, landing page quality, other ad extensions within the same campaign, search terms used, and the relevance of competitor’s ads on the same page.
Create and Optimize Sitelink Extensions
Are you looking for some strategies and ideas for your sitelink extensions? In AdWords and Bing Ads, ad extensions have become incredibly important for your keyword quality scores.
Is your account using AdWords sitelinks? If not, do you now have enough reasons to try these out? Implementing Google sitelinks could be the quickest and easiest way to show meaningful results for your PPC account. Do not wait any longer! Start implementing sitelinks for your account!
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