Promotion Extensions Drive Killer CTRs

Are you an online retailer with a sale or incentive? If so, we’re going to show you an easy optimization technique that can help boost your CTR and improve your quality scores by displaying your offer as an extension to existing AdWords ads.

Enter: Promotion Extensions.

What are Promotion Extensions?

Promotion extensions are a revamped feature in the new AdWords experience that allow you to show your deals to customers, without the need to change your core ads or schedule major ad swaps. They function like any other extension and show below your ad on desktop or mobile when your ads are in any of the eligible positions. Having promotion extensions as an add-on that can be scheduled around sales is a huge win, because we no longer must sacrifice brand messaging or calls-to-action in our core ads in favor of promotions for short periods of time. We can now do it all!

Image from SearchEngineLand.com

Benefits of Running Promotion Extensions

  • Many advertisers, including us, are reporting huge CTR increases in their account when promotion extensions show alongside their existing ads – some are showing up to 20% increases in CTR.
  • Promotion extensions allow you to take up more real estate on the search engine results page (SERPs) ensuring that your customers see your ad front and center, making you more likely to get valuable clicks!
  • Promotion Extensions are clickable, whereas some other ad extensions, like callout extensions, cannot be clicked. Since these are clickable, it will allow you to take users directly to a page that offers the specific promotion, increasing their chances of conversion.
  • Because Google favors advertisers who take advantage of all the features in AdWords, adding promotion extensions can help boost your quality scores – even more so if you see a higher CTR when they run or if they help further improve your ad relevancy.
  • Promotion extensions are super easy to set up and there are even pre-populated occasions. Also, the ease of setup gives advertisers the ability to launch these at the account, campaign and adgroup levels – so they can be as general or targeted as you’d like.
  • Promotion extensions are also very flexible and can be scheduled in advanced so that they are automatically launched and taken down according to your promotion calendar.

How to Set up Promotion Extensions

A huge benefit to this optimization is how incredibly simple it is to execute. To set up your promotion extensions in the new AdWords interface, click into the account, campaign or adgroup that you want to add a promotion to and click “Ads and Extensions” > navigate to the Extensions tab > hit the “+” > and then click “+Promotion Extension.”

From here, you will be guided through how to set up promotion extensions.

Tips for Creating Promotion Extensions

  • Though you can run promotion extensions for any occasion, there are some pre-set ones available in AdWords. You can select from holidays or seasonal time periods like New Year’s Eve, Black Friday, Christmas, Back to School and more. If your promotion does not fit into one of these “Occasions” – select “None.”
  • Promotion Type is an important area to review to make sure that your promotion fits the capabilities of promotion extensions. Types of promotions currently supported are: a monetary discount, up to a monetary discount, a percentage discount and up to a percentage discount. Free Shipping, GWP and BOGO are not currently supported..
  • In the Item section, you manually type in what item you are promoting. These are tricky because they can only be 20 characters long, including spaces and punctuation. Our tip here is to drop the brand name, color or size of the item you are promoting if you need to fit the character count. Being direct is best!
  • Final URL is the URL you want users to be taken to when they click on the actual extension, and this can be different from the URL on your core ad. In most cases, you want to take users directly to a product page or sale page. If your account is using auto-tagging, your parameters will be automatically appended once your extension is in a live environment. If you are using any custom tracking, enter it in your URL tracking template instead of here.
  • Promotion Details is the section that helps you caveat your deal. Here you can select options like “On Orders Over X” or “with Promo Code X”. Adding promo codes unique to your paid search ads or promotion extension are great for gathering data outside of AdWords and will allow you to compare results across different channels (organic, email marketing, display, etc.)
  • Displayed Promotion Dates will allow you to show the dates of your promotion in your offer. Our tip here is to test running promotion extensions with and without a displayed promotion date to see performance changes. Most often, when you keep all other variables the same, you can assess this by determining which extension has a higher conversion rate. Sometimes having an end date for a promotion (especially if it’s a ways out), doesn’t create a sense of urgency, and shoppers don’t purchase right away. Bear in mind that Displayed Promotion date does not update the actual run dates of your promotion extension.
  • To schedule a promotion extension, you must select the drop down under Advanced Options. Here you can schedule start dates, end dates, as well as days and hours the promotion extension should run.

Optimizing Your Promotion Extensions

If your promotion extensions are performing well, you’ll want to run them more often, or at least make sure they are eligible to show more often. To see how often your Promotions Extensions show, you’ll want to review the Impressions column in the Extensions tab. If you find that your promotion extensions don’t show as often as you’d like compared to other extensions, consider removing other extension types that don’t perform as well, at least while the promotion is active.

With every eligible search, Google must figure out which core ad to show, and which extensions to show with it. Having less extensions in play at one time might help boost the amount of times your promotion extensions are shown. Keep in mind, that whenever your promotions are over, you will want to relaunch any extensions that you paused – running as many as possible is a best practice, as long as they are performing well!

For more ways to optimize your paid search accounts, follow us on Facebook and check out our blogs. If you have any questions related to Promotion Extensions, drop them in the comments section below!

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