In this blog you’ll learn all about site links, why they are important and how to use them and when to use them on your PPC campaigns to get the best CTR.
What Are AdWords Sitelinks and Why Are They Important?
Ad sitelinks is feature in AdWords that offers you additional links to pages beyond the destination landing page in your ad. In the above image, “Compare iPad models,” “Apple Pencil” “Buy now” and “Smart Keyboard” are all sitelinks.
The image here is a good example of some of the powerful benefits sitelinks can provide, including:
- Additional real estate for your ad (not unlike the other ad extensions)
- The ability to highlight and elaborate on certain benefits and features
- The ability to point to specific treatment in response to a generic query (adult braces with site links to six month smiles page, or Invisalign page)
The are some great benefits of sitelinks: you’re able to direct people to a greater number of pages on your site from within the same ad, without paying a premium. Using sitelinks can also help improve click-through rate (and subsequently Quality Score) and allow you to create a different experience for searchers.
How Do I Use Sitelinks in My AdWords Account?
Setting site links up in Adwords is easy and available to all Adwords accounts.
Select “View: Sitelinks Extensions” in the Ad extensions tab, then click the “+ New extension” button:
Next you’ll be presented with an option to either create a new sitelink extension, or use existing sitelinks from other areas of your account (called shared extensions).Shared extensions are handy if you’re leveraging the same sitelinks in multiple campaigns, but in the event that you’re creating a new sitelink or sitelinks you can click through to “Create new extension” and create the new sitelinks:
This leads us to the questions of when and how you should be leveraging sitelinks in your account.
When Should I Use Ad Sitelinks in My AdWords Campaigns?
Whilst I’m advocating the use of site links in the blog, its important to get think long and hard about what site links to add to your ad, if any at all. What you gain from providing the user with more information you can lose from a conversion on your landing page. The decision making funnel shows a narrowing towards the final stage of the decision making process and it is here that patients will convert by calling the practice or filling in a form. As this funnel narrows, we want to make sure that the patient is steered towards the landing page of your advert and not distracted.
Of course the counter argument is that all traffic and contact is good, and if the site link takes the potential patient to the meet the team page and it is from here that they get in touch with the practice, then this is still a valuable conversion. It’s just harder to track where it came from.
With that said, I’ll continue with the advantages of site links..
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 already.
Why Aren’t My AdWords Ads Showing Sitelinks?
The main reason your ads aren’t showing the sitelinks you added to your account is that they simply aren’t considered “authoritative” or “relevant” enough. As you can see from the above description Google wants to award sitelinks to sites that have displayed that they are synonymous with a branded query or are appearing above search results.
Create Sitelinks to Speak to the Queries They Show For
There are a number of different techniques for optimising sitelinks – a number of the best practices around creating optimised sitelinks are similar to AdWords best practices in general, such as:
- Understanding customer behaviour
- Testing different themes
- Implementing proper tracking and closely monitoring results
Ultimately, as with anything else within the AdWords platform, you want to take advantage of the edge offered to you by sitelinks and tailor your sitelinks so that they’re offering the right balance between increased clicks and increased conversions. And again, as with all things AdWords: test, analyse the data, and iterate!
Dental Design provide a fully managed PPC account management services for dental practices looking to attract new patients and increase branding. Contact the team on 01202 677277 for more information about site links and other ad extension possibilities.