Adwords Sitelinks – The Power of 140 Characters to Drive Targeted Clicks

December 14th, 2011

Topics: Measurement, Optimization

Google’s Ad Sitelinks is a tool, or what Google refers to as an “Ad Extension”, that allows for the inclusion of additional links within your existing ad creative. The easiest way to explain it would be for you to see it for yourself:

As you can see from the above example, these additional links showcase relevant products sold by the company. The link text is fully customizable and easily edited through Google AdWords. Not only is the text customizable, but the landing page for each Sitelink can be unique and easily assigned and edited. For example, the Tablet PCs sitelink can point to the landing page dedicated to Tablet PCs, while the Accessories sitelinks can drive the visitor straight to the accessories landing page.

How to Implement Sitelinks for your AdWords Campaigns

  1. Inside your AdWords account, click on the campaign you want to add Sitelinks to.
  2. Click the “Ad extensions” tab. (If this tab is not shown, click the pull-down arrow at the end of the tab selection and click “Ad extensions.”
  3. Click “View:Sitelinks Extensions”
  4. In the Extensions drop down, choose  “+ New extension”
  5. You can now enter up to 10 additional sitelinks, choosing your unique Link text and Destination URLs. (AdWords will impress up to four Sitelinks created.)
  6. Save and test your keywords on Google after a short wait.

Why aren’t my Sitelinks Impressing?

Sometimes, a portion of your keywords will fail to impress your additional Sitelinks on Google. There are three best practices that will help to increase your chances of impressing your additional Sitelinks,

  1. Your ad should have one of the top positions above the organic search results
  2. Your ad will need to have a very high Quality Score (think 9-10)
  3. Your Sitelinks URLs must send users to pages that are a part of your main website

Sitelinks Use-Cases and Strategy:
Brand Campaign – Sitelinks for brand should be part of your overall Sitelinks strategy for the account.

The above e-commerce Sitelinks example shows one use for Sitelinks – dropping visitors deeper into the conversion funnel based on product.

  • Tablet PCs
  • Accessories
  • Notebooks
  • Offers and Specials

Note that these Sitelinks deal with high-level products/specials this company offers. Choose your Sitelinks based on what you have seen perform the best.

Non-Brand Campaigns - Following on the above example, let’s say this company had a campaign devoted exclusively to Tablet PCs. Here are two strategies for implementing Sitelinks for this campaign

Create Sitelinks based on specific Tablet PCs:

  • “YourBrand” 900Ti Tablet PC
  • “YourBrand” 1280x Tablet PC
  • “YourBrand” i900 Tablet PC
  • “YourBrand” T600x Tablet PC

Each of these Sitelinks would drop the user on the product-specific landing page, which gives the visitor the shortest possible path to information regarding the product they are interested in, and, more importantly for you, the shortest path to the conversion event.

Create unique features or special offer Sitelinks that all point to the same landing page:

  • Award-Winning Tablet PCs
  • Tablet PCs for Business
  • Lightest & Quickest Tablet PCs
  • 6 Months No Interest Credit

These Sitelinks could all point to the same landing page. So if you aren’t dropping the customer deeper in the funnel, what’s the point of having the Sitelinks? What would you be achieving?  You’re essentially taking advantage of 140 extra characters to differentiate your product or brand from the rest of the online advertising world. You are also opting into a tool that will capture more of the valuable advertising landscape on Google.

Benefits of Sitelinks:

  • Ads with Sitelinks will almost always have higher click-thru-rates than ads without them. Higher CTR equals higher quality score, which can lower cost-per-clicks across the campaign
  • Provide additional user value on queries for specific products or brands
  • Drive users deeper into the conversion funnel by providing specific, deep links in the advertiser’s site
  • Improve the value of your branded keywords and other targeted queries with rich, fresh ad copy
  • Take advantage of seasonal messaging and special offers with the fully customizable Sitelinks text links
  • Draw more attention and own the online advertising real-estate for your highest-quality ads

In Conclusion:
If you aren’t currently employing Sitelinks, the question is, “Why not?” Unless you are restricted due to an internal issue, there is no downside to setting up Sitelinks for your campaigns. Sitelinks provide an opportunity to make your ad stand out against competitors and organic listings. They allow users to dive deeper into your site with a single click. They give you an added 140 characters to get your message across. These all add up to a richer, fresher advertising experience, one that will get you one step closer to reaching all of those ambitious KPIs.

One Response to “Adwords Sitelinks – The Power of 140 Characters to Drive Targeted Clicks”

  1. Anita Clark

    If you are considering incorporating AdWords into your 2012 marketing plan, this is an invaluable resource to get more mileage for your buck(s). Excellent information Ryan!


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