Ad Sitelinks – More than Meets the Eye

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Like Optimus Prime from the Transformers, Google is a “powerful, wise and compassionate character (company) that puts all his (their) talent to use to improve the (PPC) universe around him.”  And hence, the embedded format of Ad Sitelinks was born.

Embedded sitelinks offer the chance for PPC Managers to target the proper market even more than before.  There are no additional lines that appear in the ads when the embedded format is used.  So if you cannot see the sitelinks in the ad, how do you know it’s there?

The actual text in the ad that exactly matches one or more of the sitelinks in the campaign will automatically be linked to that sitelink’s destination URL.  This allows potential customers to hyperlink to the exact items they are looking for by simply clicking on the word that best matches their needs.  For example, let’s say a customer is searching for the best place to buy vintage Transformer toys.  The PPC ad might look like this (sitelinks text is written in red):

Vintage Transformer Toys
Browse our collection of original
Optimus Prime & Bumblebee toys!

By clicking on the terms “Optimus Prime” and “Bumblebee” the customer is taken directly to the product page for these items.  Google believes that “these targeted destination URLs may encourage more users to click on your ad and make it easier for them to find what they’re searching for when they arrive on your site.”  By using embedded site links, a PPC Manager would be able to tie together strong keywords and a direct link in one fell swoop.  This could lead to a better site navigation experience for the users, increased relevant click-through rates for the ads and will hopefully assist in increasing conversions.

To engage embedded sitelinks, add the Ad Extensions tab in AdWords and follow the directions for set up within your Google campaigns.  Beware, there are still several requirements that your campaigns must meet in order to utilize this function – so plan accordingly.  You can learn additional information about Google’s different types of ad extensions in Jessica’s overview.

PPC Hero wants to hear from you about sitelinks!  Let us know how this new feature is beneficial to you and how it will improve the health of your accounts.  After all, they are more than meets the eye!






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6 thoughts on “Ad Sitelinks – More than Meets the Eye

  1. Jordan McClements

    I’d still rather have the old sitelinks below my ads – and from what I have read these new ones will only show if the old one’s are not eligible to show (a point on which Google are a bit vague) to – but it is better than nothing I’m sure, and yet *another* move by Google to increase CTR of PPC ads above the results, and further disadvantage those not able to afford one of the top three spots…

    It’ll be interesting to see how much this helps Google to defeat the frankly ridiculous practise of clicking on anything the organic results… 🙂

  2. harvey bennett

    nice. Was looking at this last week. they are saying that although embedded links will only feature in the promoted ads for the time being there is a plan to use transpose to the right hand side. this is clearly where the money bit kicks in.

    will be interested to see how this affects the impact CTR has on q.Score because clearly it will change the game a little.

    also worth pointing out that you can only embed 4 links and cant turn your whole ad into links…shame.

  3. Felicia CooverFelicia Coover

    Thank you for your comments Jordan and Harvey!  
    I am hoping for those accounts that can afford to bid high enough to have one of the top three positions that it will help their CTR and QS.  But at the same time, those metrics are probably in good shape if they are in the top three spots!  

    However, I think the key to this is that it almost forces you to have tightly themed ad groups to really drive your ads and therefore show your links.  And to the point of only having 4 links embedded – would you want any more?  I think that having more sitelinks would convolute your campaigns and drive your QS down.  I am interested as well to see how this plays out.  

    I actually have a client that is very comfortable sitting in positions 2 to 3 and does well there.  I am about to add in sitelinks to the campaigns to drive my traffic and help with my conversions.  Will I have to up my position before my sitelinks will show or will my metrics be strong enough to help out!?  I will let you know where we end up and how well it works!

    Keep me posted on if you implement the new embedded format and how your campaigns perform!

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  5. Mark Kennedy

    My Google rep was telling me about these last week. Something I will have to test with some unique tracking codes in the site link URLs.  I want to be very careful with this and see what happens.

    I’m with Jordan on this one. Instinctively I like the sitelinks under the ad. I also like what Harvey said. If they find this works, even the ads on the right side can eventually have in-ad site links, since there will be room.

  6. Felicia CooverFelicia Coover

    HI Mark!  I agree… I think that it is something that PPC Managers need to be careful with at first.  Google is not clear on how they intend to track these items – it is assumed that it will be tracked and reported the same ways as other forms of site links.  So based on your idea of linking a tracked URL you should get a fairly decent idea of how this is working!  Please let us know what you find out!  Thanks for reading…


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