Get an Edge on Competitors With Review Extensions

By Cassie Oumedian | @cass_oumedian | Associate Director of Services at Hanapin Marketing

In an online marketing world where advertisers are constantly competing for impression share, visibility and conversions, how do you get your ad to stand out? For a typical search campaign advertisers have 130 characters to work with to make their ads stand out from competitors – that’s pretty tough when you all sell the same product. Ad extensions are one of my favorite AdWords products, because they allow advertisers a little extra real estate on the search engines. One of the more underused ad extensions that can really give you an edge, and help increase click through rates and conversion rates, are review extensions.


What Are Review Extensions?

Remember the movie “Meet the Fockers” when the Fockers go to Gaylord’s parents’ house and there’s a shrine of 9th place trophies and ribbons on display? Well, review extensions are kind of like that, except instead of boasting to your new in-laws, you get to brag to the entire Internet. That’s my definition of a review extension. Google’s version is a little more… polished.

“You know your business is great, but review extensions let customers know that a respected third-party source agrees. Adding a quote from a positive review, award, or accolade to the text beneath your ads gives potential customers one more reason to click.” Google.


How Do They Work?

AdWords lets you add a glowing review from a reputable third-party source (determined by an outlet such as Better Business Bureau, New York Times, etc.). I haven’t been able to locate a list of what Google determines as reputable third-party sources, but I have been able to use Better Business Bureau and other local publication reviews for one of my client’s business. AdWords then gives you 67 characters to create your review as it will appear in the ad, including the exact or paraphrased quote and the source. You must also be able to provide the source URL.

Once the review extensions are approved the reviews will show up below your ad text. Review extensions won’t show all of the time. There are a variety of factors that can keep your review from showing including not being in premium top position, bid, ad relevance, and available space on the search engine. Similar to other ad extensions, there is no additional charge for review extensions beyond the cost per click on the ad. Review extensions are available globally but only support English language.


How To Create Review Extensions

Review extensions are located on the Ad Extension tab. You can create Account, Campaign or Adgroup Review Extensions. Next, go to + New review, and then enter your 67-character-or-less exact or paraphrased quote from a reputable third-party publisher. Also enter the review’s source domain. There are a few rules to keep in mind to make sure your review extensions get approved. See below:
• Using individual personal reviews (not from a publication/organization)
• Repeating your business name in the review text
• Not including the year for an annual award
• Using an exact quote with incorrect ellipses (…).
• Using a review that’s over a year old
• Not taking the review directly from the original source
• Using press releases
• Changing the review from original (e.g. adding exclamation marks)


Set up

How Do They Perform?

Google claims that by adding review extensions you can increase your click through rate by 10%. I pulled some data from three clients that were running review extensions and the results varied a bit. For two of the clients, they saw huge increases in click through rates from 100% to 200% increases, with smaller increases in conversion rates -3% to 9%. In Test 3, this client saw a slight decrease in click through rate compared to account average, but saw a 44% increase in conversion rate. While the results were a bit up and down across the three tests, I would say that the majority of the time review extensions are a great opportunity to increase click through rate, and there is little risk.


Closing Thoughts

Review extensions are a great way to get an edge on your competitors by not only highlighting great accomplishments through a third-party source, but also by getting an extra 67 characters of real estate on the search engine! Review extensions can help reinforce credibility for your brand and possibly even push the consumer to purchase from you over a competitor. If third-party sources have good things to say about your company, I would highly recommend giving these a try to help boost your CTR. Let us know if review extensions work for you. Thanks for reading!