How Callout Extensions Helped Increase CTR by 221%

By , Associate Director of Services at Hanapin Marketing


Google announced last week the rollout of callout extensions. More real estate on the SERP for everyone! Your PPC dreams have come true…well maybe not entirely because we still can’t segment tablets, but still, this feature is pretty sweet and a nice addition to the ad extension family. But, do they work? We have been running callout extensions in beta for a few eCommerce accounts over the last few months. Below we will review performance and help you determine if callout extensions are right for your account.


What Are Callout Extensions


Callout extensions are additional text that shows with your Google search ads, highlighting specific information about your products and services. Callout extensions will show up in addition to sitelinks, call extensions and review extensions. Why is this feature so great? Not only do callouts allow more space to educate users on how awesome your product or service is, they also are a factor in determining ad rank – better click through rate = better quality score = better ad rank. If you didn’t catch Jacob’s article last week on the release you can find that here and learn about callout extensions in more detail.




Where to Find Callout Extensions


Callout extensions can be found on the ad extensions tab. In the release post on September 3rd, 2014 Google states “Callouts will start rolling out today, with full availability to all advertisers in the next few weeks.” We haven’t seen this feature show up as of yet in most of the accounts that weren’t already opted in through the beta. However, it sounds like they should start showing up within the next few weeks. Below is where you will be able to locate them in your account. For detailed walk through of how to set them up click here.




What to Callout


AdWords allows 25 characters for each callout. You are allowed a maximum of 4 callout extensions for each ad, but can add more for rotation purposes. Callout extensions can be set at the account, campaign or ad group level. The more granular you get, the more detail you may want to callout for your extensions. For example, if you are setting up callout extensions for a generic campaign named “Used Books,” you may want to add “20% off all used books.” For ad group callout extensions, you may want to get more specific “G.O.T. Box Set 20% Off.” If your campaign is running on mobile you can also create mobile specific callouts to help increase engagement. “Free Shipping,” “Call for 24/7 Support” or any other feature that might help a user to convert are other options that could be used in mobile callout extensions.


Callout Performance Overview


So you get it. You know what callout extensions are, where to find them, and what to callout, but do they work? Below is an overview of performance for the last 30 days in two eCommerce accounts.


Account #1 – eCommerce account over the last 30 Days, account level callout extensions. CTR 221% improvement, CVR 40% improvement.




Account #2 – eCommerce account over the last 30 Days, campaign level callout extensions – CTR 38% improvement, CVR 28% improvement.






As we can see from the data above, callout extensions seem to be working really well for these two eCommerce accounts. If you are looking to increase CTR, CVR and lower CPAs (who isn’t?), I would recommend testing callout extensions in your account when available. Try testing, analyzing and optimizing different messaging across account, campaign and ad group to see how they affect performance. Have you been using callout extensions in your accounts already? How have they performed for you?


Want to learn more about Ad Extensions in all their glory? Click on the links below to learn more about all types of ad extensions.


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9 thoughts on “How Callout Extensions Helped Increase CTR by 221%

    1. Cassie OumedianCass_Oumedian

      Hi Mathijs! For Account 1 – Search Campaign Avg position was at 2.2, while Callout Extensions were at 1.5. For Account 2 – Search Campaign Avg position was also 2.2, while Callout Extensions were at 1.6. One difference I forgot to mention in the analysis was that in Account 1, we were using all 4 callout extensions. While in account 2, we were only using 2. Which could be one reason why account 1 CTR increase is much higher in that account. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by performance so far. Have you tried them out yet? Thanks for reading!

      1. Mathijs Compeer

        Hey Cass, Thanks!,
        We are also using Call Out Extensions but I difficult to to measure the exact impact of Call-out extensions on results. But when I look at one account I do really see a difference in CTR, CPA and CR in favor of Call-Out extensions. I also noticed that the look and feel of Call Out changed over time. But if Call out extensions has such an influence on CTR we should see an increase in Account Quality. Looking forward to experience of other advertisers/agencies

  1. Jan Jansen


    If i recall correctly you aren’t allowed to “double up” on USPs. In the adtext you aren’t allowed to mention an USP that you also mention in the call out extension. I’m questioning whether it’s worth transitioning towards product tailored ads rather than generic USP ads. But if you do, how are the odds that callout extensions are actually triggered? I imagine competitors all shouting free delivery prominently in their ads will win from a vague adtext line.

    And what if you have already set up a system where you use sitelink extensions to communicate product features (which trigger frequently due to very high relevance) so one is able to communicate USPs less prominent in ad creative? Worth it or not?

    I’ve a few tests running, though i’m sceptical about the data quality. A splittest with product adcopy & callout extensions versus generic adcopy & sitelink extensions would be perfect, not an easy thing to test though, especially with ecom time of day/day of week/day of month influences. I’d like to read more about these extensions, so please keep testing & sharing 🙂

  2. Phillip Barnes

    Correlation doesn’t mean causation. I’m sure callouts improve performance, but this analysis is poor. It appears callouts only display when ads are in top positions. If that’s true, then the top positions are the reason for the better performance, rather than the actual callouts. I wish there was an more accurate way to test this.

  3. Jeroen Sneppe

    anyone who knows how adwords gives credits for a click to a callout extension because you cant actually click on them. How do they determin which callout gets the click, ctr, cost, …

  4. Chris Tolar

    Hi Cassie! Very interesting article. I had a couple of questions for ya:
    1. It looks like you were using the standard change percentage formula [ (new – old) / old] for most of your stats, but I got different numbers for your Account #1 CTR (I got +267%), and Account #2 CTR (+25%) and Conversion Rate (+50%). Did you get these numbers some different way?
    2. I’m curious how you got the data for your Callout and Campaign rows. Was data from the Callout row taken only from the Callout Extensions tab and compared to the overall account data? Or was the Callout portion of the data segregated out into its own row, and Campaign data was what was leftover (meaning you had a total of 3655 conversions, for example)? We’re trying to figure out the best way to accurately measure the affect Callouts have on our campaigns and would love to hear your feedback here when you have a chance. Thanks!

  5. Bob

    Phillip is correct. I highly doubt adding a couple generic call-outs in an ad on its own impacted CTR and CVR that dramatically.

  6. Ben

    Hi Cassie,
    Could you respond to Chris Tolar’s question? Also, I have heard that you put the call outs in order of importance, if you could confirm?


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