Take Action With Bing’s ActionLink Ad Extensions

By Diane Anselmo | @diane_anselmo | Associate Director of Services at Hanapin Marketing

As PPC marketers, one of our biggest challenges is getting our ad copy to look different from that of our competitors. Time and time again, I look at how my ads stack up against my competition and wrack my brain to try and find some differentiating factor that I can use to make my copy more appealing to the users. Many times, it’s a real challenge, as we mostly offer the same things and use the same components within our ad copy. That’s why, when something new comes along, I jump right on it and start using right away.

 

With that said, Bing has something new for advertisers called ActionLink extensions. They are ad extensions that feature a call-to-action button designed to capture user attention. You’ll need to get whitelisted for this feature, as they haven’t been rolled out to all advertisers yet, but it’s certainly a great opportunity to make your ads more robust and different from the rest.

 

What They Are

 

Simply put, ActionLink extensions allow you to add a call-to-action button right within your ad. With a different color background from the rest of the ad, the call-to-action button stands out and captures user attention. Below is an example that illustrates this feature.

 

Image of ActionLink
An ad with ActionLink extensions

 

As you can see, the “Book a flight” button stands out and draws the users’ eye to that portion of the ad. It also happened to be the only ad in the search results that was currently utilizing the extension, so that also helped capture attention.

 

Benefits Of ActionLink

 

Clearly, we can see that the ActionLink extensions make ads stand out more, but there are some other benefits that you may experience. For one, you may see a higher CTR on your ads when using this extension. As we’ve seen in the past, the utilization of ad extensions usually results in a headline CTR increase. This is also an opportunity to take users to pages on the site where the action is likely to be taken. When setting them up, think about the pages that you’re choosing and make sure they are pages that are conducive to the user taking your desired action.

 

Also, as with other ad extensions, ActionLink allows us to garner more real estate on the search results page. And, when combined with other extensions, it also helps us make our ad copy more relevant and compelling, which should all yield to better results.

 

How It Works

 

As I said before, you’ll need to contact your Bing rep to get whitelisted for this feature. Once you do, you’ll be able to find this feature in the Ads Labs section under the Tools menu. Bing has a list of suggested action types for you to use, but if you don’t see what you want there, you can go ahead and enter in the action type that makes the most sense for your business. Keep in mind that it will then need to go through editorial review, which might delay the process. Below are the suggested action types that you’ll find when you go to set up your ActionLink extensions.

 

Image of various ActionLinks
A list of action types

 

Once you select your action type, you’ll simply need to enter the destination URL. Remember to use this opportunity to be creative. Different ad groups might require different action types and destination URLs. Think this part through and make sure that you’re using the ActionLink extensions the best way possible, as it could certainly equal valuable conversions for you.

 

Image of extension
Create your ActionLink

 

ActionLink Results

 

Once implemented, you’ll be able to see the performance stats in the Ad Extension report by ad or by keyword. Since ActionLink is still fairly new, we have very little information on how it is impacting ad performance at this point, but I’m optimistic that these extensions will help improve results.

 

Image of performance
Review your ActionLink performance

 

Final Thoughts

 

Bing’s new ActionLink extensions are definitely worth a test within your accounts, provided it makes sense within your business model. Besides the possibility of an increased CTR, we can also add an extra level of depth to our ad copy through these extensions and stand out from the competition.