A few years ago, in 2009, product extensions in Google were made available to all advertisers in the United States.  As of today, product extensions will also be available in mobile formats, as will Google’s new product local ads (in Beta format). Because consumers rely so heavily on their mobile devices to shop (79% of smartphone consumers claim that they use their phones to help with shopping activities and 84% claim that they notice mobile ads, according to a smartphone study done by Google), these new ad types have a lot of potential!

Product Local Ads

Google’s product local ads, currently in Beta format, will show the actual availability of products in local stores along with the image and price.  What better way to get consumers into your store? Product local ads will be eligible to show based upon location signals, such as local search queries, as well as device location, which users must opt-in to share.  In order to utilize product local ads, you must submit your local product inventory data to Google through a Google Merchant center account and submit your business information through a Google Places account.  Check out this article for more information about setting up product local ads.

Product Extensions

In case you are not aware, product extensions are shown underneath text ads with images of products alongside prices.  They allow advertisers to preview relevant products to searchers.  Product extensions are displayed when an ad is triggered by a keyword in a product extensions enabled campaign.  Product extensions are a great way to separate yourself from other text based ads on Google’s SERP.

Why are product extensions so awesome?

They give the searcher more information about your product, before they even click on your ad.  It gives you a leg up on the competition, because if searchers like what they see and think the price is reasonable, they’ll click your ad.  Theoretically, this should increase your click-through-rate.  If your product extensions have a poor click-through-rate, it can tell you a lot about your products.  Perhaps your feed is messed up and you aren’t showing relevant products.  Perhaps your prices are too high.  Perhaps you are targeting the wrong keywords, or maybe you need to add negatives.  Either way, you stand to gain from product extensions, whether it be revenue or marketing research (hopefully both!).

A few product extension tips:

  • In your merchant account, make sure your products are well labeled and organized because Google decides which products to show in your ad –not you.
  • The landing page for your product is determined by your feed, so make sure it is accurate.
  • Products extensions are not guaranteed to show every time but adding keywords into your titles and descriptions will help Google determine relevance and, thus, the likelihood of your product extension displaying increases.
  • Set low budgets at first, as images can be eye-catching, they can spend pretty quickly.  This is good if you are generating revenue proportionally but, at first, I’d recommend starting slow just to make sure everything runs smoothly.

For More Help With Product Extensions, Product Local Ads, and Mobile in general:

Check out this article to read Google’s announcement for mobile ad product extensions.   Check out these articles for more information on setting up product local ads and product extensions.  If you’re ready to really work your mobile magic, check out my tips for your mobile landing pages!