Adding sitelinks to your ads can accomplish 2 things:
1) Allow your ad to take up more of the top-fold real estate on the SERP
2) Direct shoppers to the exact pages they’re interested in, potentially reducing bounce rates
2-6 sitelinks can be shown for your ad for a given search query, and sometimes these short descriptions under the links can show up, taking up even more ad real estate. You can enter up to 12 different sitelinks, however, Google will only select several based on the relevancy of the search query. Typically you’ll have your sitelinks be different product categories, your most frequented products or pages, or high-converting pages. Any click on one of these links will cost the same CPC as it would be for your normal ad. For these reasons, sitelinks are very valuable ad extensions for any business, on or offline.
There are a couple caveats: sitelinks can only be used for campaigns on the Search Network and they won’t always show up for a number of reasons, including your ad quality score, your ad position, or your bid.
How to Add Sitelinks Extensions
You can set up sitelinks at both the campaign and ad group level. Let’s dive into setting up sitelinks at the campaign level:
1. Add a new extension to your campaign
2. Fill out the sitelink text and URL.
Sitelinks at the campaign level will be the default for ads without a sitelink at the ad group level. However, adding a sitelink at the ad group level will override the similar sitelink at the campaign level.
To add a sitelink at the ad group level:
1. Add a new sitelink to an ad group
2. Fill out the sitelink text and URL
This is the same process as adding campaign-level ad extensions.
Whether it’s at the campaign level or ad group level, your URL needs to be real (it’s not a display URL) and your description text should be geared towards providing relevant info for the shopper. Google may generate a description for your sitelink if you do not include it, but it’s better to just write it yourself. Any sitelink you add to an ad group or campaign must be verified and approved by Google.
You can optimize sitelinks in 2 ways (besides adding a description): by device and by time.
By selecting Mobile in the “Device Preference” field when filling out the sitelink text and URL, you can set that sitelink to take precedent over others when the shopper is on a mobile device.
This might make sense for a retailer who has identified a product category, page, or specific product that converts mobile traffic particularly well.
Sitelinks can also be modified to appear by date and time. In the above gifs, you can see that sitelinks can be set to appear only between a certain date range. This might be particularly effective for a retailer that sells football jerseys or apparel during football season. Even more seasonal, a retailer who sells soccer jerseys and apparel may want to ramp up sitelinks for their jerseys during the World Cup.
You can take this a step further and choose specific days and times during the week to show specific sitelinks.
Adding descriptions, which is shown in the above gifs, is highly recommended if you’re adding sitelink extensions. However, Google will only show these if:
- Your existing ads show with two or three lines of sitelinks and appear above Google search results. – Basically, your ad must one of the top positions, which typically involves an aggressive bid and high quality score.
- You’ve filled out additional information for your sitelinks OR we’ve found other ads in your account that match your sitelinks. – You must have manually added a description yourself or provided Google with info to add here with other ads you’re running.
Check back for more setup and strategy best practices for other AdWords Extensions, or view our overview of the 9 different AdWords Extensions here.