Why We Need to Customize Ad Extensions

December 20, 2018

First off, what are ad extensions? Ad extensions are additional pieces of information about your business or products that you can include alongside your ad copy. These include: sitelinks, call extensions, callouts, app extensions, structured snippets, location extensions, price extensions, promotion extensions, message extensions, seller ratings, and affiliate location extensions.

These ad extensions can be associated at the account, campaign, or ad group level. Whichever is more granular will be the extensions Google may choose to use with your ads. For example, if you have 7 account level sitelinks and 3 campaign level sitelinks, Google will only pick from the 3 campaign level sitelink options.

See examples of each extension and how they appear in paid ads at the end of the blog.

Ad extensions add great value to your ads; they help improve CTR, they take up more real estate on the SERP’s pushing competitors further down the page, they give the user more information about your product or service at a quick glance, and they allow users to text or call your business directly. All of these are good benefits, but in order to go from good to great we need to customize our ad extensions and make them more relevant to the user’s query.

What does it mean to customize ad extensions?

The idea of customizing ad extensions is to make them as relevant to the query as you can. For example, if someone is searching for men’s shoes you would want to have sitelinks, callouts, snippets, price extensions, etc. that are all about men’s shoes instead of general extensions about t-shirts or other apparel.

Depending on your account structure you can customize your ad extensions all the way down to the ad group level to ensure they are as relevant to the query as possible.

Having customized ad extensions can positively impact your Google Ads account performance.

Benefits of customizing your ad extensions

Improved CTR

Looking back at the original example of a query for men’s shoes, the user is looking for men’s shoes. If they wanted some information about t-shirts or other apparel they would’ve searched something about t-shirts. An ad with several extensions about t-shirts and other apparel may look good in the SERPs but has nothing to do with what the user searched.

Non-customized ad extensions for a query of ‘Men’s Shoes’

Non Customized ad extensions

Customized ad extensions for a query of ‘Men’s Shoes’

Customized sitelink extension

As you can see in the customized ad extension example every ad extension that showed had something to do with shoes! This relates much better to the original query of ‘men’s shoes’ and doesn’t include irrelevant information the user wasn’t interested in. A more relevant ad in the user’s eye will help increase your click-through-rate driving more traffic to your site!

Improved Quality Score

One component of quality score is expected click-through-rate. As I mentioned earlier an ad with all customized ad extensions that relate highly to the user’s query is more likely to be clicked on. This is would ultimately increase the expected click-through-rate and therefore should increase  your quality score.

Decreased CPC

Having relevant customized ad extensions to go along with your ads will even help decrease your CPC’s. With a higher quality score on your keywords, you won’t need to bid as high in order to achieve the same impressions. As Google ‘awards’ advertisers with high quality scores during auctions when determining ad rank.

So now that you know the benefits, lets look at some examples of ad extensions out in the wild:

Here is what your sitelinks would look like when expanded:

Here is what your sitelinks would look like when not expanded:

Condensed sitelinks

Example of a call extension:

Call Extensions

Example of callout extensions:

Example of an app extension:

App Extension

Example of a structured snippet:

Structured Snippet

Example of location extension:

Location Extension

Example of a promotion extension:

Promotion Extension

Example of a message extension:

Message Extension

Example of seller review:


Every advertiser uses ad extensions to some extent, but customizing your ad extensions to be as relevant to a user’s query as possible is what takes them to the next level. You get more clicks, lower average CPC, and improve click through rate if you implement custom ad extensions properly.