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Google AdWords Guide: Ad Extensions Explained

Google AdWords Guide: Ad Extensions Explained

You may be familiar with the appearance of standard Google AdWords ads, which primarily consist of 2 lines of headline text, a line for the description and a display URL. But it’s also possible to extend your ad, to make it more prominent within Google’s listings.

With ad extensions in place, you can improve the visibility of your ads and also provide extra value. You might, for instance, seek to include your shop/office location, or your business phone number, within such extensions.

Melinda Samson has a great way of explaining their importance:

“Using Ad Extensions in your Google AdWords campaign can make your ads bigger and more prominent, so that more people click on them, AND can improve the quality of your ad campaign.”

Ad extensions are currently divided into two sets of options: those that are applied manually and those that are applied automatically.

The main manual ad extensions are:

  • Sitelinks
  • Callouts
  • Locations
  • Calls
  • Apps
  • Reviews

The automated extensions include elements such as seller ratings, consumer ratings and social extensions. We’ll mainly concentrate on manual ad extensions within this particular blog post, taking a number of them in turn.


Sitelinks are a particularly popular ad extension, enabling the advertiser to highlight additional areas of interest on their site, with links provided directly to those areas of interest. You might use this feature, for example, to attract attention to a page where you list best-selling products, or to a list of products that may be closely related to the search term (such as accessories for the main product that you are advertising via the ad).


Above: JD Williams make use of a range of ad extensions to increase available ad copy and to allow their ads to stand out against competitors.

With a sitelink, you define a headline, a description to provide additional content, together with the landing page where the user is to be directed to.


A callout extension (and we should say at this point that we’ve always found the use of the term “callout” to be somewhat confusing) is used to send a callout about a special offer a feature that you have available. You might use a callout extension, for example, to highlight a sale that you are currently running. Up to 4 callout extensions can be shown alongside your ads, so make sure that you provide multiple entries, in order to make the most of this feature.

Location extensions

With location extensions, searchers will be shown a map, your address, or the distance to your business premises when they carry out a search. The exact format varies, depending upon the network and device that’s being used. But this can be particularly powerful when targeting those using mobile devices, with the addition of a “call” button maximising contact from those interested in the products or services that you are offering.

Call extensions

A call extensions enables the addition of a phone number to your ad, which would typically be expected to boost click-through rates. When call extensions are shown, visitors are given the opportunity to hit the “call” button to phone directly.


An app extension can be used to send a searcher to the app store, or even to begin the download of your app.


If you’ve got some great reviews of your business, then take the time to make the most of them. You’re allowed to enter a specific or paraphrased quote, but it’s vital to remember that you must be able to provide a genuine source. There is no additional cost associated with using review extensions, which are currently available when searches use desktop devices.


Ad extensions offer some great benefits for AdWords advertisers, increasing click-through rates and boosting business levels. If you’re not using them, then it’s time to maximise the opportunities that they provide!

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Keith Barrett
With more than 15 years of digital marketing experience, Keith Barrett is a fully Certified Google AdWords Partner. Offering insights into the world of PPC marketing in the UK, Keith is a Senior Consultant here at Search South. If you'd like to hear more of Keith's thoughts, then you can subscribe to our newsletter.