Ad Extensions: Post-Holiday Decorating Pays Off

It’s January, time to shake off the holiday excesses and make resolutions we’re destined to break before February. But while the lights and tinsel may be locked away in storage until next year, for advertisers, there’s still decorating to do.

We all know that, done right, enhancing – or decorating – search ads with ad extensions typically drives increased traffic and improved click-through rates (CTR). Sitelinks, the most widely used extension, have been around for a while, and can increase click-through rates by an average of 15 to 25 percent. But with competition for traffic constantly accelerating, is decorating with Sitelinks enough?

Seeing the Bigger Picture

Back in October, Bing Ads launched Enhanced Sitelinks to drive better performance and create a richer ad experience. Enhanced Sitelinks is a new format of Sitelink Extensions that allows you to add up to two lines of customizable, descriptive text. By expanding their current Sitelinks, advertisers can take up more real estate on the search results page, capturing a searchers attention even more. And with a few months of data under review, Bing Ads now has some insights on how Enhanced Sitelinks perform – click-through rates can increase by an average of 27 percent and a few advertisers have even seen an increase by nearly 70 percent.

Combining Extensions

While just adding one type of ad extension, like Sitelinks, to your campaigns can increase CTR, combining extensions could mean the difference between a ho-hum campaign and a high-performing one. Simply put, using ad extensions is good, but optimizing and combing them could be even better.

In a recent study, Bing Ads researchers analyzed the performance of ad extensions within its marketplace and found that advertisers can maximize their CTR by combining specific ad extension types. For all devices, Location + Sitelink extensions drive the best CTR. The same holds true when we look only at PCs. But for mobile devices, Location + Metered Call + Sitelinks is the most effective combo. Given that mobile searches have local intent and searchers are often looking to get information quickly, adding Location and Call extensions is important and, as we see in our analysis, drive the highest click-through rate.

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Verticals Matter, Too

What works for any given campaign often depends on which vertical you’re looking at, so not surprisingly, we also saw some differences between verticals in terms of most effective ad extension combinations. Five of our seven top verticals show that Location + Sitelinks offer the best performance in terms of CTR. Verticals such as Auto, Financial Services, Retail, and Tech & Telco often have brick-and-mortar stores and by providing Location Extensions in combination with Sitelink Extensions can help boost your CTR.

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Making Ad Extensions Work Harder

In today’s hypercompetitive advertising environment, every advantage helps. Knowing how to make the most of ad extensions is no exception. By making a resolution to “decorate” your ads this year by using the right combination of extensions for your vertical, you’ll increase click-through rates and most important, take customers where they want to go.

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