It’s inevitable that paid search marketers are fighting for the same thing: the most real estate on the SERPs. Standing out from the crowd is really the only way to catch a potential customer’s eye.
So what’s the easiest way to gain real estate? Ad extensions. Ad extensions are optional and give advertisers an alternative way to quickly navigate potential customers to a specific section on a site. These appear under your ad copy and vary in display.
Advertisers at schools can leverage these paid search ad extensions to improve ad performance:
1. Sitelink Extensions
Ad sitelinks allow you to include additional links to specific, relevant content on your site. These are especially useful for educational institutions because of their ability to guide students to a specific part of a site. On average, we’ve seen advertisers who use ad sitelinks experience an improvement of click through rates (CTRs) by 30%.
2. Review Extensions
There’s nothing better than showing potential students a great review about your school. This extension gives you the ability to share positive write-ups, awards, or third-party rankings, such as your U.S. News and World Report rankings, in a line below your ad. There’s no charge for displaying a review – only for a click on the ad itself. With these extensions, we’ve seen on average a 10% uplift in CTR. Plus, you can now edit and add these in Google’s user interface.
3. Drop-down Navigation Extension
Although this is option is still in beta, your Google rep has full access, and it’s easy to implement. Educators can simply provide a drop-down menu of 10 specific sections on your site. They can also choose which content to display in the drop-down calls to action. These extensions have helped lift CTRs anywhere from 3-10%, and I’ve seen a 10% increase for education clients.
4. Communication Extensions
These are primarily useful if you want to obtain a student’s email address directly from an ad. The cost is the same as an actual click on an ad, which can be pricey in certain conditions. Schools find these valuable because the ad not only remains click-able (in case someone doesn’t want to give their email address) but also allows students to sign up for an offer without having to be guided to a site.
Have you seen success with extensions? Do some work better than others? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
There’s power in 1:1 messaging across the student life cycle. See how it influences student recruitment, retention and alumni engagement in our free guide for higher-ed marketers.