What are Sitelink Extensions and How to Use them to Improve your Ad Results
Along with Callout and Structured Snippets, Sitelink Extensions are part of the elemental toolkit that every PPC marketing professional should have at their fingertips. They are free, they give you the possibility to claim more real estate on the SERP, with more relevant and powerful ad copy, and are proven to drive higher conversion rates, impressions, click through rates, and Quality Scores. Best of all, you can easily include them in your automated campaigns on Spaceboost. So what are you waiting for?
While the format of Sitelinks may change from time to time, the best practices remain largely the same across Google and Bing. With that in mind, here are some basic and actionable tips to make sure your Sitelink extensions are delivering the most value possible.
Sitelink Extensions Best Practices
Comply with Search Engine Policy
Obviously enough, no matter how well-crafted your Sitelink extensions’ copy is, you won’t drive any additional conversions if they are not approved. Google and Bing have clearly set out policies for what will and won’t be allowed when creating Sitelinks. Check the policy, follow the guidelines, and avoid falling at the first hurdle.
Keep it Specific
Again, an obvious point, but a key one! The most significant value of Sitelink extensions, besides being able to inform a searcher that you have exactly what you are looking for, is the ability to send them directly to the page they need. This is also a big plus in Google’s book, so the more exact and detailed the URL direction you use to redirect them, the better your User Experience will be, (and the better your ad will rank).
Use Your Characters Wisely
Each headline can include up to 25 characters and you have a maximum available 75 for description. One, well-articulated selling point per description is recommended, and Google notes that slightly shorter than the maximum copys tend to perform slightly better. Also, while Desktop allows up to 6 sitelinks, Mobile only allows a maximum of 4, and even then they may not include descriptions. You can also optimize your Sitelinks for Mobile campaigns to take advantage of new formats like Google’s (shown below).
Sitelink Extensions: Not Just for Christmas
(…although they will be useful for Christmas-related campaigns). You can’t forget to check back in periodically to see how your extensions are performing. You can review how many clicks each link has got, adapt your copy to optimize the performance of each one, and – most importantly – ensure that all links are still live, relevant, and represent a high-value addition to your ad stategy.
A final key point to remember: all your sitelinks won’t always appear, and as an advertiser you have no input on which ones will appear – that is down to each Search Engine’s secret formula for calculating ‘usefulness’. That said, the higher your ad positions, the better chance you have of all your Sitelinks appearing. (Bonus pro tip: use the new Spaceboost position algorithm to ensure your essential keywords position in the top four positions).