Let’s face it: There are very few reasons why “NOT” to use the Sitelinks Ad Extension in Adwords. Some of the many obvious benefits are additional exposure, increased real-estate, overall competitive advantage and pushing additional products or services. However, just assuming the basic benefits mentioned above and then applying the “set it and forget it” mentality is simply not enough. For instance, keep in mind that Sitelinks have a very little effect on Quality Score, so do not consider a 20% CTR as part of the QS. In this post I will provide some additional tactics and strategies to take your Sitelinks to the next level.
Keep Your Sitelinks Fresh
One of the worst things you can do just keep the same Sitelinks in place for long periods of time. For example, searchers who are familiar with a specific brand will often expect to see fresh promotions are offers in the Sitelinks in order to keep them coming back. Just as with PPC in general, Sitelinks provide a fast and effective way to push offers and promotions faster than other media.
Keep Sitelinks in the Same Family
Don’t try and up-sell a product or service that is not related to the search term which is serving the Ad. Of course, avoiding this requires a deeper breakout of relevant campaigns, but the extra effort will not go to the waste side. Since Ad extensions are created at the campaign level, it may make sense to create campaigns based on a Sitelink Strategy.
Use Sitelinks to Reorganize Campaigns
In some cases, it may make sense to reorganize a few campaigns in order to get the most out of your Sitelink Strategy. For example here are some ideas:
- Create campaigns for each of your Top Selling products and identify other products/promotions that are “historically” relevant to that product
- Create a campaign consisting of a related group of products and create a holistic yet relevant group of Sitelinks. (ie. brand names, categories, etc…)
Below is an example of Sitelinks in a brand-specific Campaign.
Push Time-Sensitive Promotions
One of the more lucrative benefits of Sitelinks is the ability to push various time sensitive offers and promotions. This is significant because of the character limitations of the Text Ads which sometimes do not support everything you want to say. Furthermore, with Sitelinks, you may want to re-calibrate the structure of the Text Ad in order to maximize visibility.
Accessorize & Optimize
If you are selling a product (via PPC) that requires additional items or top selling accessories, Sitelinks are an optimal solution. Sitelinks allow advertisers to showcase related products that have “historically” performed well in the past. This data can be identified through the eCommerce Engine and Shopping Cart Analysis. Below is an example of Sitelinks in a brand-specific Campaign.
Sitelinks in Conclusion
Sitelinks are a gift to all advertisers who take advantage of them. It allows us to continually push the envelope in order to get the most out of our Advertising dollars. However, one of the biggest misconceptions in using Sitelinks is the overall Strategy. Just throwing links in there for the sake of additional real-estate is not a good strategy. Advertisers need to put some thought behind it, monitor the performance and track Sitelinks effectively in Analytics.