PPC Ad Sitelinks: What They Are & How To Get Them

by Laura Callow August 16th, 2010 

Ad Sitelinks have been around for a while now, and I must admit Im really surprised to see that many companies are still not using them.

What Are PPC Ad Sitelinks

Ad Sitelinks are the paid search equivalent of the much sought-after organic sitelinks, and theyre one heck of a lot easier to get " especially for quality ads.

example of PPC ad sitelinks

Benefits Of PPC Ad Sitelinks

Each Ad Sitelink can link to a different, deeper page in your site far increasing your immediate marketability

Different Ad Sitelinks in the same ad can point to pages on different subdomains, exponentially facilitating cross-selling promotions and strategies

Ad Sitelinks are very easy to manage, and change, in the Campaign Setting tab in Google AdWords (they are a campaign level setting)

You can change both the visible text and the destination URL of each Sitelink via easy inline editing

inline editing of PPC Ad Sitelinks

Just click Edit and enter the information you want to have displayed

How PPC Ad Sitelinks Work

You can enter up to 10 Ad Sitelinks, they will be displayed according to search relevance in rotation from what we understand by experience at this point " Google may like to elaborate and agree or disagree.

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A maximum of 4 are shown in the SERPs at this time, though three or fewer or not uncommon in a slightly different form of presentation. Two or three have been seen in this format at position 2 as well.

4 PPC Ad Sitelinks

The ability to easily change what you are including in the Ad SItelinks enables you to add seasonal promotions, new offers, new products, breaking news, most popular products or whatever you want to try and test very quickly and easily.

How to get Ad Sitelinks

Well, the sad fact is that not everyone can. While it is far easier to attempt to get these Ad Sitelinks, there are a few requirements to bear in mind:

  1. The ad must have top position in the sponsored ads to enable Ad Sitelink display (for the traditional links)
  2. Ads must be of a high quality as must that ad and campaign
  3. High quality (especially brand) campaigns fare best

Is it worth the hassle?

For a brand that derives a lot of traffic via its brand phrases, absolutely. For a brand that owns a high volume generic term, possibly. While I cannot share data, I can tell any professional PPC manager that creative and effective use of Ad Sitelinks in Google AdWords has had a positive effect on every campaign I have studied to date

Reporting concerns

Google Adwords lumps all Ad Sitelinks into an easy view snapshot showing the gross data attributable to all. Granular data is unavailable at this time.

DoubleClick Search (by Google) allows you to see the revenue attributable to each Ad Sitelink, but the cost is attributed to whichever keyword was used in the initial search.

I hope this feature becomes more robust, and Im sure it will, but those reporting concerns are something to bear in mind.

By attributing all cost to the primary brand term and checking to see if there was a significant difference in return, more than one team I personally know of has managed to determine how their Ad Sitelinks were performing. Experience to date is on the whole strongly skewed towards Ad Sitelinks being an excellent tool-kit addition.

Should You Try Sitelinks?

If you have a brand, yes. Try most popular product, any seasonal or short term offers, and even offline offers that you can convert via dedicated phone-line or other button-click capture.

Other Promising Up and Coming AdWords Features

Watch for Product listing Ads.

Currently in beta and only available to limited retail advertisers, we are – for the first time – seeing image ads in the Search Network (as opposed to the Display Network).

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What they are:

Product listing ads are aimed at simplifying the advertising process for large advertisers/merchants with large product inventories.

You pay only for results (CPA – cost per acquisition)

You can list your entire inventory with ease via integration with your Google Merchant Center Account

No keywords or additional ad text are needed as Google will match the most relevant product listings in your Merchant Center Account (image, price and name) to a normal search query.

Final Thoughts:

PPC is a joy when you love it, a challenge when you hate it, but an experience in marketing strategy and execution anyway you look at it. Check out phone extensions as well, and bear in mind a highly reliable source has informed me that Android phones have the best return rates from an advertising point of view " for now anyway.

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4 Responses to “PPC Ad Sitelinks: What They Are & How To Get Them”

  1. Nicole says:

    I've been using PPC Adds since reading this and i've already had a great positive impact. Thanks for the help!

  2. Laura says:

    Nicole, so great to hear you are getting positive results! Thanks for the comment :)

  3. Hi Laura,

    Don't you just hate it when google change how a feature is implemented right after you publish an article explaining how to implement a new feature! ;-)

    I'm really looking forward to using image ads in search when that comes out of beta.

  4. [...] Excerpt: "Ad Sitelinks have been around for a while now, and I must admit I’m really surprised to see that many companies are still not using them… Ad Sitelinks are the paid search equivalent of the much sought-after organic sitelinks, and they’re one heck of a lot easier to get – especially for quality ads…." – Read full article here. [...]