PPC Adventure Land – Testing Out the New AdWords Sitelinks

by Tyler Calder December 10th, 2009 

Way back at the beginning of November, Google announced that they would be rolling out Ad Sitelinks to AdWords advertisers and we at Search Engine People jumped all over the opportunity to test this new feature out.

Before we go any further though, you might be asking yourself " What are Ad Sitelinks?

What a great question! And one I am more than happy to answer:

Ad Sitelinks is a feature within AdWords that allows you to include up to 4 additional links to pages beyond your main landing page to your Ad. If this sounds a lot like the Sitelinks you find with some Organic listings, thats because it's the exact same idea, but with AdWords.

Heres what they look like:

Ad Sitelinks

Now, a couple limitations:

  • This is only available on the Search Network, so Content is a no go
  • You need to be in the 1st position for the Ad Sitelinks to kick in
  • Your Quality Scores need to be HIGH, as in 10/10

Setting up your own Ad Sitelinks campaign is very simple, all you need to do is go into your Campaign Settings –> Networks, Devices and Extensions –> Ad Extensions –> Edit

SiteLinks Campaign Settings

From here, you can add up to 10 additional links, with your own Link Text of up to 35 characters. When Google serves an ad that is eligible for Sitelinks, theyll choose 4 of the links to display (so choose wisely!). If you dont see this in your settings, that means you arent eligible for whatever reason Google has decided, but its probably due to low Quality Scores.

Were still running our own tests around this, so no hard data yetBUTsome pointers before you start your own adventure in the land of Ad Sitelinks:

  • Create VERY Tight Ad Groups " Focus on only a couple keywords which have extremely HIGH quality scores. Id recommend starting with your Brand Name.
  • Set Your Benchmarks " what were your CTRs, CPCs, CPAs, Conversion Rates before you went live with Sitelinks. If you dont measure against past performance, you wont know if what youre doing is an improvement, or just a nose dive into the ground.
  • Define Your Objectives " Remember, you need to be in the 1st position for this to work, so if youre being measured strictly on ROI, youll need to watch your CPCs as youll be bidding aggressively to ensure top positioning. Your probably also going to see your CTRs increase, which means you're going to be paying for more clicks. Run some tests and measure the results " does the benefit of having these Ad Sitelinks outweigh the associated cost of bidding to the #1 spot?
  • Use Added Links Wisely " You can define what the link text will be, so make use of this:
    • One cool thing you can do is speak to people who are in different stages of the buying cycle and send them to the appropriate pages " are they looking for more product information? Are they looking for your location? Are they ready to buy? You can better guide people through that funnel with a single ad.
    • You can also highlight any edge you have on your competitors " do you have a feature product, do you offer Free Shipping, do you have any current promotions? You can speak to these in your link text, and send people to the appropriate pages " How Awesome is That!

Isnt this all very exciting? Im glad you think so too, but before you get too excited, let me reiterate the importance of benchmarking and analyzing trends as you start your own Ad Sitelinks test " IT IS VERY IMPORTANT!

Now that Ive reiterated the fact that youre going to have to bid more to ensure top positioning, which means youre going to see an increase in CPCs, which means you need to measure and make sure youre getting an equal amount of return for that additional investment, means that youre ready to start testing the new Ad Sitelinks!

How was that for a run on sentence?

Happy testing!

-Tyler

Tyler Calder

Tyler is Director of Paid Search at Search Engine People Inc., one of Canada's largest and most trusted internet marketing companies. In this position, Tyler manages a team of PPC Specialists, delivering highly successful campaigns for both SMB and Enterprise level clients.

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2 Responses to “PPC Adventure Land – Testing Out the New AdWords Sitelinks”

  1. Tyler Hayes says:

    Spot on analysis and recommendations.

    I gotta come here more often!
    .-= Tyler Hayes recently posted: Seth Godin: Why Social Media is Difficult for Organizations =-.

  2. Ronnie C. Albastro says:

    Very informative tips. Adwords may help us a lot specially for your advertising needs. It is really life changing when we hit the right target for our business, we may think it is not fully achieving the goals we set but it is, really it is. Making your advertisement more attractive and more productive and highlighted is more likely gathers the input we want to. Like what I did I have a lot of ideas gather and apply to it. It is a comforting for us to see progress when the idea we acquire is effective. We really believed in the sayings “Two heads is better than one” so I apply all the necessary concepts to make my advertising more grateful and effective. Follow this link to have free ppc tools. http://bit.ly/ppctools

    Thank You,
    Ronnie