Last July I posted about the ever-shifting size and shape of Google text ads. Last week Google introduced another feature that follows this trend: callout extensions. Much like phone and sitelink extensions, callout extensions give you the opportunity to create a larger ad with a higher likelihood of conversion. But they also offer the chance to try a new method of ad optimization.
Callouts vs. Everything Else
Google already offers the ability to add links to your ads to drive users to specific portions of your site, and you already have two lines of ad text to work with, so why do you need to manage yet another set of extensions? The answer is simple: quick promotion. Yes, all ads are promotional, but with callouts you can create promotions on the fly and easily apply them across campaigns and ad groups either permanently or on a scheduled basis. This means you can enhance your text ads without having to create entirely new ads for every ad group in your account. For example, if you’re running a limited time promotion or want to point out benefits that are unique to your company, you can showcase them alongside your existing advertising.
Adding these key pieces of information as callouts makes them stand out rather than having them get lost in your usual ad text. This also allows you to vary your ad testing quite a bit, as you won’t need to add these special offers into your limited ad text space. In effect, you’re getting an extra line of ad text to show off your business. This extension only applies to ads that appear at the top or bottom of the search results. As with many other extensions, right-hand ads don’t get to join the party.
If you’re trying to entice people to click your ads with a special limited time offer, you can actually schedule your callouts when you create them. To do this, you’ll need to view your Callout extensions, which can be found in the Ad extensions tab for your campaign or ad group.
Once there, you’ll click the big red “+ EXTENSION” button, then click “New Callout”.
You can set start/end dates (very useful for seasonal campaigns) as well as custom scheduling to limit your callouts to specific times of day (business hours) or days of the week (Taco Tuesday!).
When applying callouts to campaigns, make sure that the messaging is consistent from the callout to the landing pages within those campaigns to prevent confusion. Google also suggests keeping callouts brief (12-15 characters) to make sure that as many of them can appear with your ad as possible.
Aside from that, you should follow the same kinds of editorial guidelines that apply to text ads. Don’t repeat callouts (they won’t show anyway if you do) and don’t try to throw a lot of special characters in there. If you’re running any ads at all with AdWords, it’s in your best interest to start using callouts as immediately as possible. The boost to your ad size alone should provide you with the chance at a CTR boost, which should be enhanced further if you have strong callout text.