One of the main challenges of being a search engine marketer is keeping on top of the latest updates, the hottest trends and (most importantly) what is best-practice. With so many products and platforms on offer it is often difficult to work out which updates are important and which can largely be ignored.

That’s where we come in – helping you navigate the important, and the less important updates to ensure your SEM is the best it can be. So today we’re taking a look at Google’s most recent AdWords announcement – Callout Extensions.

The Low Down

One of the more difficult elements of any campaign can be getting the text just right. With limited characters and space it’s often hard to get the message across – how to let customers know all about your brand and services in the small space allotted.

Callout extensions is designed to provide you with the means to share more about your brand, what extra services you offer, special offers and deals. At the same time, the extra line of text within your ad will make it that much larger, taking up a bit more of the ad real estate on the results page. This should help to make your ad stand out and (in theory) drive up your CTR (click through rate).

Sitelink similarities

In essence the new callout extensions can be used in addition to sitelinks and while they are similar, there is one key difference: no link. Both Callouts and Sitelinks have a character limit of 25, each ad can include up to four, can be customised for mobile and scheduled according to time of day and day of week. All that really separates them is the lack of link. Whilst this is beneficial in that it removes the need for additional landing pages, it also prevents the audience clicking straight through the page on the site which is of most interest to them.

Ad Rank

The magical science that is Ad Rank, impacted by bid amounts, quality score and “a number of other factors” (that’s Google-speak for “we ain’t tellin’!”) will now also be affected by Callouts, should you choose to use them. SearchEngineLand writes that this is an “incentive”, which seems to suggest that they think Google will favour those ads which use Callouts over those which do not, and promote them up the auction. Google has made no mention of this in their announcement, but it will be interesting to see how events unfold.

As with all Google announcements, the initial buzz is full of questions and speculation. It will not be until the extensions have been rolled out and active for a few weeks will we really be able to get to grips with the ins and outs of the new features.

Is this a radical change?

In short, no. The core of AdWords will remain the same and as long as you continue delivering best-practice PPC advertising, the Callouts should allow you to gain more return from your impressions. Ultimately, the remaining ad content is still a priority, landing page quality is vital, and bids and keywords are fundamental to success.

Callouts appears to be a no-strings-attached update, which should help ads improve, help users find what they want more quickly and easily, and help advertisers hone in on what makes a great ad.

Want to get more from your PPC?

If you’re confusing your CTR with your CR and CPA, why not get in touch with our Paid Search team. They’ll be able to take your PPC campaigns to the next level and help you receive the results you want. No matter what your budget, our team of experts have the expertise and the skills needed to maximise your paid search campaign and harness the power of PPC.

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