At the June 11, 2019, KCDMA lunch, Erik Dahlstrom walked us through pay-per-click (PPC) ad extensions and how they can boost your ad’s performance, both on Google and Bing. 

The bottom line: a little work can go a long way in improving performance and quality scores.

While many of the technical details can be found in this blog, here are some highlights that every new and seasoned digital marketer should know:

Remind Me: What Are PCC Ads?

PPC ads are those little ads that show up in your Google and Bing searches on the top of the page, above the organic, or non-paid, search results. Advertisers bid on available space, with the search engine ultimately picking the final price and ad copy after you provide your bid requirements and approved copy blocks.

Why Use an Ad Extension? 

Quite simply, PPC extensions increase the amount of information you can include in your ad. They give you more screen “real estate” and, as a result, make your ad more noticeable. According to Erik, ad copy really takes up very little of the total space, so your ad extensions not only improve your visibility but also your clickability. You can add a link for calls, texts, maps and specific links on your website. 

Text ads alone can be boring. So even though ad extensions are optional, they remain an important part of your PCC toolbox. The question should be, why wouldn’t you use an ad extension?

Nonprofits – Can They Play in This Space?

Absolutely. And the best part? Google Ad Grants provide up to $10,000 per month to eligible nonprofits. There are restrictions in both usage and eligible organizations. Visit their website to learn more. 

When Should You Call in a Professional?

It depends. For some, using the platform can be intimidating. There are a lot of decisions to be made about the money you’re spending. Or, you may have limited time to invest in setting up the ads and monitoring their performance. In cases like these, you may be more comfortable asking an expert. 

But whether you manage it in-house or with a digital agency: always be asking the right questions. There are reports and dashboards that help you ensure you are getting the maximum ROI out of your investment. 

What’s Next with PPC?

Some ads are looking more like Facebook and Instagram ads, which is a trend we can expect to continue. This trend and others were covered in Google’s annual “Google Marketing Live,” outlined here.

Bing has a unique extension option where a user can select one of 50 different possible calls to action, including one to download an app. That’s a feature that seems particularly app-ealing! (I know, it’s terrible).

Lastly, video has become a more important part of nearly every sales cycle across industries. YouTube goes as far as to suggest that videos should be at the top of the sales funnel during the awareness phase, then again at the bottom of the funnel when you are closing a sale. How this concept is fully realized through ad extensions continues to develop.