Paid search advertisers are constantly in pursuit of new ways to make their ads more appealing to searchers. At this point, most have turned to ad extensions to boost their AdWords click-through rates – Google even uses the expected benefit of ad extensions as part of its Ad Rank formula – but far too few of you have applied the same strategy to your ads on Bing! In fact, many people don’t even realize that Bing offers extensions.
Indeed, there are a wide variety of ad extensions available in Bing Ads, some of which are similar to the ones you’ll find in AdWords and some of which are completely different. The good news is, they are just as easy to set up, are displayed at no additional charge and are just as likely to improve your ad performance.
If you’re ready to “bling out” your Bing ads, here’s a rundown of all of the ad extensions at your disposal:
Sitelink Extensions allow you to include links below your ads promoting various pages on your site. You can even elect to enhance your Sitelinks by adding two lines of descriptive text along with each link (desktop only).
Nearly all of you can benefit from these extensions. When Sitelinks are appended to an ad, its surface area practically doubles (or triples, in some instances), making it significantly more prominent than other, smaller ads on the SERP. As a result, these ads can yield up to a 30% higher click-through rate.
The key with Sitelinks is to ensure you’re only providing links to useful, relevant landing pages. Otherwise, they may distract searchers, derailing your efforts altogether. When setting up your extensions, be sure to consider your searchers’ context and include links that will enhance their experience. Get started by enabling Sitelink Extensions in Bing Ads now.
Call Extensions give you the opportunity to display your phone number, as well as a click-to-call button, within your ad copy. Bing Call Extensions come in two flavors:
- Display on ALL devices: The main benefit with this option is that you can enable call tracking to attain in-depth data (call type, duration, etc.) for all PPC-generated phone calls. To do this, a dynamic forwarding number is created to appear in your ads.
- Display on Smartphones only: With this option, your own phone number will appear in the click-to-call format. Clicks to this line will be reported, however no in-depth call details are tracked.
For the majority of businesses, phone calls yield more conversions than clicks through to a landing page because they cut out the “middle man” and give the caller direct access to the your sales team. Think about it this way: when you push a searcher to your landing page, you have to anticipate their needs and develop a landing page that matches them. Even with a great landing page, we can’t expect the majority of searchers to convert. On the flipside, a phone call allows the advertiser to connect with the searcher on a personal level. Through these conversations, the advertiser can assess the caller’s needs and recommend a solution, all while building a relationship with them. On average, these calls have proven to be three times more valuable than clicks through to landing pages.
Any advertiser who accepts phone calls should take advantage of call extensions, particularly when advertising to mobile devices. Follow these Call Extension instructions to add a clickable phone number to your ad.
Location Extensions allow you to include your business address, phone number and a link with directions to your storefront in your ad copy. When the searcher clicks on the link, it will bring them to a Bing Maps page where your address will be automatically populated.
If you want to drive searchers to a physical storefront, implementing Location Extensions is an absolute must. Not only do they help boost foot traffic to your stores, they also increase your ad real estate, making it stand out more prominently on the SERP. As a result, Bing reports that ads with these extensions generally produce 7% to 10% higher click-through rates than those without.
Businesses with multiple storefronts can set up a Location Extension for each of their addresses. Bing will take the searchers’ physical location into account and display links for the two stores closest to them.
With Image Extensions, you can upload an image to appear alongside your ad copy. You can upload up to six images (per campaign or ad group) to be used and a unique URL can be associated with each image, giving you the option to point searchers to various webpages. For the time being, these extensions only display on desktop and tablet devices. While ads will typically only show one image extension, Bing announced that they will be testing various formats in the coming months and even shared some of the potential options, which include multi-image carousels and combinations with description text alongside pictures.
You may be thinking, why bother using Image Extensions when you can use Product Ads instead? Of course, Product Ads are likely to yield better results (as they are hyper-specific to the search criteria), but the Image Extensions will still prove beneficial in cases where Product Ads are not served. They’re especially exciting for service-based businesses, like hotels, spas and restaurants, who are not eligible to show Product Ads. These companies can use Image Extensions to showcase their facilities or highlight their work.
Incorporating imagery in search ads is incredibly impactful. Not only will they make your ads “pop” on the SERP, they can also convey more details about your offering than a standard text ad. In cases where the product or service shown meets the searchers needs, click through rates are likely to increase. However, in instance where the product is not a good fit, the image may actually deter the searcher from clicking, preventing unqualified clicks. Ultimately, image extensions should make a positive impact on your bottom line!
With App Extensions, you can include a link encouraging searchers to install your app directly within your ad text. When they click on the link, Bing recognizes the device and operating system that they’re using and sends them to the appropriate app store to complete the download.
If your business has an app, chances are you’ve invested a significant amount of time and resources to build it—so you definitely want to ensure people are finding it and using it! App Extensions are one of the best ways to introduce people to your app and encourage them to download it. In fact, according to Think With Google, 1 in 4 app users discovers an app through search. Moreover, since apps are often newer and more sophisticated than most mobile websites, they tend to yield higher conversion rates. The bottom line here is, if you have an app that is performing well, don’t hesitate to promote it with extensions.
Review Extensions give you the opportunity to include a third-party endorsement of your business below your ad. The review must be from a reputable source, rather than a personal customer review and must be a reflection of the business as a whole.
If you have a slew of happy customers, might as well showcase their positive feedback in your ads! Review extensions are super valuable to newer or smaller businesses whose brands are not widely known. Even if these you have compelling ads, searchers are less likely to engage with them, as they don’t know whether they are a trustworthy company. Including a third party endorsement helps to build this sense of trust. The review is particularly powerful if it comes from a well-known brand or publication.
Callout Extensions allow you to emphasize up to four of your products’ key selling points below the ad. Unlike Sitelinks, these snippets are not clickable links; they solely enable you to add more text to your ad copy.
If Bing gave you the option to throw in an extra 100 characters worth of text to your ad, would you take them up on it? Of course! Callout Extensions are likely the closest we’ll ever come to this opportunity. Regardless of your industry, these can work for you; all you need to do is identify your unique selling points, plug them in on the account, campaign or ad group level and voila! While these extensions are brand new to Bing, they’re essentially doppelgangers to AdWords’ callout extensions. So far, we’ve seen higher CTRs for ads with callouts in AdWords and expect similar a similar outcome in Bing.
With so many options available, you may be struggling to choose which extensions to implement. According to Paul Apodaca, a principal Product Manager at Microsoft, Bing wants you to use as many extensions as possible, provided they are relevant to your business. He explained that Bing customizes the extensions served based on the context and behavior of that particular searcher.
My advice to you is to utilize every extension that you truly believe will enhance your searchers’ experience with your ads. Once they’ve been running for a while, you can dive into the data to understand which extensions users are engaging with.
Erin Sagin is a PPC Evangelist and Community Manager at WordStream. She was recently named the 3rd Most Influential PPC Expert of 2015 by PPC Hero. When she’s able to take a break from paid search, you’ll find her practicing her hula-hooping skills or planning her next trip to Latin America. You can follow Erin on Twitter and Google+.