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Which Google Ad Extensions Can Be Served Automatically?

Automated Google Ad Extensions

Google Ads is more than just text ads. There are many tools designed to help marketers create more successful ad campaigns. Whether that’s content for the Google Display Network, or the almost done for you strategy of Performance Max.

One of these tools is ad extensions, a feature that, when used effectively, can dramatically enhance the performance of your Google Ads.

Be sure to check out our in-depth article on the 12 Types of Ad Extensions for Google Ads.

Ad extensions provide additional information and possible ways for potential customers to interact with your business—all at no extra cost. But there are many different options, including automated and manual extensions.

What are automated Ad Extensions?

Automated ad extensions are a type of ad extension that marketers can add to their campaigns, which Google will add automatically. Unlike manual ad extensions, which require proactive selection and setup, automated extensions use Google’s advanced algorithms to predict which extensions will improve your ad’s performance and apply them for you.

From displaying additional product information to providing directions to your nearest storefront, automated extensions can enrich your ads with valuable content that’s tailor-made to augment user interaction with your brand.

What are the benefits of using Ad Extensions?

The use of ad extensions, especially when automated, offers several distinct advantages for both seasoned marketing professionals and small business marketers:

  • Enhanced visibility: Ad extensions make your ad larger and more noticeable on the search result page.
  • Improved CTR: Extensions tend to increase your ad’s click-through-rate by providing additional avenues for users to interact with your ad. In fact, one report from PPC Hero found that using the callout extension increased CTR by 221%.
  • Better value: Since ad extensions often come at no additional cost, they’re an effective way to improve the ROI of your paid search campaigns.
  • Higher Quality Scores: The relevance added by extensions can lead to higher Quality Scores, which can result in lower costs per click and better ad positions.
  • Customer convenience: Extensions like call buttons and location directions simplify the process for customers to contact or visit your business.

The ad below contains several great examples of ad extensions, including dynamic sitelinks, which take visitors to specific landing pages, and extensions that expand specific locations.

google ads example of ad extension example ad extensions

Automated extensions allow you to enjoy these benefits without the constant need for manual adjustments. They provide you with a hands-off approach to augment your ad with insights gleaned from Google’s ever-improving artificial intelligence.

What are the drawbacks of using Ad Extensions?

Like everything there are pros and cons. And of course, ad extensions do have some drawbacks:

  • Less control: With automated extensions, you have less direct control over the information that is shown with your ad. While this might not be a big problem for some services, some marketers might prefer to choose the specific sitelinks manually instead. And yes, Google does choose the ad extensions that are loaded based on various factors.
  • Potential irrelevancy: Sometimes, Google’s automation might display extensions that don’t align perfectly with the ad’s intent or the business’s goals. This can be particularly the case for businesses with a wide range of products, services or other elements that could confuse the algorithm.
  • Improvement over time: Like many aspects of Google Ads, the algorithm improves over time as the machine learning analyzes the results. And while this is useful, it can be frustrating as you spend time and money waiting for the best results to come in.

The best automated Ad Extensions

While Google may employ a variety of automated and dynamic extensions based on its algorithms, some extensions tend to be particularly useful for advertisers. The following are some of the best-performing automated ad extensions that marketers should be aware of:

Dynamic sitelink extensions

Automatically generated dynamic sitelinks can direct users to specific pages on your site other than the main landing page. They’re often used to navigate to popular products, promotional offers, or important informational pages.

Dynamic callout extensions

These short snippets of text highlight certain features or offers, making them a great way to get eyes on your best deals. Using dynamic callouts automatically emphasizes unique selling points – whether thats free shipping or special deals – without the need to manually set them up.

Dynamic structured snippet extensions

These provide more context on the nature of your products and services by listing items your business offers. Google’s selection for structured snippets is based on the content of your site and the user’s query, ensuring helpful specifics are added to your ads automatically.

Automated call extensions

For businesses where customer calls are crucial, call extensions make it easy for the customer. They automatically include a phone number or a call button in your ad, making it easier for customers to contact you directly from the search results. The automated call extensions are usually shown on mobile search results.

google ads call extension ad example

Automated location extensions

Location extensions automatically showcase your physical location, allowing potential customers to find your storefront or office quickly. This is particularly valuable for local businesses seeking to attract nearby searchers.

For businesses that sell products through retail chains or third-party sellers, this extension can also point users toward a nearby store that carries your products (this used to be known as “affiliate location extensions”).

location extension google ads

Price extensions

These display the prices of your products or services directly within your ad. This automated extension helps users make informed decisions from the search results page without additional clicks.
pricing extension google ads

Seller ratings extensions

This extensions allows you to display customer reviews and ratings from your business, from across the internet. With on average 70% of people checking online reviews before buying, this can be a game changer when it comes to improving CTR and potential sales. These ratings can often be added to your ads automatically, drawing from reputable sources such as Google reviews, Trustpilot and Tripadvisor, among many others.
review extension google ads

How to add automated Ad Extensions to your Google Ads

If you’re running Google Ads, you don’t need to do anything to add automated extensions to your search ads. Chances are that Google are already doing it for you, as they will add relevant information to your ads if they think it will help improve performance.

Read Google’s policy on Account Level Automated Assets.

You can also check to see what is being displayed, and disable them if you prefer to manage your extensions manually.

How to check for automated extensions

  1. Sign in to Your Google Ads Account: Enter your credentials and get into your Google Ads dashboard where you manage your campaigns.
  2. Select the Campaign or Ad Group: On the left-side menu, click ‘Assets’ and then filter by Source for ‘Automatically created.’
  3. Review Available Automated Extensions: Here you’ll see any extensions that Google has automatically added, along with performance statistics.

How to remove automated extensions in Google Ads

Although these extensions are automatic, Google provides some control over their use:

  • Automated extension settings: Within the ‘Automated extensions’ section, click on the ‘More’ option (three dots) to access the ‘Advanced options’ where you can control the automated extensions.
  • How to enable automated ad extensions: Most automated ad extensions are on by default. To keep them enabled, simply leave them on  and Google will determine when to show the appropriate extensions.
  • How to disable automated ad extensions: If an automated extension isn’t relevant or you prefer not to use it, you can disable it by finding the specific extension and clicking on the ‘Remove’ option.
automated ad assets google ads

Best practices for encouraging relevant automated extensions

To influence the relevance and quality of the automated extensions that Google adds to your ads, consider these best practices:

  • Maintain a high-quality, informative website: Google’s algorithms heavily rely on the content of your website to generate relevant extensions. Make sure that your site is up to date, mobile-friendly, and rich with the information that users find valuable.
  • Update your Google My Business information: For location extensions to function correctly, make sure your business listing is accurate, comprehensive, and verified.
  • Have prominent contact information: For call extensions, display your contact number prominently on your site to encourage Google to create that extension for you.
  • Use descriptive metadata on your site: Descriptive titles and meta descriptions will help Google’s algorithms to understand your site and create structured snippets.
  • Use SEO best practices: Strong SEO not only improves your organic search presence but can also influence automated extensions by highlighting your business’s relevance and offerings.
  • Review Extension Recommendations: Google occasionally provides recommendations for extensions that can be added manually. While focusing on automated extensions, do not ignore these suggestions as they provide additional opportunities for optimization.

Other tips to boost your Google Ads performance

While Google Ads is one of the best ways to reach a huge global or local audience, effectively managing your search ads is a fine art. One of the biggest challenges that marketers face is avoiding invalid traffic on their ads, also known as click fraud.

This is where clicks on your ads come from non-genuine sources such as bot traffic, competitors and even organized fraudsters. Research shows that around $80 billion was lost to click fraud in 2023 alone.

Stopping bad traffic from clicking your Google Ads has been shown to improve performance by an average of 22%.

Read more: Ad Fraud Report 2024

Fraud Blocker offers one of the most cost effective solutions to stop bots and bad clicks and ensure your click through rates are from genuine potential customers only. Don’t run Google Ads without blocking bad traffic.

Try Fraud Blocker free today.

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