AdWords Ad Extensions: A Simplified Rundown Of Your Options, And Requirements

By Jess Budde

If you're running any AdWords campaigns, chances are you're using ad extensions (if you're not, you should be!). And that means you've probably got a few go-to extensions that you know well and use often. But if you're looking to beef up your arsenal and try something new, it can be a time consuming task to read through all of Google's documentation on each extension. Don't get me wrong, if it's your first time implementing something you should read up on it. But ever wish all of the basics were in one place when you just need a quick check?

Me too.

Below is a pretty comprehensive list of all of the extension options available in AdWords, and the breakdown of how they work and what you need to get them going.

I tried to keep it simple here, so if you need more reference I've included links to the full AdWords Help page for each.

Callout Extensions

What They Are: Additional, non-linking text that can be displayed below ad text

Where To Apply Them: Callouts can be set at the campaign or ad group level

Limits & Requirements:

  • 25 character limit per callout
  • Minimum of 2 callouts must be loaded in order to be eligible to show

Detailed Information: AdWords Help: Callouts

Sitelink Extensions

What They Are: Links to additional pages on your site (that must be different from the ad's landing page) that can be displayed below ad text - to provide context, each link may include a description, but that's entirely optional

Where To Apply Them: Sitelinks can be set at the account, campaign, or ad group level

Limits & Requirements:

  • 25 character limit per sitelink (link text)
  • 35 character limit per line of description text (2 lines)
  • Minimum of 4 sitelinks must be loaded in order to be eligible to display

Detailed Information: AdWords Help: Sitelinks

Location Extensions

What They Are: Physical location information for your business, displayed throughout your ad (in addition to your ad text)

Where To Apply Them: Location extensions can be set at the account, campaign, or ad group level

  • If you have multiple locations, be extremely careful with this if you're advertising location-specific products or services

Limits & Requirements:

  • Requires a Google My Business page to be set up and linked to your AdWords account, and the associated phone number to be verified
  • Content for the extension is pulled in directly from your Google My Business page - all business information is managed there, rather than within AdWords. Here's what can be pulled in:
    • Business hours
    • Google reviews/ratings
    • Phone number (which can be called directly from the ad on mobile devices)
    • Address

Detailed Information: AdWords Help: Locations

Structured Snippets

What They Are: Additional, non-linking text that is similar to, but less free-formatted than callouts

  • In Google's words, structured snippets are meant to "provide context on the nature and variety of your products and services before visitors click through to your site"

Where To Apply Them: Structured snippets can be set at the account, campaign, or ad group level

Limits & Requirements:

  • Each snippet contains a header (which is chosen from a pre-determined list in AdWords)
  • Minimum of 3 "values" (text) per header
  • 25 character limit per value
  • No minimum number of snippets is required for eligibilty
    • Maximum of 2 total snippets (with header and values) can be displayed at once

Detailed Information: AdWords Help: Structured Snippets

Call Extensions

What They Are: Business phone number displayed in addition to ad text

  • Appears as a call button on mobile devices - users can then directly call you from the ad

Where To Apply Them: Call extensions can be set at the campaign or ad group level

Limits & Requirements:

  • No requirement other than having a phone number to use
  • Want to track phone conversions? You can use a Google forwarding number in place of your business's actual number
    • This is the only way to track call conversions via the AdWords interface - of course it's not necessary if  you have another call tracking system in place

Detailed Information: AdWords Help: Call Extensions

Review Extensions

What They Are: Third party reviews of your product/service displayed beneath your ad text

Where To Apply Them: Review extensions can be set at the account, campaign, or ad group level

Limits & Requirements:

  • Reviews must include:
    • The review itself (either a quote or paraphrased)
    • The source of the review
    • The URL where the review can be found
  • Maximum of 67 characters between the review and source fields - yes, combined
  • Review cannot be more than 1 year old

Detailed Information: AdWords Help: Review Extensions

App Extensions

What They Are: Links to your apps' pages in the app store, or to directly download apps from the ad

Where To Apply Them: App extensions can be set at the account, campaign, or ad group level

Limits & Requirements:

  • 25 character limit for link text
  • You must be promoting an app that's live in either the Apple App or Google Play store
    • You must also have the URL for the app's location within the store
  • Multiple app extensions may exist within an account, however only 1 is able to show at a time

Detailed Information: AdWords Help: App Extensions

Price Extensions

What They Are: Listing of a product/service and the price of it (not to be confused with product listing ads found within shopping campaigns) to display beneath the rest of your ad text

Where To Apply Them: Price extensions can be set at the account, campaign, or ad group level

Limits & Requirements:

  • Displayed only on mobile devices
  • Minimum of 3 product/service listings per price extension
    • Maximum of 8
  • 25 character limit on product/service header
  • 25 character limit on product/service description
  • Unique final URL for each product/service may be set, but is not required
    • Each product/service does need a final URL, but they may all be the same if need be
  • Qualifiers such as "up to" or "from" can be displayed for more flexibility

Detailed Information: AdWords Help: Price Extensions

A Note On Automated Extensions

As these are auto-generated by AdWords, they could be the topic of their own blog post entirely. Since they require no set up (in fact, check your account as they're likely already running without you knowledge - yes, you can turn them off; use the link below to learn how) nor information to be manually entered, I'm not including much on them here. However, should you want to learn more about what the different automated extensions are and how they're generated, check out the AdWords Help article here.

And Remember...

As with everything in life, there are no guarantees with ad extensions. You can have everything loaded up, show in the top position, and still not display any extensions. Your sitelinks could show, but lack the descriptions you set to display with them. If you have concerned clients (or need to ease your own mind) it can be comforting to point directly to Google's documentation, as they tend to say it best:

There are a variety of factors that affect whether your review can show, including your bid, ad relevance, available space on the search results page, and other extensions or information.

There's no additional cost to use any of these extensions. The price for clicks on ads with extensions, or on the links within those extensions, are based on the same formula used to determine cost-per-click of any ad. And in many cases, having more robust ads complete with amazing extensions can improve CTR and/or ad rank... thus decreasing (theoretically) CPC. All good things.

And finally, the list above covers just the basics and there's certainly value in reading through Google's literature on any extension you're unfamiliar with. But you can always come back to this guide when you're feeling rusty and need a quick reference.

Happy advertising!

Categories: Paid Search Marketing
By Jess Budde

1 Comment

  1. Author's Headshot
    search infomedia August 24, 2016

    Very nice document posted here.I really love it Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Meet the Author

Vice President of Marketing Operations & Client Services

Jess Budde

Jess is our Vice President of Marketing Operations and Client Service, and the co-host of our weekly Marketing O’Clock podcast. She joined Cypress North in 2013 and works out of our Buffalo office.

Jess works closely with both our clients and our internal team, overseeing account staffing to ensure client satisfaction. She co-manages our agency’s digital marketing department, works to facilitate cross-departmental collaboration internally, and acts as an account lead for a few of our clients. Jess also explores new opportunities for our existing clients and prospects.

A Western New York native, Jess graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from Niagara University before attending Syracuse University, where she earned her master’s degree in television, radio, and film. Before joining Cypress North, she worked in series development, talent, and casting at MTV during the golden era with Jersey Shore.

When Jess isn’t working or staying up to date on the latest digital marketing news, she enjoys spending time outside, hanging out with her son, and watching the entire Sons of Anarchy series on repeat.  You may also find her slinging beers at Brewed & Bottled, the bottle shop and craft beer bar she runs with her husband.

Jess is an amateur ornithologist, Limp Bizkit lover, Candy Crush professional, and hot sauce connoisseur who enjoys burning herself into oblivion with the hottest sauce she can find.