Today, I’m excited to discuss a new type of Google AdWords ad extension, currently in beta, called “promotion extensions.”

A well-timed discount or store-wide sale can be extremely effective when you need to stimulate revenue and get customers excited about shopping. The downside? All the additional work necessary to keep promotions up to date across multiple campaigns and ad groups. Promotion extensions make it easy to update sales, discounts and promotions, providing many additional benefits.

Promotion Extensions

Promotions extensions are like sitelink extensions, in that they allow for another clickable link that the user can follow (besides the main headline). Check out this video blog on ad extensions from Nick Rennard, our Head of SEM here at Digital Reach, for detailed information about sitelink extensions and the other standard ad extensions. Here’s an example of a promotion extension in a standard web browser:

sample SERP showing promotion extensions

Here’s the same ad & promotion extension showing up on a mobile device:

mobile SERP showing promotion extensions

The Promotion extension does look a bit different from device to device, but the effect is the same. Rather than taking up valuable character space in the headline or description text, we extend the ad further by utilizing the promotion extension. Here are a few of the benefits of using promotion extensions:

  • Highlight specific sales and promotions without needing to update and maintain every single ad creative
  • Frees up creative text in the extended text ads for other messaging; maintaining promotions in the headline & description portions of the ad leaves minimal room to test new ad copy
  • Extends the length of the ad, taking up more real-estate and pushing competitors further down the page
  • Shows the length of the promotion or sale, letting customers know that they need to shop now or miss out on the deal
  • If multiple sales are running at once, we can implement promotion extensions at the Account, Campaign or AdGroup level

Setting Up Promotion Extensions

For this section, you’ll need access to the AdWords UI, which, as of July 2017, is still in beta. Promotion extensions will likely be officially launched in the coming months, but for now, we’ll focus on creating them within the beta AdWords UI.

If you have access to the beta AdWords UI, pull up your account and follow the steps below:

setting up promotion extensions

Step 1 – Select the “Ads & extensions” tab from the left-hand column in AdWords

Step 2 – It will default to a view of any active “Ads.” Select the “Extensions” tab instead.

Step 3 – Select which level (Account, Campaign or AdGroup) you would like to create promotion extensions for. If the sale is site-wide, Account would be appropriate. If there is a different sale for each campaign, then the Campaign level would be the best choice by far.

Step 4 – Create a new promotion extension or use one that you have created in the past.

Step 5 – Select the occasion you want your promotion or sale tied to. Use “None” as an option if your sale isn’t tied to a specific holiday.

Step 6 – Select the “Promotion Type”. The example uses “Percent Discount”, but we can also use “Monetary Discount” as another option.

Step 7 – Select the “Item” that the promotion applies to. There is a 20 character limit for this portion.

Step 8 – Select the “Final URL”, or the landing page you want users going to when they click on the Promotion Extension.

Step 9 – Select the “Promotion Details”. This can be a specific promo code, or “On Orders Over” a certain amount.

Step 10 – Select the “Promotion Dates” as seen below:

Promotion extensions also provide an option to set scheduling for the promotion. In the example above, our promotion extension would start a month before the sale goes live and would only run between 6 AM and 8 PM, Monday through Friday. Extension scheduling isn’t required, but it can be a useful tool for targeting the right users.

Promotion extensions are still in beta (for now), so some of this information may change. If you have access to the AdWords UI beta, I recommend testing them out to see what kind of results they generate. Let us know in the comments about your successes and failures. If you’re struggling to implement promotion extensions or other AdWords features, feel free to drop us a line! We’ll get you pointed in the right direction.

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