Digital Reach
By Digital Reach | SEM | September 21, 2016

Sitelinks – The Do’s And Don’ts

Sitelinks are the most important of all AdWords ad extensions. They are, by far, the most versatile extensions – they’re useful for accounts of any industry and they appear on all devices. Advertisers can use them to say just about anything.

Even better, an account that that uses Sitelink Extensions yields higher CTRs. According to the people at Google, the mere presence of sitelinks typically lifts ad CTR by 10-20% (+20-50% on branded searches). 

DO Keep Them Short and Direct

Google allows advertisers to include up to 25 characters in their sitelink descriptions but, just because you have the extra space doesn’t mean you need to use it. According to Google, you should aim for a baseline of 18-20 characters for desktop links and 12-15 for mobile.

DON’T Set Them and Forget Them

Sitelinks require very little maintenance, but it never hurts to check in on them from time to time. Periodically dive into your ad extensions tab to review performance metrics for each of your sitelinks. Here’re a few metrics to keep an eye on:

  • Impressions: If impressions are low for a given sitelink, it’s possible that Google is passing it over for a reason. Try editing the link and giving it another chance.
  • Click-Through Rate: If CTR is high, you’ve nailed your link description text. If it’s low, it’s a sign that your copy isn’t connecting with searchers. Is this page relevant to your campaign/ad group themes? Can you re-craft your copy to make it more appealing?
  • Conversion Rate: If your CVRs are high, pat yourself on the back. If they’re low, give some extra consideration to the page you’re sending visitors to. Is it accurately represented by your link text, giving searchers the appropriate expectations?

For even more insight, use the segment drop down to see “this extension vs. other.” This will show you how much direct interaction that particular sitelink received, versus the other components of the ad.

DO Give Enhanced Sitelinks a Shot

There are two primary benefits of sitelinks. Firstly, they allow you to take up considerably more space on the search page, making your ads more prominent, and secondly, they give you the opportunity to share even more information with your audience.

Now imagine you could make one simple change to gain even more space and include even more details with your searchers—tempting? You can actually do this with enhanced sitelinks!  These larger sitelinks allow you to include two lines of description text for each link, essentially they have become mini-ads themselves.


Google reports a 30% CTR elevation when advertisers take advantage of this option, making it a definite “do.”

DO Schedule Start and End Dates for Time-Sensitive Sitelinks

Sitelinks are the perfect way to highlight holiday sales, limited-time offers and special deals. But do you really want to have to remember to turn it on/off?  By using the scheduler you can set them and forget them. 


DON’T Be Redundant

There are many different ways to enhance your ad copy. Google’s added a slew of new extensions (structured snippets, callouts, etc.) and Expanded Text Ads  which give us twice as much space to talk about your products and services.

If all of your extensions and your ad creative talk about only one value proposition, you’re missing out on the opportunity to build a compelling case for your product.

As you add new components to your ad, consider the bigger picture. Sure, it’s unlikely that all of your extensions will show, but any combination is fair game, so you should prepare accordingly.

So there you have it, some great tips that will help get your products noticed and have new customers pouring into your website!

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