Google Adwords Sitelink Extensions | Search Scientists

Day 18 of 100 Days of AdWords Help: Sitelink Extensions

Welcome to Day 18 of 100 Days of Google Ads Help.

In the previous post, you learned 20 ad copy strategies to put your Click Through Rates (CTR) ahead of your competition. Today, we’re going to kick it up a notch with ad extensions.

As of 2013, Google Ads started including ad extensions into their Quality Score algorithm. What does this mean for advertisers? Missing out on the CTR and quality score boosting benefits of ad extensions is putting you at a major disadvantage.

So what’s the ad extension you should always be running?

The Google Ads Extension You Must Run

While there are many ad extensions, which we’ll cover in our Google Ads Help Series, there is one ad extension you should always be running for your business.

  • Enhanced Sitelinks (aka Sitelinks)

Enhanced Sitelinks for Google Ads

Sitelinks are powerful. When you enter the top positions for AdWords, they will give you a massive CTR boost by taking up almost double the space of a standard ad on the search engine result page. Improved CTR’s lead to a quality score increase, which reduces your CPC. One of my favorite topics in the world of Google Ads is getting more clicks — in a higher position than your competition — for less!

What are sitelinks?

Sitelinks are 2-4 additional links you can include in your ad. Sitelinks quick tips:

  • Google Ads sitelinks need to lead to a different page other than your destination URL. If you are sending visitors to your homepage, then your sitelinks cannot also lead to your homepage.
  • Sitelinks don’t appear all the time. Don’t continually search your ads to see if they are live on Instead, use the ad preview tool. Typically, sitelinks appear in the top 1-3 positions.
  • Sitelinks work best when you consider other pages that are important to your customers. Think about what else may be helpful to a customer when making a particular search. Consider the buying funnel and search marketing. What else will be relevant to a user? 
    • If someone is searching for “rent a car new LAX”, perhaps your primary link goes to your rentals page, but your sitelink leads to a page describing your famous 15 minute check in / checkout. Another sitelink is dedicated towards luxury rentals, helping those interested in luxury head directly to the page that is most relevant to them. Another sitelink may lead to your contact page, to help users interested in calling your store.
adwords sitelink example
Help searchers reach pages relevant to them using sitelinks.

When creating sitelinks, always add the optional description lines. I’m still surprised when I see advertisers skipping over this simple step to more clicks.

description lines on sitelinks
Always add the optional description lines to your sitelinks

Sitelinks without the description lines still add a CTR boost. See this example by Amazon, which most likely has a higher CTR for having sitelinks, but can go the extra step by adding description lines to their sitelinks.

sitelinks without description lines
While it's great that Amazon is including sitelinks, they're missing out by not enhancing them with extra description lines.

When advertisers take the time to create sitelinks with other pages helpful to users, and add the extra description lines, the impact is significant.

enhanced sitelinks example
Sitelinks with extra description lines.

Click Through Rate Increase with Enhanced Sitelinks

When taking your ad copy and sitelinks pooled data, Sitelinks increase your CTR by 10-20%. You can measure your stats for each specific sitelink by segmenting the data on your sitelink extensions page.

checking sitelink data
My "specials" sitelink our performs by "free shipping" sitelink.

You can see the massive difference in performance from one sitelink to the next. My first one (highlighted above) has a 0.11% CTR, and a 13.22% conversion rate – that’s higher than my normal ad copy! 

The “free shipping” ad extension only had a 0.01% CTR, and no conversions. This is a perfect example to always be testing. I’ll be pausing the “Free Shipping” extension for this ad group, as it doesn’t seem to connect with the audience.

Always Test Your Sitelinks.

Your AdWords account has a lot of moving parts. It can be difficult enough for most businesses to test ad copy, let alone sitelink extensions. Simply having sitelinks will give your account a well-needed CTR boost, but optimizing your sitelinks will put you miles ahead of the competition. As you can see in the previous example, not every sitelink will perform well for you. I created the “Free Shipping” sitelink thinking it would garner huge CTR’s, but the audience was much more concerned (and ready to convert) when I served them the “Specials” sitelink.

Take the time to manage and optimize your account, and you’ll march towards higher CTR’s, lower CPC’s, and a cheaper cost per conversion.

This post is part of this series: .

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Michael Erickson

Michael Erickson

Emailing my clients and telling them I helped increase their return on ad spend by 300% never gets old. I love rising above the technical jargon and providing your business with online marketing momentum to reach new heights. Enthusiast for all things science, surfing, and Search Scientists.

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