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?

This article contains:

Overview of Ad Extensions

Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of ad extensions, a game-changer in the world of Google Ads. Using ad extensions effectively can significantly boost your ad performance, making your ads not just visible but irresistible.


Sitelinks are like giving your ads a Swiss Army knife. You’re adding extra links below your main ad, leading users to specific pages on your site. Imagine someone searching for a product and you give them direct paths to your best sellers, contact page, and special offers. It’s all about making it easier for users to find what they need, which means higher engagement and better performance.

Callout Extensions

Callout extensions are your chance to brag a little. You can add snippets of text to highlight your business’s unique features, like “Free Shipping” or “24/7 Support.” These extensions don’t require a click—they just make your ad more appealing by showcasing what sets you apart.

Structured Snippets

Structured snippets give users more context about your products or services. Think of it as a quick list of what you offer under specific categories, like types of services or key features. This added detail helps potential customers understand exactly what they can expect from you.

Call Extensions

Call extensions put your phone number right in the ad, making it super easy for users to call you directly. This is especially useful for mobile users who can just tap and call, leading to immediate customer interaction and potential sales.


Location Extensions

If you’ve got a physical storefront, location extensions are a must. These show your address and a map, helping local customers find you. It’s like putting a pin on the map for everyone to see, which can drive more foot traffic to your business.

Price Extensions

Price extensions display your products or services along with their prices. This is great for setting expectations right from the search results. Users can see what you offer and how much it costs, which can attract those looking for specific deals.

App Extensions

Got an app? App extensions let you promote it directly in your ad. Users can download your app right from the search results, increasing your app installs and engagement.

Promotion Extensions

Promotion extensions are perfect for highlighting special sales or limited-time offers. They make your ad stand out by showing off discounts and deals, encouraging users to click and take advantage of the savings.

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)

How to Create Effective Sitelinks

Crafting effective sitelinks begins with selecting the right pages on your site. Each sitelink should lead to a different page that complements the main destination URL.

Avoid redundancy; if your main ad points to your homepage, your sitelinks should guide users to more specific, yet related pages. For example, if you run a car rental service and your main ad directs to your general rentals page, your sitelinks could lead to pages about luxury rentals, special deals, rental policies, and a quick checkout feature.

How to write sitelink text

When writing sitelink text, be concise yet descriptive. Each sitelink text should clearly communicate what users will find on that page. Instead of generic terms like “Click Here,” use specific phrases like “Luxury Car Rentals” or “Quick Checkout.” This specificity not only improves the user experience but also aligns better with user intent, leading to higher engagement.

Adding description lines to your sitelinks is an often-overlooked step that can significantly boost their effectiveness. These lines provide additional context and details about the sitelink, making them more compelling.

For instance, if your sitelink text is “Special Offers,” the description line could be “Save up to 30% on weekend rentals.” 

Let’s take a closer look at an example to illustrate this. Suppose you manage a car rental service. Your main ad is focused on promoting weekend rental discounts.

Here’s how your sitelinks might look:

  1. Sitelink Text: Customer Support

  2. Description Line: 24/7 assistance for all your rental needs.

  3. Destination URL:

In this setup, each sitelink provides clear value and directs users to a specific page relevant to their needs.

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.

Measuring Sitelink Performance

Alright, let’s break it down and get you measuring those sitelink performances like a pro. You’ve set up your sitelinks, and now it’s time to see how they’re doing. 

First things first, log in to your Google Ads account and head over to the “Ads & Extensions” tab on the left-hand menu. This is your command center for all things ad extensions. Once you’re there, click on “Extensions” to get a look at all your ad extensions in one place.

Now, filter this view to show only your sitelinks. Use the filter option and select “Sitelinks” so you’re only dealing with the data that matters right now. You’re looking at a list of your sitelinks and how they’ve been performing, but we need to go deeper.

Click on the “Segment” button and choose “This Extension vs. Other” under the “Click Type” segmentation. This will break down how many clicks each sitelink got compared to your main ad.

Pay attention to the key metrics:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): This tells you how many people clicked on your sitelink versus just seeing it. Compare it to your main ad’s CTR. If your sitelinks have a higher CTR, they’re doing their job.

  • Conversion Rate: This is the money metric. Look at how often clicks on your sitelinks lead to conversions. If one sitelink is driving more conversions, it’s a keeper.

  • Cost Per Click (CPC): Check out how much you’re paying for each click on your sitelinks. If you’re getting a lower CPC with high conversions, you’re hitting the sweet spot.

  • Impressions and Clicks: Look at how many times your sitelinks were shown and clicked. This gives you a sense of which sitelinks are the most popular.

This post is part of this series: .

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.

We live, breathe & Dream Paid Traffic

Working with Search Scientists means you’ll get a team that shows up, works hard, and focuses on long-term, predictable revenue for your company.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are sitelinks in Google Ads?

Sitelinks are additional links that appear under your main ad text in Google Ads. These links direct users to specific pages on your website, such as product pages, contact information, or special offers. They help improve your ad’s visibility and click-through rate (CTR) by providing more options for users to explore.

How do sitelinks improve my ad performance?

Sitelinks enhance your ad performance by increasing the ad’s overall size and visibility, making it more noticeable to users. They offer multiple pathways for users to engage with your site, often leading to higher CTRs and better Quality Scores. More clicks and higher Quality Scores can result in lower cost-per-click (CPC) and improved ad rankings.

How can I create effective sitelinks?

To create effective sitelinks, focus on relevance and user intent. Choose pages that complement the main ad and add value to the user’s search experience. Write concise and descriptive sitelink text, and always include optional description lines to provide more context. Regularly test and optimize your sitelinks based on performance data to ensure they remain effective.

Can I use the same URL for my main ad and sitelinks?

No, each sitelink must lead to a different URL than your main ad. This ensures that users have a variety of options to choose from, enhancing their browsing experience and potentially increasing engagement with your site.

How often do sitelinks appear with my ads?

Sitelinks typically appear when your ad is in the top positions on the search results page. They may not show every time your ad is displayed, so use the ad preview tool to check how your sitelinks are performing without affecting your impressions or clicks.

What are callout extensions, and how are they different from sitelinks?

Callout extensions are brief snippets of text that highlight unique features or offers of your business, such as “Free Shipping” or “24/7 Customer Support.” Unlike sitelinks, callouts do not link to other pages on your website. They provide additional information directly in your ad to make it more appealing.

How can I measure the performance of my sitelinks?

You can measure sitelink performance by accessing the “Ads & Extensions” tab in your Google Ads account. Filter for sitelinks and segment the data by “This Extension vs. Other” under the “Click Type” segmentation. Analyze key metrics such as CTR, conversion rate, CPC, impressions, and clicks to evaluate how well each sitelink is performing.

Should I always include description lines in my sitelinks?

Yes, including description lines in your sitelinks is highly recommended. These lines provide additional context and details about the sitelink, making it more compelling and informative for users. Description lines can significantly boost your CTR and improve overall ad performance.

Can I use sitelinks for mobile ads?

Absolutely! Sitelinks are effective for both desktop and mobile ads. In fact, they can be particularly useful for mobile users, providing quick and easy access to specific pages on your website. Ensure your sitelinks lead to mobile-friendly pages for the best user experience.

How many sitelinks should I use in my ads?

You can add up to four sitelinks to your ads. Using all available sitelinks can maximize the benefits, offering multiple pathways for users to engage with your site. However, ensure each sitelink is relevant and provides value to avoid cluttering your ad with unnecessary links.

Share this post

Picture of 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.

Leave a Reply

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