Google Ads structured snippet extensions is one of the later editions to the range of Ad extensions that are available to advertisers. It is a variation of the dynamic structured snippets extensions that came out in early 2015.
Structured snippet extensions allow you to select a header, such as categories, products, brands etc that are relevant to what you are advertising and then the values which will be attributed to them.
They are very similar to callout extensions however there are some differences, as seen below.
Google says to use callouts to “highlight what makes your business or products or services unique,” while structured snippets should be used to “highlight a specific aspect of the products or services you offer.”
That’s pretty subtle, but they can be used together, so be sure you’re not duplicating what you’re highlighting in both.
Do Structured Snippet extensions work?
Vodaphone used structured snippets in AdWords with the aim of providing consumers more information about key USPs and the wide breadth of products that Vodafone offers, as well as increasing click-through rate.
The results that they got with Structured snippets were as follows:
- 8% increase in click through rate (CTR) for branded terms
- 1.3% increase in conversion rate for branded terms
- 12% increase in CTR on Sim-only campaigns
Structured snippet extensions are very new so there is only one case study on them at the present time. We will follow up by publishing out own case study in the near future.
How to setup AdWords Structured Snippet Extensions
STEP 1. Navigate to the ad extensions tab within your Adwords account.
STEP 2. Select what level you would like to apply your structured snippet extension at. We would suggest setting up some account level extensions that will apply to all campaign and then setting up more granular structured snippet extensions at campaign level and ad group level. For your top performing keywords you may want to consider adding structured snippets at ad group level to maximise performance.
STEP 3. Click the bright red +extension button and then the +new structured snippet extensions button which can be found towards the left hand corner of the page.
STEP 4. Next you need to choose a header for your structured snippet.
There are a large range of different headers that you can choose from. Here you want to choose the most relevant one to what you are advertising.
Here is a detailed guide as to what you should and what you should not include within your values.
The options of headers currently available are:
- Degree programs
- Featured hotels
- Insurance coverage
- Service catalog
There are also a set of Black Friday and Cyber Monday Headers that Google introduced for a limited time.
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
STEP 5. Add the values the coincide with your header. For example if you have chosen the header brands, then you will want to add the brands that you stock as the values. To add additional valued click the blue +add button.
The value can be a maximum of 25 characters and you must enter at least 3 values.
STEP 6. (optional) You can also set a start and end date and schedule the hours when you want your adverts to appear. An example of where you may want to use a start and end date is if you are only stocking certain lines for a season and then they will change at the end. Here you could use the start and end date to pause the advert extensions so it no longer shows after that date.
A good example I’ve stolen from James Svoboda where scheduling would be appropriate is a restaurant where they have separate deals for happy hour and you would like to run different structured snippets at that time of the day.
STEP 7. Once you are happy save your structured snippet extensions, click save.
STEP 8. You should see that your structured snippet extension has been selected and is over on the right hand side, now click save again.
We would encourage you to add several different sets of structured snippets which can be then ran against each other to see which performs the best. The order of preference for displaying structured snippets is based on the order in which you have them within your account.
How to setup Structured Snippet Extensions for Enterprise PPC
If you have 1000s of Structured snippet extensions that you want to upload to a large scale Adwords account your can do this using bulk uploads and Excel.
STEP 1. You will need to create at least one structured snippet manually using the instructions that were provided in the “How to setup Adwords Structured Snippet Extensions” of this guide. This will create the main structured snippet feed.
STEP 2. Go to the shared library and then to Business data as shown below
STEP 3. Select structured snippet feed. At this point you should see the structured snippet that you have already created.
STEP 4. You now need to prepare your excel spreadsheet with your structured snippet extensions in. The requirements for the sheet are that they must have a Header, Snippet Text, and a third column for “Action” (where you will have “Add” in each row).
STEP 5. to upload your spreadsheet click “Edit > Upload spreadsheet.”
Structured Snippet Examples
Here is an example of Misguided using structured snippet extensions to display different styles of dresses that they stock. You can see instantly that they offer: Bodycon dresses, midi dresses, party dresses, shirt dress and shift dresses. You will notice here that they probably have the structured snippet extensions setup at ad group level to deliver very relevant styles.
Here is an example of Academy class using structured snippet extensions to display different courses that they offer. This header is best suited to educational establishments such as universities and company training courses.
This example is from the holiday provider Thomson. They have opted to use Adwords structured snippets to display the different types of holidays that they provide.
You will be able to see that they offer, All inclusive, Luxury holidays, Family Holidays and Late Deals. Another thing that you will notice is that all of the words are in title case with the first letter of each word capitalised. This is generally best practice, however Google recently published a case study to show that some extensions work best in sentence case so both should be tested.
Here is an example of Northampton university using the degree program structured snippet extension. Instantly you can see that they offer BSc (hons) Psychology, BSc (hons) Economics.
Here is an example of Polo Ralph Lauren using the brands structured snippet extensions to advertise there different sub brands, Denim & Supply, POLO Ralph Lauren, Black Label, RRL, Collection and Purple Label. This could also be used for retailers carrying several different lines from different designers.
Silversea is a good example of where advertisers should use the amenities structured snippet extension. It is well suited to hotels, cruises, wedding venues where buyers make decisions based on the amenities that the hotel or cruise has for example.
Destinations is a hugely versatile structured snippet extension that is not just restricted to the travel industry, I have seen it used effectively where there are multiple locations for training courses and several other applications. Here is an example of Loveholidays using this extension effectively.
This header is very much limited to the hotel industry. Here is an example of hotelscombined.co.uk using this extension effectively.
Similarly to featured hotels this is limited to the insurance companies. Here is an example of Moneysupermarket using it effectively.
Here is an example of the service Adwords structured snippet extensions being used by Irwin Mitchell.
They could improve by actually listing the services they provide such as “personal injury claims” as opposed to using this extension int he same way that they would use a callout extension.
This structured snippet is mainly for cinemas and theatres that will be putting shows on. Here is an example of London box office using this extension effectively.
How to view the performance of your structured snippet extensions
Unlike Sitelink extensions structured snippet extensions do not get clicked, they are purely there to display additional features and benefits alongside your adverts and occupy more Adwords real estate, resulting in higher click through rates.
You can analyse the performance of ads that have shown structured snippet extensions in the ad extensions tab. Here the click data will show you the CTR of the ad headline when the structured snippets were displayed along side them.
To review the performance of your Structured snippet extensions take the following steps.
STEP 1. Go to the Ad extensions tab at Campaign level and then select structured snippets from the dropdown.
STEP 2. You should see a table showing the performance of each of your structured snippets that looks something like this. You will want to set the loopback window to 30 days or possibly longer provided that you don’t have a seasonal account. You will also want to ensure that you have the following columns, Clicks, CTR, Impr, Avg. CPC, Cost, Conversions, Conv. Rate and Cost per conversion.
If the Structured snippet extensions are applied to all of the ad groups within the campaign then you can analyse them comparatively.
A/B testing Structured Snippets
When analysing and testing structured snippet extensions it is crucial that you have enough data and you are testing based on the correct metrics.
When you are testing anything in Adwords you must choose the right metrics to reach your goals. Here are the correct metrics to test on based on the most common goals thanks to Brad Geddes.
When it comes to concluding a test its fundamental that you understand statistical significance. Most PPC managers just start a new test once a week or once per month or just guess if they have enough data.
Adwords is not a guessing game you need to be certain based on the data.
A tool that will help you is called Split tester by Perry Marshall. You can enter the number of clicks that each structured snippet has and the conversion rate, or the CTR and it will tell you if you have enough data to conclude your test.
As vodaphone showed, Adwords structured snippet extensions are a powerful way for any Adwords user to improve the CTR of their adverts. With the ability to add them at campaign level in a matter of a few minutes there is no longer any excuse for advertisers not to be using them and getting an easy 8-12% increase in CTR.
If you are already using structured snippets then two key takeways from this piece would be to firstly make sure that you have several structured snippet extensions that are being tested against each other and that you are split testing them using the right metrics with enough data.
Secondly it would be to get granular, for your top 20% of keywords that account for 80% of your conversions go in and make sure that your structured snippets are closely related to your ads and keywords by adding them at campaign and where appropriate at ad group level to to maximise performance.
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