Most PPC managers will agree that Google AdWords’ sitelinks can be a powerful optimization tool for any PPC account. At the encouragement of our Google AdWords rep, I’ve recently been spending more time with sitelinks, and have discovered several new ways to effectively utilize sitelinks.
Last week, I turned to my PPC colleagues on Twitter to find out if their experience matched mine. As with any crowdsourced question, I got some great feedback that I hadn’t thought of – and it’s too good not to share.
With that, here's what’s great about AdWords sitelinks.
1. Great CTR
Sitelinks have a click-through rate (CTR) that’s far above average. One of my clients has an overall CTR of just over 2 percent, while the sitelinks in their account have a CTR of more than 10 percent. That’s a five-fold improvement – not too shabby for a few minutes of setup.
2. Helps Quality Score
Although Google publicly denies this, our AdWords rep told me that sitelinks help quality score. I was honestly surprised at this news, because Google is generally tight-lipped about the quality score factors. Still, we all know that CTR is the biggest factor affecting quality score, so it stands to reason that anything you can do to increase it in your account, including sitelinks, will help.
3. Additional Space for Ad Text
We all know that 95 characters isn’t a lot of space in which to expound the virtues of your PPC offering. Sitelinks offer up to six additional opportunities for additional ad text and/or calls to action. As long as the text is relevant to every ad group in the campaign, this can be a great way to sneak in more ad copy, and take up more space in the SERPs.
4. Alternate Conversion Paths
Along similar lines, sitelinks can be used to point visitors to conversion-oriented landing pages that may be different from those in the individual ad groups. This gives more options to the searcher, and makes it easy for those who are close to converting to find where they need to go.
5. Can Send to Multiple Landing Pages for Relevancy
Yet another benefit of sitelinks is the use of multiple landing pages, a different one for each sitelink; thus giving searchers more options to find relevant information. This is a great option for small businesses without landing page budgets. If you run a small business and can’t afford to create individual PPC landing pages, sitelinks are a good alternative – you can test multiple landing pages in one campaign.
6. Gives Better Sense of Legitimacy
One really cool thing about sitelinks is that most searchers can’t tell the difference between PPC sitelinks and organic sitelinks. For all they know, sites with additional links are just more relevant, according to Google.
7. Allows for More Targeted URLs to Deeper Content
Where else can you run a PPC ad with five or six different destination URLs? For example, you could use sitelinks for broad or general terms this way: A search for "Hot Drinks" could use sitelinks showing "Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, More Tea," etc. This is a great way to help searchers narrow down their choices and get closer to a conversion.
8. Competitive Advantage
For years now, advertisers have coveted the premium top spot above the natural search results. By including sitelinks in these ads, advertisers gain an even bigger competitive advantage.
9. Ability to Optimize for "in-ad" Text/Links
Similar to increasing the length of your ad copy, sitelinks enables advertisers to optimize for multiple landing pages and calls to action.
10. Brand Awareness
You can use sitelinks to promote social media profiles, such as Facebook and Twitter. While the AdWords editorial guidelines somewhat restrict what can be said, there are creative ways to include social media links in sitelinks and build brand awareness and loyalty.
11. Good for Every Type of PPC Campaign
Sitelinks can work for every type of PPC campaign: local, e-commerce, lead generation, etc.
As you can see, sitelinks are indeed a powerful PPC feature – one you should be using, if you’re not already. That said, there are some down sides to sitelinks. In my next post, I’ll outline the cons of sitelinks.
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