Every week we hear about or read another “PPC wish list” that outlines all of the features that Google AdWords, Microsoft adCenter or even Facebook should build into their respective advertising platforms. Each list builds on the last as PPC managers the world over desperately try to improve functionality and reporting capabilities. Typically, these platitudes fall on seemingly deaf ears.
One of the trendy wish list items of late has been for Google AdWords to provide conversion data for Ad Extensions such as Sitelink, Location, Call and Product Extensions. It would seem that Google was listening.
Last week without so much as an announcement, Google released conversion data associated with Ad Extensions. The news was broken by Search Engine Watch contributor Melissa Mackey via Twitter and her blog.
Near hysteria followed on Twitter, as the PPC community immediately jumped into their AdWords accounts and began a discussion of the extent of this new reporting feature. To date, Google has not released an official announcement.
How to Report Conversions for Ad Extensions
To report on conversions for Ad Extensions is actually pretty simple. Within AdWords, click on the Ad Extensions tab and select the extension type (Sitelink, Location, Call, etc.). The next step is to make sure that you have the conversion columns in place for your data. Click on the Columns button and select the conversion parameters as shown here:
After clicking Save, you will now see conversion stats for all of your active Ad Extensions!
Segment Your Ad Extension Conversion Data
Just seeing conversions associated with Ad Extension clicks is a major step forward in terms of reporting. But it isn’t the full picture. How did your extensions perform on Google Search versus Search Partners? How about time of day or day of the week? More importantly, what about data for your actual extension versus the normal ad?
As a reminder, the top level data for extensions only tells you how many impressions, clicks and conversions were generated when an Ad Extension was shown in conjunction with your normal text ad. Use the Segment feature to slice and dice this information further to see how each extension performed separate from your regular text ad.
The Segment drop down menu provides many opportunities for analyzing Ad Extension conversion data:
For Sitelinks, what really has PPC managers (myself included) is being able to report how many conversions were generated directly as a result of a click on a Sitelink. Use the Click Type segmentation to differentiate between Headline (your normal text ad) versus Sitelink:
You can also see how many searchers converted after clicking on the “Get Directions” link for Location Extensions. What about conversions from click-to-call ads on mobile? It’s all possible!
While all of this new data is exciting, it isn’t complete. The most egregious omission is seeing data per Sitelink. All of the data associated with Sitelinks are aggregated. This means there is still no meaningful way to test which Sitelink messages are resonating with searchers in terms of click-through rate or conversion.
Additionally, Ad Extension data still isn't associated with AdWords Editor for Location or Sitelink extensions. This isn't surprising considering Google hasn't even made a formal announcement yet! But it will be something to look for in the coming weeks/months.
Those few negatives aside, there is still plenty for PPC advertisers to be excited about. No longer will we have to assure clients or marketing decision makers that Ad Extensions are an important part of the PPC puzzle. Now we can actually bring real conversion data to the conversation to prove their worth. Enjoy the new data!
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!