What You Need to Know About Google’s Sitelink Policy Update

enhanced-adwords-sitelinks

Have you checked your sitelinks lately? You probably should. Google will soon be enforcing an existing policy regarding sitelink usage. The policy states that each sitelink within a campaign needs to link to a unique landing page/content on your site.

In a recent announcement, Google mentions that they have noticed an elevated number of sitelinks all going to the same landing page and this is impetus for actively imposing this policy.

What Does This Mean Right Now?

This policy will be enforced on new sitelinks and any sitelinks that are changed/edited and require a review from Google. Existing sitelinks (and those that are not edited anytime soon) will be reviewed in the coming months.

Google doesn’t provide an exact date on when they will review existing sitelinks, but you should just go ahead and start adhering to this policy now to make life easier. There is nothing worse than receiving a boatload of editorial notifications/rejections and then having to scramble and react. Be proactive!

Here is a short action plan for your sitelink implementation:

Utilize Varying URLs

All your sitelinks should go to varying URLs (as the policy states). Containing visitors within your conversion-focused landing pages is ideal, but if you want to utilize sitelinks, then you’re going to have to get creative.

Sitelinks should support the main ad copy and provide additional content in order to increase click-through and conversion rates. Often advertisers will link to company profile pages, product category pages, or client testimonial content.

Ecommerce campaigns usually have an easier time with this since these sites have a wide range of products for sitelinks. Lead generation can be more challenging since sending users to content on your core website can often have a lower conversion rate.

One idea for lead generation campaigns is to create conversion-focused landing pages with varying content. For example, if you have a testimonial page; rather than send your sitelink to this content housed on your core website, create a new landing page with this information. This way you get the best of both worlds: your URL is unique and eligible for sitelinks, but you're delivering support content within a conversion-focused design.

Upload 4 Great Sitelinks

Google suggests that you write 6-8 sitelinks per campaign. When you have this many sitelinks Google will decide which sitelinks to display on the SERP. As with any element of PPC campaigns, maintaining as much control as possible is optimal.

To better control your messaging, you may want to consider writing only four sitelinks. This way you aren’t relying on Google to choose the best one. Instead of writing eight sitelinks of varying quality, you should write four awesome sitelinks that you’d be happy displaying all the time.

Write Awesome Sitelink Copy

I see a ton of sitelinks that are uninspired and they were clearly an afterthought. Examples include: “About Us,” or, “Learn More,” or, “Great Deals.” How is this limp copy going to inspire anyone to do anything?

Sitelink writing should not be an afterthought. Think about what would capture your audience’s attention.

For example, don’t write, “About Us,” but perhaps say, “See Why We’re Awesome.” Instead of saying, “Testimonials,” say something like, “People Love Us. See Why!”

Also, you should view sitelinks as those little extra bits of sales copy. Someone may be considering clicking on your ad but they aren’t sure – can you write a sitelink that will push them over the hump of doubt?

Summary

Don’t view this policy enforcement as bummer. Think of it as chance to boost your sitelink usage. Now is a great time to re-vamp your strategy which will help improve the overall performance of your campaign.