Product extensions is a feature that allows you to link your Google Merchant account with your AdWords account to have enhanced listings for your products shown in search results on Google properties:
In this post we’ll walk through why product extensions are important, how you can use them in your account, and when to use the extensions as well as how best to apply them.
Product extensions are important for much the same reason the other ad extensions are important: they offer increased visibility in search results. This means more clicks – in many verticals a 1% click-through rate is good, which means most advertisers are trying to figure out how to turn as many of those 99% missed impressions into clicks (and ultimately customers), and of course click-through rate is a major driver of Quality Score.
Effectively leveraging product extensions can get you more of potential prospects’ attention while offering you a means to show and tell them more about your product.
The first step to being eligible is creating a merchant center product feed, which you can learn more about here. Managing your data feed has a set of best practices all its own, so make sure you have the latest information on product feed requirements and best practices.
Once you have your merchant center account set up, getting your product listings firing from your AdWords account is pretty straightforward:
As you can see you simply navigate to Product Extensions from the drop-down, and click “New extension” to get started. Finally you simply associate your Google merchant account with a campaign, and you’re done!
While the set-up for product extensions is quite quick and easy, there are still some common questions associated with product extensions we’ll try to help with.
This is a common point of confusion since both these features pull from your Google merchant feed. Basically the difference is product extensions are a feature that’s tacked on to your existing search campaigns – you create a campaign, and by associating it with your merchant account you’ll start to have product details show in response to the keywords you’re bidding on for queries Google deems relevant.
Product listing ads, meanwhile, are a different type of campaign altogether. They don’t actually use keyword or CPC bid data you’ve specified, but rather just take the contents of your feed ad a cost-per action you designate, and attempt to manage to that by matching your ads to the queries they deem appropriate. You can find more information on product listing ads here.
This is a common thing advertisers run into in first setting up product extensions. There are a few common reasons:
Product extensions are available in the UK, Australia, Germany, France, and the US, but product listing ads are only available in the US.
Product extensions are a great tool within any campaign where you sell products related to the keywords you’re targeting, as they’re an extension of the campaign you’re already running and give you more real estate within the SERP.
Again the key in optimizing your product extensions is actually to jump outside of AdWords and think about the way you’re structuring your merchant center account. Our friends at PPC Hero had a great overview on best practices here, and this guide by Michael Sterns from Practical eCommerce offers some great advice as well.
In the next installment of our ad extensions series, we’ll look at call extensions.
(Skip Ahead: Google’s Newest Image Extension)
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