Google Adwords Communication Extensions – A Screen Pilot Review
The screen shot above is a great example of the communication extension when the ad appears as the top result – Please note none of the males here are a fan of UGG boots. It was just the first example we found… honestly! Being a curious bunch here at Screen Pilot we wanted to test out the extension ourselves and gauge whether it could be of use to our clients in the long term. After a phone call and an email or three to our Google team, the extensions began to appear on a few accounts that we used to test the format. That was last October and now we have a bevy of information from our testing. Rather than keep it to ourselves we decided to share our results with you. As far as we can tell we haven’t seen any articles that document others results but if you have then please let us know. We’d be interested in seeing if our experience was common.
Before examining the results a little background on what the set up involved:
1) Requesting access to the beta.
2) Compiling a list of the accounts and specific campaigns that the extension should run on and send to our rep. This included:
- Account ID
- Account Name
- Campaign Name
3) Select the appropriate ‘button text’. We had the following to choose from:
- Get Offers
- Get Updates
- Sign Up For Newsletter
- Get Alerts
4) Select the email address where the email leads CSV files were sent on a daily basis (note: this part actually changed later in the year when leads started being sent to Google Docs, now Drive. And only to the accounts primary email address).
That’s everything. We would have preferred to work within the Adwords platform to have more hands on control over when and where the extensions were used but this is often the case with BETA’s.
We chose buttons text based on the ad copy, what the consumer would be receiving and the industry of the account. We aren’t at liberty to say which accounts used which, but the only 3 we were able to test were ‘Get Offers’, ‘Get Updates’ and ‘Subscribe’.
To help you understand our results we’ve put together a chart with 2 clients data. For obvious reasons we can’t give you any more information about the clients other than they are both hotels/ resorts.
As you can see the data is pretty negative across the board. Both saw a fall in CTR and a rise in avg. cpc over the time periods selected. Beyond that, the main supposed benefit of the extension was adding extremely cheap leads into the email database. With only 13 and 12 leads respectively over 30 days from ads that were mostly in 1st position that is pretty disappointing.
After testing for 3 months and seeing very similar data across the board we have decided to remove the communication extension from all of our clients. We certainly believe that is has massive potential but right now the system just doesn’t lend itself to make them useful to marketers.
We believe the extensions need to be added into the Ad Extensions tab of the Adwords UI. This would enable marketer’s greater control over a number of things:
- Ability to tailor ad copy around it – Right now we need to use the same regular copy on all – with or without extensions. This likely created some confusion for the searcher about what we were promoting.
- Who receives the email leads – The system right now is confusing and makes it difficult to add the leads into the database.
- Turning the extensions on and off at will – A client’s priority isn’t always to obtain more leads. Many times it will just be plain old direct sales promotions.
- Submit button copy – The selections offered by Google were satisfactory but we’d like to test other options.
As with a number of betas Google may sunset this extension or eventually make it available to the general public. If they do we hope it’s given a significant overhaul since it could be a really useful tool for search marketers.