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Google Upgraded Extensions

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 by Georgina Wall

Upgraded Extensions – goodbye call charges & hello reporting

Telephone number spamming is keyword stuffingFollowing the recent changes made by the AdWords team, Google has rolled out a number of changes to the way certain features work, one of which being Ad Extensions. So, after getting to grips with the new features over the past couple of weeks, here are five things I love about the new-style Extensions:

1. Call costs

Google has announced that it will no longer be charging for use of its forwarding numbers when dealing with call extensions on your campaigns. This means that instead of paying the previous minimum of £1.00 for any calls associated with the legacy campaign call extensions, they are now free…Bonus!

2. Ad Group Extensions & customisation

The new-style Extension format allows you to apply them at Ad Group level as well as to the whole campaign. This makes for a lot more flexibility within the listings, without the need to use separate campaigns and potentially affect your budget allocations. In addition to this, you can also choose whether or not you want to show each sitelink on mobile devices or not.

3. Call conversion tracking

Not only can you segment the Extensions, you can now track the call Extension data far more effectively by setting your own time parameters for a call that should class as a conversion. For example, if it tends to take you 30 seconds to get a potential client’s name or gauge interest levels, by setting this as your time specification it will enable you to more accurately monitor the performance of the campaign via call conversion reporting – in addition to the standard click conversions – without the need for a third-party call tracker.

4. Ad scheduling

As with all upgraded Extensions, you can now set your own timings against each Extension being displayed – especially handy for call extensions if you don’t have 24-hour office opening times!

5. No overridden statistics

We all know how annoying it can be when you update one setting and lose all of the accumulated data? Not anymore! The new performance figures remain even after changes are made, so you don’t have to worry about clocking up a whole new set of data from scratch.

So, there seem to be some good improvements coming through so far, it’s not a perfect ten from me just yet though. Whilst the process to create new Extensions is fairly simple, it is quite a monotonous process if you have a lot of campaigns/Ad Groups; particularly since the saved groups of Extensions seen in the legacy settings no longer appear as an option, so you must now add each sitelink individually. Also, the call reporting data is currently pretty simplistic – literally just displaying the call conversion count and no further detail such as caller information or duration. So, depending on how heavily you rely on phone calls as your lead generation stream, it may well still be worthwhile integrating a more comprehensive product to track these for you. There are a number of call tracking solutions available which can be easily integrated into your Analytics.

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About the author

Georgina Wall

Georgina Wall

Georgina has been working in Online Marketing for over 6 years and specialises in PPC. Prior to joining Vertical Leap as a Campaign Delivery Manager in January 2013 she worked for a software company that produces various white label digital products in addition to running an in-house PPC network and affiliate portfolio. In her free time Georgina enjoys keeping fit and a good glass of wine! Follow me on Google Plus