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25 Apr 2012

Just Released: Conversion Tracking for Ad Extensions

April 25, 2012PPC Advertising
Earlier this month, Google released a very important update, but they haven’t talked too much about this new development. In fact, it may have completely slipped off of your radar that you now have access to a reporting feature, which allows you to examine conversion data for AdWords extensions. Just because Google hasn’t made a formal announcement doesn’t mean you can’t start reaping the benefits of this great, new tool.
 
To get started, simply log into your AdWords account and click on the “Ad Extensions” tab. Here you will choose the type of extension for which you want to see data. This can be a location or a sitelink. Once you have selected the type of extension, you’ll need to set up your data parameters. You will choose the conversion metrics (i.e. Conversion (1-per-click), Cost/Conversion (1-per-click) and Conversion Rate (1-per-click). After you hit the save button, your conversion report should appear for your specified active ad extensions.
 
This first look can be very insightful, but you’re really only scraping the surface. You also have the ability to segment your data so you can see more than just the top line information. At first glance you will be able to see conversions, impressions and clicks that were a result of when your extension was used alongside your text ad. When you segment your data you will be able to see how those extensions performed independently from the normal text ad. You can choose to examine your data by segmenting specifically by the extensions such as “Top vs. Other”, “+1 Annotations” or any other extensions you have set up for specific campaigns. This is helpful when deciding how to organize your campaigns overall.
 
Many PPC professionals are praising the ability to segment by Sitelinks. Sitelinks are the additional links that you can choose to appear on your text ad other than the headline. These often display information and links to sites that are not included on the main landing page. Using Sitelinks as part of your ads allows potential customers to click directly into deeper, mores specific parts of your website. It gives them a clear through-line to a specific product or service in which they may be interested. With the new extension conversion data, you can see how many clicks were generated by your headlines versus those coming from your Sitelinks. Having that information, you may decide to develop new campaigns focusing specifically on some of those Sitelinks, or you might want to refigure your headlines entirely. Because Sitelinks often offer access to directions, specific products and more, you might even be able to gather that this information helped lead to increased conversions.
 
Unfortunately, the Sitelink conversion data is not foolproof at this point. The main thing to remember is that Sitelink data is cumulative and combined, meaning you cannot see separated conversion data for each and every individual sitelink. This means that you have to fill in some of the blanks on your own, and there’s no proper way to test and see specifically which links are attracting customers the most. Considering Google still hasn’t officially announced these features, hopefully this means that additional features will be developed soon so you can get even more from these data improvements.
 
Now you don’t have to worry whether investing in a certain extension is a total crapshoot. You will have access to substantial conversion data that will help you shape your campaigns to ensure that you are getting the most out of every text ad. Check your ad extension conversion data thoughtfully and often to make sure your campaigns are up to speed and increasing your conversions overall.