Give Your Ads a Social Boost with AdWords Social Extensions!

Google’s social network, Google Plus, is becoming an important branding and visibility factor for businesses online. And even though many brands are focused on the organic lift Google+ can lend to businesses online, it doesn’t stop there. In fact, Google+ extends to AdWords advertising, and Google says integrating it into your ads can give them a boost:

”On average, search ads with annotations have a 5-10% uplift in click through rate and the AdWords Social Extension helps you show more of them. Customers will be able to see the recommendations your business has received, whether they’re looking at an ad, a search result or your Google+ Page. This means your +1’s will reach users across all of our products.”

AdWords social extensions allow your ads to show how many people are connected to your brand on Google+. Google says these social extensions apply to all ad formats (although we haven’t seen it on anything other than text ads), and can be shown on ads featured on Google and some search network partners. Here’s an example of what it can look like in paid search results:

Social Annotation in AdWords

Your ads have the ability to show this Google+ information if your business meets the following criteria:

  • You have a Google+ business page (not a personal profile), and it’s linked to your website correctly (more on that here).
  • Your Google+ page has recent, high-quality posts, and you have about 100 followers already.
  • The domain on your ad matches the domain you have on your Google+ page. If you have different domains for different countries, Google gives the option to contact them if you need help setting it up.

Exceptions include casinos, healthcare and medicine, and alcohol ventures. At the time of this writing, these types of advertisers are not eligible for social extensions.

Prior to Enhanced Campaigns rolling out on AdWords in late July, additional setup was required to add social extensions. All accounts that have been upgraded to Enhanced Campaigns are eligible with no additional setup when they meet the criteria above, according to Google.

But Google says meeting the criteria doesn’t necessarily mean the Google+ info will always show up:

”Whether or not they show depends on several things, including the size of the browser window and what other extensions are showing with your ad.”

If you want to be doubly sure that you are set up for the chance of Google+ info showing in your ads, you can add it manually from the AdWords dashboard under the “Ad extensions” tab:

AdWords Dashboard

Once you’re set up and your Google+ info shows on an ad, users can access your Google+ page by clicking on your brand name, as illustrated in the following screenshot. The good news is advertisers won’t be charged when someone clicks on any Google Plus-related info in an ad.

Google Plus Info on AdWords Ad

We see the value in having a social presence on Google+ if done the right way. If you’re sharing great content and your audience loves it, you’ll get great feedback and in turn, a further-reaching audience.

When others see that your brand has been well received directly on your ad, it’s a trust signal to potential customers and makes your ad stand out over the competition. It also offers another way to stay connected with them – even if they’re not ready to buy.

So why not extend those trust signals that your brand has earned to your paid search campaigns? Go on … give your ads a boost with social extensions!