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Google Introduces Adwords Callout Extensions

Google announced yesterday the roll out of the new callout extension for Adwords ads. The new extension allows advertisers to display additional information about products and services directly in the Adwords ads, and will be made available to all advertisers progressively over the next few weeks according to Google.

What is the New Adwords Callout Extension?

Like any other ad extension, the new Adwords callout extension is a type of ad format that shows additional information within your Adwords ad in order to improve its visibility and the click-through rate (CTR). The different types of ad extensions display a variety of information, such as the sitelinks one displaying links to key pages of your site, or the call extension displaying your phone number (and enabling the “click to call” feature on mobile). The new callout extension is specifically meant to display additional information about your product/ services, or to “highlight what makes your business different from your competitor” as stated by Google. Below is a preview of the new callout extension.


One of the benefits of the callout extension is that advertisers are able to use it alongside other ad extensions. Google shared the following example to illustrate how several ad extensions can be complimentary:
-    “If you’re already using sitelinks for “Women’s Clothing” and “Back to School”, create a callout for “20% off entire site” to encourage people to click through and make a purchase.
-    If you’re using call extensions, highlight “24/7 customer support” so your customers know they can call your business for help.”

Why Should You Use the Callout Extension?

The callout ad extension had been made available to some advertisers as a beta test, and based on the testimonials shared it appears that they benefited from an improved click-through rate for the ads using the new extension. Hilton Worldwide was one of the advertisers included in the beta test, here is James Harrower, Senior Search Manager’s feedback on the test:

The use of callout extensions has meant we’ve been able to let our customers know how much more our hotels have to offer than just rooms. Spas, restaurants and meeting facilities are just a few of the attractive options our hotels have to offer, which may not be seen through a traditional revenue driving campaign. In just one month after implementing callout extensions, we’ve seen a 9% increase in conversion rate.

Google also announced that the use of callout extensions is a factor in Ad Rank, Google’s system that dictates the ad positions. Originally, the Ad Rank only included factors such as the maximum CPC bid and the quality score, but since October 2013 Google also takes the ad extensions usage and ad format into consideration to prioritize ads. Basically, using ad extensions, including the new callout one, helps you achieve higher ad position within relying uniquely on your CPC bid (visit our SEM page to learn more about how Smartt can help optimize your Adwords campaigns performance without necessarily increasing your ad budget).
Lastly, Google has made the management of the callout extension simple, as explained on its support page. The benefits stated are the following:
-    You can use callout extensions with your existing ads, no need to create new ones.
-    Callout extensions can be modified at any time
-    They can be setup at the account, campaign or ad group level
-    You can keep track of the clicks generated by your ads using the callout extension and compare them with other ads
-    Editing your callout extensions won’t reset their performance statistics
-    You can create mobile-optimized callout extensions
-    You have control on the schedule of when your callout extensions are used

When Will the Callout Extension Be Displayed?

Callout extensions can only be used with text ads, which means they will be available in “Search Network only” and “Search Network with Display Select” campaigns. Your extensions are limited to 25 characters in most language, or 12 in double-width languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
In order for your callout extensions to be displayed, you will need to create at least 2 different callouts. Google however recommends to always use 4 callouts (the maximum number) to ensure that as many callout extensions as possible will be displayed. Additional factors such as the order of the callouts, their length, and how your ads using them perform will affect how they are displayed.

What Are the Best Practices of Using the Callout Extension?

It is too early to identify the best practices of using the new callout extension based on data, but Google has shared a set of recommendations meant to improve the performance of your Adwords ads:
-    Keep the text to 12-15 characters, this allows Google to display more callout extensions (e.g. “Free shipping” instead of “We have free shipping”)
-    Be specific with your product or services characteristics (e.g. “4.7in LED display” instead of “Large LED display”)
-    Capitalize works sparingly: ads that use sentence case are meant to perform better (e.g. “100% silk: vs. “100% Silk”)

Get in touch with us if you want to learn more about how Smartt can help you optimize the performance of your search advertising campaigns (check out the details on the available search engine marketing activities), or feel free to take a look at our blog and training courses if you want to learn more about digital marketing in general.