SEO Moneyball: Google Makes AdWords Extensions Even More Important

Nashville SEO associate Jackson Martin's Moneyball image is shown, featuring a man on a baseball diamond.

The goal of Moneyball is to get the best results out of the least money spent. In other words, Billy Beane viewed his baseball team as a business, looking to get the best value or ROI. Beane’s Oakland teams made the playoffs four straight years in the early 2000s despite being in the bottom five teams in salary.

As a sports fan and a sportswriter, reading Moneyball changed the way I look at baseball like few other things have. Each week, I’ll try to do the same thing with SEO for you in this series, SEO MoneyBall, using some deeper statistics to give you a better look at how to improve your web presence. This week, I look at how a new Google AdWords update affects your PPC campaign strategy.

Google made an unexpected move this week in announcing a new version of Ad Rank, which is the algorithm that determines which ads are shown for searches. Previously, Ad Rank only factored in your max Cost-Per-Click bid and the Quality Score of your ad. The new update now also looks at ad extensions. In announcing the update, Google said:

When people use Google to research and buy things, they’re interested in the most relevant and useful results. Ad extensions help by providing more information to potential customers and additional ways for them to respond. For example, they can call your business number, see your business location on a map, or choose an even more relevant landing page that you’re promoting with sitelinks. Ad extensions typically improve clickthrough rate and overall campaign performance because they make ads more useful.

It goes on to note that if two competing ads have the same bid and quality, then the ad with a higher expected impact from extensions will receive the higher placement.

We covered ways to utilize ad extensions on this blog in June, and now looks like as good a time as any to start upgrading your ads with those features. According to the announcement, ad with extensions are more likely to receive a lower CPC and a higher clickthrough rate:

You may see lower or higher average CPCs in your account. You may see lower CPCs if your extensions and formats are highly relevant, and we expect a large positive performance impact relative to other competitors in the auction. In other cases, you may see higher CPCs because of an improvement in ad position or increased competition from other ads with a high expected impact from formats.

Google will show your highest performing and most useful extensions during the auction process, so you don’t need to do any guesswork to figure out what will give your ad the best placement and clickthrough rate. Because Google will automatically decide which extensions get prominence (based on a number of factors, including whether the search is done on mobile or desktop browsers), the businesses using multiple extensions give themselves the best chances to succeed with the new algorithm.

Given this update, it is now absolutely necessary to utilize extensions in PPC advertising. It will keep your cost down and your clickthrough rate higher. Use our guide from this summer to help you understand which extensions will help your business, and improve your PPC campaigns.

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For more SEO Moneyball check out these posts!

SEO Moneyball Series

SEO Moneyball: Takings Advantage of Geo-Targeting in Google AdWords

SEO Moneyball: Do Google +1s Lead to Higher Search Placement?

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