Optimize Your Sitelinks and Improve AdWords Performance

A powerful way to bolster your company’s search engine marketing campaign is by using sitelink extensions. Sitelink extensions are links to deeper pages within your website that appear directly underneath your standard SEM ad description and display URL. Sitelinks are typically the most impactful of all ad extensions currently available in Google AdWords.

If you are not yet using sitelink extensions, you are missing a big opportunity. Google boasts that adding sitelinks increases CTR by about 30%, but we think it’s a little lower than that. Either way, sitelinks can seriously increase your branding efforts as you own more real estate on the search engine results page, and can create more click opportunities for searchers.

Sitelinks can be set at the campaign or ad group level, and allow you to customize your ads and provide a more direct path to what users are looking for. By having these extra links within your search ads, you increase your chances that a user will visit your site, and ultimately convert. We have seen significant increases in click-through rates and conversion rates for clients utilizing sitelinks effectively.

What makes for effective sitelinks? To answer that question, it’s best to put yourself in your user’s shoes. Besides the main landing page linked from the ad, think about which other pages would potential customers want to visit to help them make a conversion decision. Often times, your shipping rates and return policy pages make sense.

Another strategy is to build sitelinks around the various sub-categories within the main category your campaign or ad group is promoting. For example, assume you have a campaign promoting ladies dresses. You could create sitelinks for the different sub-categories of dresses that you carry, such as Summer Dresses, Black Dresses, Evening Gowns, and Prom Dresses.

We also sometimes include sitelinks tailored to existing customers, especially in brand campaigns. For example, we might provide an Account Login sitelink on ad groups that get a lot of repeat visitors from existing customers.Google and Bing allow up to 10 sitelinks per ad group or campaign, however they typically show only 4 to 6 at a time. Google’s algorithm determines which sitelinks to show, and in which order to show them. You can review the sitelink extensions tab to understand which sitelinks have the highest CTR (and are presumably your most effective).

Unfortunately there’s not a great way to know the conversion rate of individual sitelinks unless you tag each sitelink’s destination URL and look up the data in your Analytics program.If you are currently running an AdWords campaign or plan on running one soon, sitelink extensions are must. Please contact us today so we can help you formulate an effective SEM strategy that includes, among other things, sitelink extensions.