In this article we will be looking at Google sitelink best practices.
In recent years Google ads have introduced many ways for advertisers to extend their ads. This includes expanded text ads and a whole suite of ad extensions that can help you add additional information to your ads.
Sitelinks are one of the most used ad extensions in Google ads. They give advertisers the ability to add additional information below their ad and link to different, useful pages on your website.
We generally have 5 sitelink best practices that we follow when adding this type of extension to accounts.
1 – Link to Useful Pages
This might seem obvious; however, it is quite common for advertisers to link all their sitelinks to the same page.
The goal of sitelinks should be to give the user more options. Whilst this is true, you should also remember that conversions are important, so try to make sure that you are linking to pages, that are also optimised to convert visitors.
For example, you might be linking to an About Us page, or perhaps reviews and testimonials. If that is the case, make sure that the page still has a strong call to action.
2 – Create Sitelinks at the Campaign/Ad group Level
Google offer advertisers the ability to add sitelinks at three different levels
- Account level
- Campaign level
- Ad group level
When following sitelink best practices, it is usually recommended to create sitelinks at the campaign or ad group level. By adding sitelinks at these lower levels, it lets advertisers be more granular in the way they target the sitelinks. This can help you serve the most relevant links to the persons search term.
However, we do still recommend having a set of account level sitelink extensions. The advantage of having sitelinks at the account level, is they are what we call a catch all extension. This means if you don’t have sitelinks in a certain Campaign or ad group, the account level sitelink will be shown.
The important thing to remember with an account level sitelink is they should be quite generic. This group of sitelinks will potentially be covering your whole account, so it should make sense to your whole business.
3 – Take Advantage of Sitelink Descriptions
Using sitelinks gives your ads two main advantages. Firstly, you are making the ad more relevant, to more people. Secondly you make the ad itself bigger, which is a big deal, as it gives you more virtual real estate and make you stand out from other advertisers.
Have a larger more prominent ad can have a significant impact on CTR and there is a way you can make your ad even bigger. This is by making use of sitelink description lines.
Using description in your sitelinks, will often more than double the size of your ads. As you can see in the image above, it is like having 3 mini ads directly underneath your main ad.
4 – Use Mobile Specific Sitelink Best Practices
Sitelink Best Practices for mobile devices are slightly different from computers, as they are displayed differently. For example, on a computer you will generally display 2-6 sitelinks at a time. Whereas on mobile and tablet you will display up to 8 sitelinks. Links on mobile devices are also displayed differently They are shown in a carousel style row, that users can scroll using the touch screen on their mobile device.
Due to the way Mobile sitelinks are displayed, it is recommended that you use less characters. Google recommend 12-15 characters for mobile devices. The advantage of using smaller links on mobile is you can display more, without the need to scroll. Also, it reduces the chance of truncating a longer sitelink on smaller screens.
The final thing to consider for mobile sitelink best practices, is that intent is slightly different on mobile devices. Try to write your mobile sitelinks with the user in mind.
5 – Keep Testing New Sitelinks
As with any improvements in advertising campaigns, testing is extremely important. With sitelinks you do have less control as you can’t directly A/B test one sitelink against another. However, you can check starts and see how individual links are performing.
You should be looking at the impressions, CTR and conversion rate to determine the performance of each individual sitelinks and when you discover poorly performing links, remove them and add new ones in their place.
Google will automatically give more impressions to better performing sitelinks, so it is a good idea to give them lots of choice. Ideally each campaign, or ad group would have 8-12 sitelinks at any one time.
Hopefully you have found these sitelink best practices useful and if you have any different sitelink best practices, we would love to hear about them in the comments below.