What Are Callout Extensions and How Do You Use Them?


In September, Google AdWords announced a new ad extension to help advertisers stand out from the crowd and get more clicks. This new extension was dubbed the Callout Extension and it helps improve your click-through rate (CTR) immensely.

What Are Callout Extensions?

Callout extensions are small snippets of text that appear with your search ads and highlight additional features or benefits of your products/services. Up to 4 callouts can appear with your ad and each can be up to 25 characters long. Here is an example I caught doing a search:

AdWords Callout Extension Example

As you can see in the second ad from State Farm, the company uses the callout extension to convey three additional messages along with their main ad.

  • No underwriting required
  • Local agents
  • Affordable coverage

While the main ad focuses on the open enrollment period for 2015 and establishes relevance with the search query for “Idaho health insurance”, these additional snippets emphasize benefits such as affordability and local agents to enhance the offer from State Farm.

Why Should I Use Them?

For online ads on Google, you’re limited to 25 characters in your headline and 70 characters in the body of your ad. This significantly limits how much you can say. However, callout extensions allow you to effectively double the amount of messaging shown with your ad. One of my clients, a local HVAC company in Salt Lake City, has a CTR that is over two times higher when callout extensions are shown.

More messaging helps you build trust with potential customers and stand out on crowded search engine results pages. So how do you set them up?

Setting Up Callout Extensions

When you’re logging into AdWords, click on the Ad Extensions tab (circled in the picture below)

what are callout extensions

Make sure that you’re viewing Callout Extensions in the highlighted drop down box (AdWords has many types of ad extensions) and you will see if you currently have any set up. If not, just click the red “+ Extension” button to add your extensions. It will look like this:

what are callout extensions

Here is what each field is for:

  • Callout text — Enter up to 25 characters of copy here.
  • Device preference — You can check this if the information is relevant only to mobile search users.
  • Start/end dates — For special promotions, you can set when it starts and when it should end so that you don’t have to remember to come and turn it off.
  • Scheduling — You can set the extension to show only on certain days if you have daily specials or only during certain hours of the day.

Conclusion

Callout extensions are a great opportunity for the savvy advertiser to get more information in front of potential customers and get higher quality visitors to their website from AdWords. Now go get into your account and set them up!

Online Advertising Photo via Shutterstock

4 Comments ▼
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Robert Brady


Robert Brady Robert Brady is Senior Manager: Software, SMB, Strategy at Clix Marketing, a Google AdWord Certified Partner. Robert helps small business owners and large companies just getting started with Pay-Per-Click (PPC) get better results from their PPC advertising.

4 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    Was not able to test how effective this is but I have to see if it is of any use. I can see how it makes your listing look less like an ad and more like an ordinary listing.

  2. If you are not using callout extensions, then you are missing out hard! Not only will you getting even more specific traffic coming into your site (by giving them a more “funneled” direction of hat they are looking for, but you will also be eating more real estate on the SERP.

    When I speak to new clients, we always include this in part of the strategy. It is win/win for the user because now they are getting what they want, and obviously the business because they are getting more qualified and specific traffic

    If anyone needs help with anything or would like to see how we can apply it to your account, just call me up or send me an email!

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