After being teased during the Google AdWords Partners Connect for Auto dealerships in April. The new beta access is now here for the long awaited visual site link ad extensions. Although beta access has been opened to the public, your agency or marketing department may not have direct access to this beta currently. In order to be granted access you will need to contact your Google AdWords rep that is assigned to your account. Our approval process with the AdWords team took over a month, so be sure to get those requests submitted as soon as possible. Although visual site links can be used in many different industries, we will be focusing on the auto industries usage of their capabilities.
How do visual site links work?
If you are unfamiliar with these new extensions, they work much like regular site links on your ads but show images for each displayed link on mobile devices and have the ability to carousel through multiple images. Besides the flashy new capabilities, the addition of these new site links has a couple benefits to hone in on and highlight as a candidate for your next ad extension selection process.
As you can see in the featured image the main item that stands out is just how much real estate the visual sitelinks take up on mobile devices, practically giving your dealership the whole screen to work with before users start scrolling. Much like the price extensions, the increase in visibility has also proven to increase CTR’s and places your dealership in front of consumers as industry leaders by controlling their searching environment and providing the newest capabilities in searching for vehicles.
Since this extension is still in beta, there are some items to be aware of when using the visual site links. The first is that the AdWords platform does not currently track which image was selected by a user, but rather reports on all clicks as one bulk metric making it a bit difficult to track which image is really providing a majority of the traffic. Because this feature is not available, the optimization of orders and which content gets displayed cannot be utilized. Rather, us asaccount managers will manually select which order the images lay within the extensions. Another key element to be aware of is that these extensions are only eligable to show when you are the highest bidder and holding the top spot. The last item that may slow down your process to getting these extensions live is that the visual site link images must be of 16:9 aspect ratio as well as a minimum image size of 1,280 x 720px.
Along with the addition of these new visual site links for mobile devices, here are some other AdWords ad extensions to use as a car dealership. If you would like more information on the visual site link extensions or their impact in a case study, please contact THAT Agency.