As someone who pays attention to what search engines say about their product releases and updates made to their systems, I was surprised to see Google’s AdWords blog lacked a mention about a new conversion tracking for their extension products (Sitelinks, Location, Call, Social, and Product). Instead, the news was broken (at least to me) by Search Engine Watch, with the article Google AdWords Ad Extensions Get Conversion Tracking, by John Lee.
This news is a big deal, especially for those of us who’ve been dedicated to updating sitelinks, testing out different product ads, figuring out whether the location extensions will negatively affect conversions of the online site, etc. So, sound the trumpets! Extension conversion tracking is here! No longer will you linger in the dark as to what happens after that extension is clicked; the ‘did they convert/did they bounce’ question will be answered (mostly, you still can’t see data at the individual sitelink level.)
But what does this mean to you, the AdWords guru? With the latest update, you can see whether the conversion on your campaign came from the text ad or the extension (see the John Lee article for more details about breaking out the data into segments). That data can be used to dazzle your client or boss, and show them the great effectiveness of AdWords extensions. And even better, Google can stop pushing ad extensions based on their theory that they work and instead show us the results.
Case in point: I have a client with sitelinks and location extensions. In the past 30 days, the sitelinks on their campaigns have contributed 14% of the total conversions on the account. Who is to say that those conversions would have occurred on the plain text ad? Not this girl; there was something in the sitelink text that was more appealing than the standard text ad, which led to a click and a conversion.
For the location extensions, one of the client’s fears was that we would lose traffic to the online store if people knew there was a brick and mortar location nearby. And did that happen? I doubt it. Only 0.4%(!!) of all clicks were people seeking directions to the store. The conversions on the campaign were either derived from clicking the headline or the sitelinks. Now, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t people who saw the ad, noticed the location, and then drove over without converting online, but it does mean that having location extensions doesn’t stop someone from converting on your website.
So, read the article. Play with your data. Create colorful graphs and charts showing just how fabulous Google AdWords extensions are. The trumpets have sounded – can you ignore their call?