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How to Write Great Sitelinks For Google Ads

Experienced PPC marketers know that the secret to successful PPC campaigns that stand out in the digital jungle that is SERP is creating a tight bond between ad copy, extensions, and landing page. Typically, people that click on your ad on the search engine results page (SERP) are directed to your landing page. However, more often than not you may find it useful to direct your visitors to other sections of your website or add multiple options for them to choose from straight from the SERP. So, how do you do that? How do you add this extra layer of customization to your Google Ads – The answer is sitelinks.

The term actually speaks for itself – sitelinks are links to various pages on your website. Once you set up sitelinks, they will appear below your ad text giving your users up to eight extra links to click. Sitelinks contain three elements – one headline (the link text) and two description lines. The headline appears as a clickable text and has a 25 character limit. On the other hand, the description lines appear as non-clickable texts and have a 35 character limit per description line.

Sitelinks are great for running successful branded campaigns. While your ad takes visitors to your homepage, you may probably find it useful to add direct links to your most popular pages, such as Products, About, Contact Us, and so on. Let’s say you are advertising snickers. The same model could come in different variations for men and women. In this case, it would be useful to set separate sitelinks for male and female models, assuming they are on separate pages on your website. This way you will drive more meaningful clicks as your visitors jump exactly to what they want to buy. This also means a better user experience which leads to more site visitors and ultimately more sales.

Sitelinks differ depending on the device

Ads that display entire sitelinks are usually placed in the first or second ad position of Google’s search results. Ads in lower positions may only show the sitelinks’ headline or not show sitelinks at all. However, their formatting differs depending on device, position, and some other factors. Sitelinks that appear on desktop or laptop show between two and six links and those that appear on tablets or mobile devices can show up to eight links. This is why it is important to create at least eight different options when setting up sitelinks.

How sitelinks work

Sitelinks can be added at either account, campaign, or ad group level, and you can also specify the link text that is shown to a searcher. The sitelinks you add at the account or group level will potentially show with all the ads in the account or campaign. Google will sometimes supplement your sitelinks with descriptions you provided taken from meta descriptions of the pages in question or borrow other ad text in your account. However, since Google’s AI picks text which it thinks will perform best, we suggest adding the details yourself when creating or editing sitelinks. By doing so, you will make sure that your sitelinks are described in the best possible way and that your searchers have no doubt about where they would land once they click on them.

Why you should use sitelinks in your Google Ads

There are many reasons to add sitelinks to your ads. One of the main reasons is that you can easily keep them up to date for sales and special promotions. This will save you a lot of time since you don’t need to make new ads for your promotions. You can simply change the link text and URLs to match your offers.

Sitelinks can increase your presence on the SERP by increasing the size of your ad. This makes your ad stand out amongst your competition.

Since sitelinks provide users with suitable links and landing pages that match their intent, they can potentially increase your conversion rates. If implemented strategically, they can be used to funnel your visitors toward a conversion point much faster.

Sitelinks provide detailed data on the clicks they generate. The statistics are available by a campaign, ad group, or ad. By segmenting these statistics you can gain valuable insight into trends and the number of clicks that occurred on the individual sitelink when compared to the ad text.

Sitelinks are flexible additions to your ads that provide more context to your users. For example, you can create mobile-optimized sitelinks and specify the dates, days of the week, or even times of day they are eligible to show. Also, you won’t lose any performance data when editing them.

Sitelinks are free to use, which means they don’t increase your cost per click. You will be charged the same amount no matter whether the user clicked on your ad text or sitelink.

What to keep in mind when setting up sitelink extensions for your Google Ads

Here are a few best practices to remember when setting up sitelinks:

  • Create at least two sitelinks so you would be sure that they are eligible to show on the search engine results page.
  • Keep link text short – The shorter the links, the more of them will be shown. This is why it is crucial to stay within Google’s limits.
  • Match links with your website’s navigation setup – When creating sitelinks, make sure to take a look at your navigation bar. Matching the link text with sections in your navigation bar will make it easier for your users to navigate your website.
  • Add descriptions – You should not trust Google’s AI to pick the text for you. Since they don’t reduce the number of sitelinks shown, we suggest you take your time and come up with descriptions that will be most helpful to your users.
  • Avoid applying sitelinks on the account level. While you have the option to do that, it is better to create sitelinks that are relevant to your campaign strategy. This way you will gain more insight into granular performance data for sitelink testing.
  • Don’t use the same link text for more than one sitelink. You don’t want to confuse your future customers.
  • Don’t create multiple sitelinks that lead to the same landing page.
  • Sitelinks will not serve if the landing page URL differs from the domain of the ad’s final URL.
  • Don’t use symbols, excessive punctuation, or emojis.
  • You should not use sitelinks to strongly focus on a certain message you wish to promote with your ads. Instead, it is better to offer your visitors a variety of landing pages to choose from.
google ads sitelinks for alpha efficiency
This is how we did it for our Google Ads

 

How to add sitelink extensions

Adding sitelinks is fairly easy. Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to do that:

  • Navigate to Ads & extensions in the page menu and click on Extensions
  • Click the plus (+) button and select + Sitelink extension
  • From the Add to drop-down menu select whether you wish to add the sitelink to account, ad group, or ad level
  • You can use your existing sitelinks by clicking on Use existing and selecting the sitelink that you wish to turn on
  • Click on Create new to create a new sitelink
  • Enter the sitelink text and URL
  • Though this step is optional, we highly recommend that you fill out the Description fields with the text you want your sitelink to display
  • Click Save

Device preferences

In this part of the article we will show you how to optimize your sitelinks to display on mobile devices:

  • Navigate to Ads & extensions in the page menu and click on Extensions
  • Navigate to the campaign that contains the sitelink you wish to optimize and click the pencil icon next to it
  • A window should appear in which you need to click on the arrow in the top right corner
  • Click on the Advanced options drop-down menu
  • Check the box next to Mobile
  • Click Save

How to schedule a sitelink

  • Choose the campaign that contains the sitelink you wish to edit
  • Navigate to Ads & extensions in the page menu and click on Extensions
  • Click on the sitelink you wish to schedule
  • A window should appear in which you need to click on the arrow in the top right corner
  • Click on the Advanced options drop-down menu
  • Set a start date and end date to determine the timeframe during which your sitelink will show
  • Under Extension schedule, you need to select days and times you want your sitelink to show and click Add
  • Click Save

Final thoughts

We hope that this article has shown you what a powerful tool sitelinks can be in your advertising efforts. If executed properly, sitelinks can add a pretty thick extra layer of value to your Google Ads and do the great job in PPC strategy fulfillment. Besides increasing your presence on Google’s search engine results page, these free extensions also serve for better user experience providing your future customers with more information on your offers and giving them an option to land directly on the page of their preference. They help increase your conversion rate by funneling your customers through the sales process in a more meaningful way. And all that with no extra charge.

Brian Djordjevic
About The Author

Brian Dordevic

Bojan is Marketing Strategic Planner with a passion for all things digital. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or schedule a consultation call with him.

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