social media marketing

How To Expand Your Social Reach With Google Ads Social Extensions

Social Extensions Make a Dull Ad Pop

Everyone wants their website to stand out- and what better way to do that than to show the world all the stamps of approval you’ve received across Google?

In 2011, Google released a new way for users to share the websites and businesses that they like with their friends and everyone across the Googlesphere. Dubbed Google Ads Social Extensions, this nifty tool allows you to give your ads a little social media twist. When Social Extensions are activated in your Ads campaigns, Google appends a +1 button to your ads along with a link to your G+ page and the total number of +1s you’ve received across the Google network. To anyone running an Ads campaign, this Ad Extension can mean the difference between getting the click and being just another ordinary ad on the periphery of Google SERPs.

Where & How Google Ads Social Extensions Display

Social Extensions are shown across both the Display and Search Network and attach three new elements to your Ads. In the upper right hand corner, Google adds a +1 button so that users can easily recommend your website. At the bottom of your ads, Google displays a link to your G+ page and the total number of the +1s you’ve collected across its network, including those you’ve received from Google+ itself, your website, and Search and Display ads.

A screenshot of a Google AdWords Ad with Social Extensions activated

The Benefits of Google Ad Extensions

Like Google’s Seller Ratings Extensions, Social Extensions can pack a huge punch on search engine results pages.

From the Google search engine perspective, Social Extensions signal relevance. Integrating your different accounts shows Google that your business exists, you’re legitimate, and that you’re in it to win it. In addition, getting involved in Google’s social network increases your visibility in its engines, which, in turn, boosts the strength of your Ads campaigns and Google+ business page.

From a human perspective, Social Extensions make your ads pop in all sorts of ways. They make your standard three lines of text visually appealing, and create new layers of interactivity and user engagement – all within your little box of real estate on Google SERPs.

From a social media perspective, positive social signals can mean a world of difference in your advertising campaigns. An experiment by Google shows that ads with the +1 annotation yielded 5-10% higher CTRs than those without. Plus-Ones show that users are fans your business or product, and if a +1 by a friend isn’t the most influential and powerful signal of endorsement on Google, I don’t know what is.

The Cost of Social Extensions

Google Ads Social Extensions can be added to your Ads campaign at no additional cost. Clicks that lead to your website are charged a standard CPC, and clicks on the +1 notation, or anywhere on your ad that leads to your G+ page, are freebies- courtesy of Google.

How to Set Up Social Extensions in Google Ads

Before you can activate Social Extensions in your Ads campaign, you must link your Google+ page to your website. To do this:

  1. Enter your homepage’s URL in the “About” section of your Google+ business page
  2. Follow the instructions to either
    • Request permission from your webmaster to link your website to Google+
    • Add a G+ link/button and a snippet of code to your homepage
  3. Hit “Test Website” to make sure the two are linked correctly

For additional support regarding linking your two pages, see Google’s G+ tutorial

A screenshot of the preliminary in setting up Google AdWords Social Extensions

After your Google+ account and website are linked,

  1. Navigate to the Ad Extensions tab in your Ads campaign
  2. Expand the Extensions menu and select Social Extensions
  3. Click the +New Extension button
  4. Input your Google+ page’s URL
  5. Hit Save
A screenshot of the first step in setting up Google AdWords Social Extensions

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