Why Google’s Newest Ad Extension Provides A Competitive Advantage

A Google Search Ad contains four lines of text: a headline also known as a title (limited to 25 characters), two description lines of text (both limited to 35 characters), and a display URL. Within an ad there are a number of best -practices to make ads stand apart from the competition, which I have written about before in my blog post: Why Google Advertisers Need To Know Their Quality Score under the paragraph Improving quality score through ad copy.  These best-practices include tying creative to keywords, including a call to action and the proper use of Ad Extensions.

This article is going to discuss how to create distinction between your ad and the competitors with the use of Google Ad Extensions and specifically Google’s new Callout Extension.

Google Ad Extensions allows advertisers to place extra information in their ad.  Using Ad Extensions is an important and strategic way to increase your ads click through rate (CTR) by adding extra pieces of information within your ads that may not be used by all of your competitors. This extra line allows advertiser’s ads additional information to set themselves apart

Google Ad Extensions are nothing new, most Google Ad Extensions have been in place for years. Existing Ad Extensions included: Sitelink Extensions, Location Extensions, Call Extensions, App Extensions and Review Extensions. However, in October 2014, just in time for the holidays Google rolled out their newest extension – the Callout Extension.

What The Callout Extension Is – Google Callout Extensions allow advertisers to add another line of text just below the description text. The Callout Extension displays two distinct Callout Extensions simultaneously on the same line; in fact at least two Callout Extensions must be present in an advertiser’s account for Callout Extensions to be eligible to show. Callout Extensions are limited to 25 characters each and are not clickable and do not cost extra to display, they are simply another way to make your ads stand out from your competitors. Although there is no charge for displaying Callout Extensions, note advertisers will be charged per usual if an ad is clicked. Also, Callout Extensions are more likely to appear when an ad appears in the top one to two positions.

What It Looks Like – In the example below, I am showing an ad for my client Safes ETC. The ad appears in the top position and is showing both Sitelink Extensions as well as the just released Callout Extension.  In the ad, Google has combined the headline with the first line of description text (which happens when you close the first line with a period) and is then displaying the second line of description text and then the two distinct Callout Extensions (Plus Save 5% – NewYear15 and Those Who Know Shop Here) and finally the Sitelink Extensions.  As you can see the Callout Extensions appear above the Sitelink Extensions and are not clickable, just simply another line of text savvy Google advertisers can use.

Example of Callout Extension


How To Set It Up – Callout Extensions can be added on either an account level or a campaign level.  In order to set up on an account level, perform the following steps.

  1. Login to your Google AdWords account.
  2. Click on the Ad Extensions tab.
  3. Under the Campaigns tab, there is a pulldown menu of different ad extension types. Click the arrow and select Callout extensions.
  4. Click the red + Extensions box.
  5. Scroll down and select + New callout.
  6. Enter the new Callout text (here Google also allows you schedule when you would like to appear, leave this blank if you would like it to appear all the time).
  7. After you enter your callout text and schedule click save.
  8. Repeat to add additional Callout Extensions.

In order to setup Callout Extensions for the campaign level, first select the campaign in AdWords that the Callout Extensions should appear and then repeat the steps above.

Remember, there needs to be at least two Callout Extensions in order for the extensions to be eligible to show; however Google only shows two at a time.  Meaning if you have more than two Callout Extensions, Google will rotate the extensions allowing advertisers to test multiple extensions. This is best-practice so an advertise can determine and optimize the most effective Callout Extension.

Google Callout Extensions are new and in being new is where advertisers who add Callout Extensions to their account will gain an advantage, before Callout Extensions become common practice.  Google is now giving advertisers in the top spots the ability to add an additional line of text.  More text equals the ability to add more relevant information that will have users clicking on an ad; thus improving click through rates (CTR), quality score and the effectiveness of the Google campaign. A nice new tool from Google for those advertisers who wish to take advantage of the newest ad extension, I have been finding a healthy increase in CTR when used correctly.

Still need help or looking for someone to bounce ideas off?  I am currently offering free marketing strategy sessions to those interested. Contact True Online Presence at 1-888-456-6943 to schedule.

Happy Marketing!


Andy Splichal is an online marketing strategist with more than a decade and a half of experience helping companies increase their online presence and profitable revenues. Although this blog focuses on driving profitable traffic through Google AdWords, True Online Presence offers additional services for lead generation as well as other proven marketing strategies customized for each client.