Google Ads Sitelink Extensions and How to Optimize Them for Success

What Are Google Ads Sitelink Extensions?

Google Ads Sitelink Extensions are additional links that can appear below your ad, directing users to specific pages on your website. They provide more opportunities for users to navigate to relevant parts of your site directly from the search results, increasing the visibility and functionality of your ads.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the concept of sitelink extensions and offer strategies to maximize their impact in your Google advertising campaigns.

What Are Sitelink Extensions?

Sitelink extensions, also known as sitelink assets, are additional links that can appear in search or video ads managed through Google Ads. These links provide users with direct access to specific pages on the advertiser’s website, beyond the main landing page.

For instance

While sitelink extensions are optional for advertisers, their appearance is not guaranteed, as Google determines their display based on various factors.

Types of Sitelink Extensions (+ Sitelink Examples)

Sitelink extensions can enhance both Search and Video campaigns, offering varied display formats based on the ad context and settings.

Search Campaign Sitelinks These extensions appear in Search campaigns, augmenting sponsored results on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).

On desktops, ads typically showcase two to six sitelinks, arranged in either one or two columns, each with descriptions. For instance:

Sitelink extensions in two columns on desktop

Sitelink extensions appearing side by side on desktop

Mobile ads can include one to eight sitelinks, displayed in a vertical list or side by side in a swipeable carousel:

Sitelink extensions in a vertical list on mobile

Sitelink extensions side by side on mobile

Moreover, Sitelink extensions are compatible with AdSense for Search, which displays Google search results on third-party websites.


Video Campaign Sitelinks

Sitelink extensions can be integrated into ads shown before, during, or after a YouTube video, but users must expand a compatible ad to view them.

These extensions typically present two to four sitelinks:

Google’s beta test results indicate that video ads incorporating sitelinks yield a 23% increase in conversions and a 50% surge in clicks.

What Are the Benefits of Using Sitelink Extensions?

Using sitelink extensions in your ads can significantly improve your click-through rate (CTR) by capturing users’ attention and providing them with more options. Sitelinks also occupy valuable space above the fold on both desktop and mobile devices, ensuring prominent visibility.

Additionally, users who click on sitelinks are often more likely to convert, as they can quickly navigate to the page they’re interested in. This can result in a lower cost per action (CPA) and a higher return on ad spend (ROAS). Sitelinks are cost-effective, as you only pay for the additional clicks they generate.

They also offer detailed analytics data for performance tracking, allow easy updates to text and URLs, and provide control over when and where they appear. However, it’s important to note that sitelinks are not guaranteed to show in your ads, so following best practices is crucial for maximizing their effectiveness.

Best Practices for Sitelink Extensions

These sitelink extension best practices will help you create multi-link ads that boost clicks and conversions:

Choose Sitelink Destinations Carefully

Selecting the right sitelink destinations is critical for Google to display them and improve your ad performance. It’s essential to choose the most relevant pages for each ad type carefully.

Sitelinks are often displayed when search intent is unclear or varied, as they provide users with additional options.

For instance, when searching for a brand name like “amazon.com,” sitelinks are commonly displayed, offering users quick access to specific sections of the website.

Regardless of your ad type, it’s crucial to consider two key factors when selecting sitelink destinations: the user’s likely interests and the pages you want to promote. For example, if you’re running an ad for your portable printers category targeting users searching for “portable printers,” you should choose sitelinks that direct users to relevant product pages or buying guides to enhance their browsing experience and potentially increase conversions.

Let’s consider some sitelink options for your portable printers category ad:

  1. Portable printer product pages: These are directly relevant to the user’s search query and can potentially lead to more conversions. Including sitelinks to your best-selling models can be highly effective.
  2. Portable printer buying guide: While this may be interesting to the searcher, you should evaluate if it’s worth paying for clicks to this page. Consider the potential benefits and costs before including this as a sitelink.
  3. Entire printer category: Since the user has expressed interest in a specific type of product (portable printers), linking to your entire printer category might not be useful in this context. This sitelink is unlikely to show or generate clicks.

To gain a better understanding of search intent and refine your sitelink strategy, you can use tools like Semco’s Keyword Overview tool.

Enter your desired keyword, select your preferred location, and click on the “Search” button to initiate the search using the Keyword Overview tool.

Then, review the following data columns displayed by the tool:

  1. Intent: This column specifies the type of search intent behind the keyword, categorizing it as navigational, informational, commercial, or transactional.
  2. Volume: The volume column indicates the average number of monthly searches for the keyword, giving you an idea of its popularity.
  3. CPC (USD): This column provides the estimated cost per click for the keyword in U.S. dollars, helping you understand its competitiveness.
  • Results Icon: Click on the icon in the “Results” column to view the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), which allows you to analyze your competitors’ ads and gain insights into what searchers and Google are prioritizing.

Analyzing the SERP can provide valuable insights into user behavior and competitor strategies, helping you refine your sitelink strategy for optimal performance.

Keep Sitelink Text Short

Limit sitelink text to 25 characters for most languages (12 for double-width languages like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean)

To avoid truncation by Google, which can harm your click-through rate (CTR).

Add Sitelink Descriptions

Consider adding sitelink descriptions to provide page summaries and entice users to click.

These descriptions do not reduce the number of links you can show, so it’s beneficial to include them for each sitelink in your ads. They help users understand the content of each page and why they should click through.

Enable Dynamic Sitelinks

Enabling dynamic sitelinks allows Google to automatically add sitelinks and descriptions to your ads, improving ad performance. These dynamic sitelinks appear similar to manual sitelinks and require no extra setup. Additionally, you can easily remove any dynamic sitelinks that you do not wish to include.

How to Enable Sitelinks in Google Ads

Once you have planned your sitelinks and refined your strategy, enabling sitelinks in Google Ads is straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the sidebar menu, go to “Ads & assets” > “Assets.”
  • Click the blue plus icon (“+”) to add a new asset.
  • Select “Sitelink” from the drop-down menu.
  • Fill out the form on the left to create your sitelinks. The preview on the right shows how your ads will look with sitelinks.
  • Click the “Add to” button above the form and choose whether to display your sitelinks at the account, campaign, or ad group level.
  • You can add more sitelinks by clicking “Add sitelink” below the form.
  • Once you’re satisfied with your sitelinks, click “Save.”

Monitor your sitelinks regularly to track their performance and make adjustments as needed.

Why Aren’t My Google Ads Showing Sitelinks?

if your sitelink extensions aren’t appearing in your Google Ads, several reasons could be at play:

  1. Incorrect setup: Ensure all necessary fields are properly completed in Google Ads.
  2. Relevance: Conduct SERP analysis to understand search intent better and choose more relevant sitelinks.
  3. Low ad position or Ad Rank: Optimize your PPC ads to improve their Quality Score and increase their chances of showing sitelinks.
  4. Google’s assessment: Sometimes, Google may decide that sitelinks won’t improve ad performance in certain cases, so no action is required.

For further guidance, refer to Google’s sitelink extensions guide. You can also leverage Semco’s Advertising Toolkit to enhance your digital advertising strategy, including analyzing competitors’ ad strategies, discovering optimal keywords, and optimizing your keyword list for Google Ads.

Improve Advertising Results with Semco

Enhance your advertising outcomes with Semco’s Advertising Toolkit, designed to streamline your efforts and improve results on Google Ads.

Utilize this toolkit to bolster your broader digital advertising strategy. Sign up for a free account and access tools such as:

  • Advertising Research: Analyze competitors’ domains to gain insights into their ad strategies.
  • Keyword Magic Tool: Discover top-performing keywords for your paid search campaigns.
  • Keyword Gap: Identify keywords that competitors are bidding on but you’re not.
  • PPC Keyword Tool: Optimize your keyword list for Google Ads to enhance campaign performance.
  • Position Tracking: Monitor your site’s rankings in paid and organic search results to track progress.