With Google’s announcement of enhanced campaigns and as the Bing Yahoo! Network rolls out deep links in ads for the first time, Google have finally made some crucial updates to how advertisers use site links on their AdWords platform.
Firstly, a pet hate of mine was the inability to properly edit site link ad extensions. In what are now referred to by Google as legacy campaigns, site links could be edited in a campaign to change the text or link but this would, 1) reset performance data to zero, and, 2) effectively delete the site link you had before so you have no record in the interface of historical site link text or links. As part of Google’s big upgrade to Adwords, site links can now be freely edited without either of these drawbacks.
Site links can now be set at ad group level which means more granularity of the deep links, allowing more tailoring to the keywords within an ad group. Also, the big and most long awaited change is the advent of individual site link level reporting. Performance metrics will no longer be only aggregated for the site link group, individual link performance will be available meaning advertisers can now optimise individual site links, e.g. site link A does not perform as well as site link B, so test a different phrase or landing page – historically, it was not possible to discern which link was dragging down performance or performing the best.
With the increased focus on mobile with enhanced campaigns, advertisers can now specify site links preference for mobile devices. This was possible in legacy campaigns that targeted mobile only but was not possible in campaigns that targeted multiple devices before. Applications for use include:
• shorter phrases for mobile site links as the screen is smaller
• mobile call to actions in mobile site links such as call now, view locations, find a branch near you, download our app
• ensuring mobile site links match what can often be fewer navigational options on a mobile optimised site
As part of Google’s site link editorial crackdown, each individual site link will now be reviewed separately. This is a huge benefit to advertisers. In legacy campaigns, one link within a group of site links could trigger disapproval of all the site links, meaning the ad extension would stop appearing for the entire campaign. In enhanced campaigns, a single site link can be disapproved, but the remaining approved site links will be eligible to appear for that ad group or campaign.
Lastly, site links can now be scheduled. This means advertisers have more flexibility over changing site links and automating that process. For example, different site links could be used outside of office hours, or call centre hours. Special offer page site links can be scheduled, saving time.
All of the above site link changes are pretty positive, especially in the light of the other enhanced campaign news. It is almost as if Google held back all this great site link flexibility to sweeten an update which is suffering from more mixed reviews.