Increase Ad Click-Through Rates with Ad Sitelink Descriptions

By Heidi Kramer | Jul 26, 2013
More Articles by Heidi

Google announced a few months ago that ad sitelink descriptions were getting an upgrade with the Google AdWords transition to enhanced campaigns. Traditional ad sitelink extensions are links within your regular pay-per-click text ad that can direct searchers to various areas of your website, often times directing them deeper into your site and to more relevant information. Hopefully you already utilize ad sitelinks within your AdWords account, so adding descriptions shouldn’t be too big of an undertaking.  If you haven’t applied traditional sitelinks yet, now is the time to do so, along with descriptions. This will provide more information to searchers and also take up more real estate on SERPs in an effort to increase click-through rates. You can see an example below:

Screenshot of Ad Sitelink Descriptions

Why Use Descriptions?

Ad sitelink descriptions help improve click-through rates for your ads, as well as allow your ads to own more of the space on the search results page. When your ad appears on the search results page with sitelink descriptions, it gives the user additional details about your company, as well as the products and services that you offer. With this newest update, you are able to choose what your descriptions say – giving you more control over your ads and allowing you to make the information provided as useful as possible. The more relevant the information you provide to the user, the more likely he or she is to click-through to your website.


Ad sitelink descriptions are simple to implement within your account. I would advise drafting them in Excel so that you can make sure they meet the parameters set by Google.  For additional tips, check out the recent Search Mojo blog post on Excel functions.

Once you login to your account, you can access a campaign’s ad sitelink extensions within the Ad extensions tab. From this tab, you can add, remove, and edit traditional sitelinks and sitelink descriptions, analyze sitelink performance, etc.

Ad Sitelink Edits

Another great update that comes with the ad sitelink descriptions is the ability to put a start and end date on each individual sitelink, as well as integrate a custom schedule based on your marketing efforts and targeting. For example, if you are offering a promotion that is only available for a certain timeframe, or want a particular sitelink to show between the hours of 8:00am-6:00pm because your target audience searches during work hours, this is a great feature that allows you to further control when your ads are shown and who sees them.

Case Study

We are lucky enough to work with great clients day in and day out who allow us to implement new updates and see how performance can change for the better. Below you will see the performance path of a brand campaign for one of our clients where we have implemented sitelinks. (Keep in mind that brand campaigns tend to have a higher overall CTR than more generic campaigns).

Ad Sitelink Performance

As you can see, this campaign had an average click-through rate of 10.89% when no sitelinks were implemented. Once traditional sitelinks were added to the ads, the CTR went up to an average of 17.05%. With the recent arrival of ad sitelink descriptions, the CTR has increased even more to average at 28.96%.

It is great to see that while these changes may take up an extra line or two on your To Do List, it’s worth taking the time to add them within your account, as they can really improve the amount of traffic to your site through more ad clicks and a higher overall click-through rates. Have you implemented ad sitelink descriptions yet? Share your experiences below or find me on Twitter @heidinkramer!

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