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Google AdWords: the dos and don’ts of callout extensions

Callout extensions are a really important component of Google AdWords, and they can be incredibly useful in describing what your business has to offer that may not be clear by your links and description alone.

Take the example below from Google:

acme example

“Acme Electronics” uses AdWords and is able to list their website in the first line, general business description in the second line, and then the third line offers three “call-out” phrases where they can let users know about special services they offer which set them apart from the competition.

It is a non-clickable addition to your listing, similar to rich snippets. In this case they have chosen three callout extensions:

  • Free Shipping
  • 24-7 Customer Service
  • Price Matching

It is clear that in order for callout extensions to be useful, you want to pick things that are not only relevant to what your company offers, but also things that are going to stand out and set your company apart from the rest.

So what are the best practices? How can you take this opportunity and make it work for your business? Read below to get a feel for how to be most successful:

Getting started with callout extensions

Not only are callout extensions included in your AdWords advertisement options, but if you aren’t using them, you are still paying for this space that just simply isn’t being used.

To get started you will want to sign in and open your AdWords account. Look at your campaigns tab and then click on “Ad Extensions” to the campaign where you want to make this addition.

Then you will want to view your “callout extensions” from the dropdown menu. Callout Extensions can be implemented at account, campaign, or ad group level. See the screenshot below as an example:

callout extensions

Once you have filled out 2+ callout extensions (although 3-4 is recommended), the page will look something like this:

number of callout extensions

As you can see in this example above, four different callouts are being used by the AdWords account above:

  • Customized quotes
  • Nationally recognized
  • Unsurpassed quality
  • Creative edge

Anywhere from two to four of these four callout extensions will appear at the bottom of the ad, just like the Acme example above.

Remember that callout extensions may not always show on your ads either – AdWords use several factors to determine how many callouts will actually show at any given time (if any at all).

Unfortunately these factors are unknown, but that being said, the basics are easy with callout extensions and it takes practically no time to get them set up.

The hard part is getting creative and figuring out exactly what it is that you need to do to develop the correct callout extensions for your business specifically. Keep in mind that callout extensions are nothing new, but some of the dos and don’ts have changed, so learn the latest best practices below.

Do: highlight services you offer

Do you offer free shipping? 24/7 customer service? Price matching? These kinds of services that are exactly what you want to highlight in callout extensions.

People love to know that when they choose a business, they are going to be getting some benefit with you that they won’t get from someone else. When it is right in the ad itself, people are more likely to click and move forward with your company.

Do: create multiple callout extensions

One thing that really helps for optimizing callout extensions is to create four or more extensions for each campaign. The more that AdWords has to work with, the more optimized your ads are going to be. You shouldn’t have less than 4 callout extensions on any campaign, and the more the better!

Do: be unique and creative

Originality and uniqueness are the basics for developing callout extensions because they are going to draw attention that other companies in your industry do not have on their campaigns.

One of the most challenging parts is actually thinking of two-word phrases that will capture attention. There are a ton of callout extension “lists” online that can help to get you started, but you really want to choose something that is original and eye-grabbing.

In the AdWords account above for an advertisement photographer, the phrase “nationally recognized” is effective because it sets their studio apart from other photographers with credibility. Try to think of things that other businesses may not necessarily have when stacked up against you.

You can also implement custom callout extension scheduling so you can have certain extensions only run in the morning, during holidays, or whatever is going to optimize your specific campaigns.

Don’t: go overboard on characters

The limit for characters on callout extensions is 25, but I would recommend only using 12-15 characters for each callout extension that you add. You want them to be readable and really eye-catching. When you go overboard on this you limit the chances that 3 extensions are actually going to fit nicely side by side.

Don’t: use title casing

Title casing means that you capitalize: All of The Letters in the Sentence or Phrase. While this might be tempting to do, studies have shown that it is actually more effective to only capitalize the first word of the phrase in Google AdWords callout extensions.

This is because it is easier for people to read three side-by-side, and it puts more emphasis on each individual phrase. Although this might feel a little awkward, it is definitely best practice in this case.

Some examples!

Below are a list of callout extensions that could be useful. Keep in mind that you must offer these services and have them be relevant to your industry in order to actually use them as callout extensions:

  • History of results
  • 40yrs combined experience
  • No service fees
  • Money back guarantee
  • Free Cancellation
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Best price guarantee
  • Peace of mind guarantee
  • Best rate guarantee
  • Top customer service reps
  • Expert friendly service
  • Guaranteed satisfaction
  • 10% Off clearance items
  • Customization leader
  • Free shipping
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • Shop best sellers
  • Top designer collections
  • Price matching
  • Upfront pricing
  • Trusted for 50 years
  • Fast response
  • Affordable pricing

The takeaway

Callout extensions are a great opportunity to add more to your existing ad. In fact, you can even hack the system and use them as an additional line on your ad if you want to.

The important thing is to make sure that you are using callouts to the fullest and taking every opportunity you can to make them unique, useful, and stand-out compared to other competitors in your industry.

Make sure that you highlight the services you offer that make choosing your company the best deal. Most importantly, make sure that you implement multiple callout extensions (more than 4), so that AdWords can optimize your ads in the most useful ways.

And lastly, keep the character limit low and don’t use title case. Hopefully these dos and don’ts will get you on track and help your callout extensions to be more optimized than they are currently!

Do you have any other thoughts on callout extension advice? Let us know in the comments section below! We would love to hear from you.

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer for HigherVisibility, a full service SEO agency, and a contributor to SEW. You can connect with Amanda on Twitter and LinkedIn



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