Sitelinks in Google Ads are a great way to make your Ads stand out and help to improve click-through rate (CTR).
CTR is a BIG component of QS (Quality Score) and improvements in QS have a BIG impact on cost per clicks (CPC) which helps any account overall.
However, when looking at their performance in the Ads interface, it is very easy to think they are doing better than they really are. For instance, here is a real screenshot from a client account. (the grey box is mine to remove sensitive info)
55% CTR on this extension? – WOW!
Unfortunately, it’s not true as we need to segment or break out the impact of this extension(s). This is done via the ‘Segment’ button above and to the right of the metrics. In there, click the label that says “This Extension vs. Other”
You’ll then see the actual performance of each Sitelink in use for the date period you’ve chosen. For the same extension:
The CTR is really 0.12% – YIKES. (remember to compare this against the other sitelinks you are running before deciding to prune each one)
So, first part of the puzzle solved, next up, how to find good pages to add as sitelinks? In this example it is for a brand campaign, for a product or category you’d really want the sitelinks to be deeper pages within that category or different styles/colours of the product to help relevance (relevance is good for QS). In this instance, I don’t want to use ‘about us’ or ‘contact us’ pages, they are dull – nobody clicks on those, so I head over to GA and look at the All Pages report found under Behaviour/Site Content.
In here, change your dates at the top right to go back 6 months or so. What pages stand out as those clicked regularly? Do they have good time on-page and a low bounce rate? These are probably good pages – pick some at random that fit the Ad message. PRO TIP – use the ‘advanced’ filter inside GA to only include pages in the path of the product/service you are offering for even better relevance. Example – if I was selling sunglasses:
…this will show me deeper pages within my sunglasses category, pick 4 or 6 and add to each Adgroup or Campaign (an even number is always good for sitelinks).
Last tip – write descriptions for each of your sitelinks. These a) make the Ad stand out even more, b) improve the likelihood of them even showing and c) help CTR further.
Sticking with the Sunglasses theme – here is the Ad for Ray-Ban themselves. (the red box is mine)
Look at those lovely descriptions!
So – there you have it:
- Segment your sitelinks for performance
- Find new and better sitelinks
- Add descriptions for even better performance