Google recently launched image extensions within Google Ads to all advertisers. It had previously been running these in a beta program since July 2020, which was only available to certain advertisers. So what are these new extensions and how can they be used?
Image extensions show alongside the ads on the search engine results page on mobiles, with the goal of giving the ads greater visibility as well as improving overall performance. At the moment they only show for ads that are shown in the absolute top position.
To use image extensions, it’s necessary to have:
- A good history of policy compliance.
- A Google Ads account in an eligible vertical or sub-vertical that has been open for more than 90 days.
- Sensitive verticals or sub-verticals, such as sexual content, alcohol and gambling aren’t eligible for image extensions.
The best practices to create effective image extensions are:
Utilise both image extensions and dynamic image extensions
While dynamic image extensions have strict quality and relevance checks to ensure that searchers have a great experience, the image extensions provided by the advertiser will always serve over the dynamic image extensions.
Create the right image extension based on the account structure
When creating image extensions at the ad group level or campaign level, bear the account structure in mind, because the ad group level provides for the strictest relevance (assuming a well-structured account), whereas campaign level extensions provides for faster implementation in cases where images will be relevant to all ads within the campaign.
Add three unique images to the extension
Form a good balance between the amount of effort it takes to create the image extensions and its performance by striving to add around three unique and relevant images at either the ad group level or campaign level.
Implement images with both kinds of aspect ratio
Use both square (1×1) and landscape (1.91×1) images. Prioritise the square images since those are required, but use landscape images to enable more serving through experiments. (Note: Images can be cropped using the image picker during implementation).
Add relevant images
Be sure to add images relevant to the queries they will be eligible to show for, the text ads that they will show with, and the landing page the final URL directs to. Images should also be relevant in the same way as headlines and descriptions.
Make the image extension useful
The images should convey unique selling points, visually show hard-to-convey information or inspire users to take action, although Google won’t accept images that contain text content.
Focus on quality
Focus content in the centre 80% of the image as it helps the searcher to keep track of what the image is about. Simple backgrounds emphasise the essence of content.
Experiment to know what fits the content
Find inspiration by experimenting with the way the extension looks, and make use of a wide variety of creative styles, including product imagery, lifestyle imagery and creative visualisations of abstract concepts.
The benefits of using ad extensions
It’s been seen from the beta program that as consumers prefer a combination of visuals and text when it comes to advertising, the ad’s click through rate can be improved.
As more consumers use mobiles for searching now, image extensions help the ad to stand out in the search results and appeal to the visual eye of consumers, which can drive more mobile traffic to the website.