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Sitelink Tactics the Every Marketer Should Implement

Sitelink Tactics the Every Marketer Should Implement

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Published by IMPAQT
Sitelinks are an ad copy extension introduced by Google in 2010 and modified multiple times since their inception. There are several versions of sitelinks either currently in production or in a Beta test.
Sitelinks are an ad copy extension introduced by Google in 2010 and modified multiple times since their inception. There are several versions of sitelinks either currently in production or in a Beta test.

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Published by: IMPAQT on Mar 29, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Sitelink Tactics that Every Marketer Should Implement

What Are Sitelinks and How Do They Work?
Sitelinks are an ad copy extension introduced by Google in 2010 and modified multiple times since their inception. There are several versions of sitelinks either currently in production or in a Beta test. One-Line Sitelinks: Display up to four sitelinks across one line. They are triggered with more generic terms, but may also include brand terms.

Two and Three-Line Sitelinks: Display up to six sitelinks across two or three lines. Designed to trigger in situations where an ad provides the ideal answer for a search query. Mostly triggered by brand terms.

Embedded Sitelinks: Sitelinks will trigger whenever your ad qualifies to appear above the search results and the text in your ad exactly matches one or more of your Sitelinks.

We have seen sitelinks increase the clickthrough rate (CTR) for a campaign by 15% - 30%. According to Google, three-line sitelinks can increase CTR by 45%. Embedded sitelinks are currently still in testing and results are not yet statistically significant. Google decides which version of sitelinks to show based on a quality threshold that Google engineers have determined to be based upon user experience and query. Advertisers cannot control which version of sitelinks are displayed at this time. Generally, two-line and three-line sitelinks will serve for very high quality, high CTR ads (usually branded queries). The one-line format for high quality ads isn’t quite as stringent as the core brand terms/two-line sitelinks. They meet a second level threshold and can be triggered for non-brand or brand campaigns. Generally, the shorter the sitelink, the more likely it is to be triggered.

© 2011 IMPAQT LLC

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Insights

Sitelink Tactics that Every Marketer Should Implement

The embedded format shows for ads that show above search results, but do not pass either the two-line or one-line threshold. The sitelink will be embedded if it is a natural part of the ad copy language. In the mobile space, only two sitelinks will show at a time.

How Do Sitelinks Affect Quality Score?
Changing a sitelink for a Paid Search campaign will not directly change the Quality Score (QS) for your keyword or ad copy but can affect the ad QS as testing new sitelinks will affect the ad’s CTR. If CTR improves, your QS can improve. But don’t think about sitelinks as a way to change QS in the way that new ad copy will.

How Can We Test Sitelinks?
New sitelinks can be rotated into testing, just as traditional headline or description ad copy testing is performed. However, Google may not show the new sitelinks for a long period of time if they do not feel the new sitelink is providing a good user experience. This is dependent upon, but not limited to, the order the sitelinks were loaded into the campaign, historical performance, and which ad group the query is coming from.

What Sitelinks Should We Test in the Future?
Sitelinks help users access deeper pages within a Website quickly, which helps increase user experience. We recommend that they use the following methods. To find out which pages are good to use for sitelinks, use your analytics data to answer the following questions:
    

For visits originating from branded terms, which pages or sections of the Web site are most commonly visited? For visits originating from non-branded terms, which pages or sections of the Web site are most commonly visited? Which pages on the Web site have a high time on site? Which pages on the Web site have a low bounce rate percentage? What are your most popular products/services?

Also consider using sitelinks to drive awareness or traffic for:

Social networks, such as Facebook. Sitelinks typically have to drive a user to the same domain as seen in the display URL of the ad copy; however, Google allows one sitelink to drive to a social network such as Facebook or Twitter. Promotions should be highlighted within a sitelink – current deals should be frequently updated.

© 2011 IMPAQT LLC

I

www.IMPAQT.com

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Insights

Sitelink Tactics that Every Marketer Should Implement

 

Consider your company goals. If a goal is get more people to visit the nearest location to them, think about how many might be deterred by having to click through too many pages in order to find the location. Adding “Find Location” as a sitelink can get the searcher to their desired destination easier, and therefore, to your nearest location more often. Seasonal value propositions such as “Top Holiday Gifts” can be effective. Use sitelinks to play on your customer’s desires. For example: “Gifts under $100” “Top gifts for dads” and “Top 10 gifts of the season.”

Closing Thoughts
Sitelinks are a powerful, effective tool for increasing customer satisfaction and campaign performance. As with any experiment, do your research, test, measure, and revise.

© 2011 IMPAQT LLC

I

www.IMPAQT.com

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