More About Enhanced Site Links and What You Should Optimize Now

Last week we learned about Google’s new enhanced site link feature. As I’m sure you read from Jaime’s blog last week, (you read it, right?) enhanced site links are site links with descriptions. Google accomplishes this by pulling ads from other ad groups that are similar to your original site links, and displaying these ad descriptions underneath the site links, which in effect makes your site links four stand-alone ads underneath your main advertisement. Phew!

This week I’m going to talk a little bit about how these site links seem to be constructed, and what is important to keep in mind upon their imminent implementation. (If you have site links enabled in your account, watch out! They are coming, whether you like it or not.)

These are the example screen shots Google uses in its blog to describe these site links:

From examining these examples you can deduce a few things.

  1. The enhanced site links do not have the same headline as the “text ads” that Google is pulling from, but instead have the same descriptions, while the headlines are the original site link text.
  2. In all four cases the enhanced site links either match up with the pulled ad description or with the pulled advertisement’s headline. For example, the “Returning Customer? Order Here” site link pulls in the description “Fresh Ingredients, Great Taste, Easy Ordering for Return Customers” which has the title “Your Favorite Pizza Store”. In this case, since “Your Favorite Pizza Store” (the ad title) has no correlation with “Returning Customer, Order Here” (the site link text), Google is pulling this ad based on the ad description.
    1. This is true in two of the other site link examples. Google pulls in an ad description that has “Location” in it for the “Store Locator” site link, and an ad description that has “Online Order” in it for the “Order Online Now” site link.
    2. In the fourth site link, “Deals in Your Area” it looks like Google is pulling in an ad description based on the subject of the ad title instead, which is “Example Pizza – Great Deals.”

Optimizing for enhanced site links:

Regardless of whether Google is pulling the description from the ad title or the ad description, from the examples above it seems they are looking for terms that are at least a “modified broad match” away from the text in the site links.

This being said, in order to take advantage of these enhanced site links, (given you have enough budget to be ranking in the top position for some of your search terms,) you must make sure your ad titles and/or descriptions have specific information pertaining to your site links, as well as have text that matches to the keywords in your site links.

One thing to be extra careful of is making sure that both your ad titles and ad descriptions are optimized specifically for the ad group they represent. For example, say you have four different types of pizza in four different ad groups. In the past maybe you have simply put the name of the pizza in the ad title, and have a generic ad description that you use in all of the ad groups for all of the different pizzas. In addition to this, in your branded campaign, you have four site links with those four pizza names.

Now think about what could happen with these automatically populated enhanced site links. Google could pull in all four of your ads from the four different pizza ad groups, because the ad titles match the site link text, but all for descriptions are exactly the same! Yikes.

If you want to take advantage of enhanced site links (and if your account has site links enabled, you are already opting in) then now it is more important than ever to make sure that the ads in your ad groups specifically align with the keywords you have in that ad group, and are different from every other ad group Google could possibly pull from.

Lastly, make sure if you want your ad description to show up as an enhanced site link, you have the site link text (or something very close to it) in the ad title or in the ad description of the ad you would like to show up as an enhanced site link.

Optimize away!


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