In-Depth Guide For Manual & Automatic Ad Extensions

April 21, 2021

What are Ad Extensions?

Ad Extensions are useful features in Google Ads because it enables you to provide additional information about your business. It is typically associated with Paid Search ads, but may also appear on the Google Display Network. This additional information helps to improve the visibility of your ads, while adding greater the value to the user. Ads with relevant extensions can also help to boost the click-through rate (CTR) and help to improve the Quality Score metric. 

It is recommended to make use of as many extensions that are relevant to your business. Google will further select the extensions that will be displayed with your ads. As a general rule, the higher the ad rank and ad position, the greater the probability of your ads being shown to users. Thus, the addition of ad extensions helps to further improve the ad performance. 

There are 2 types of ad extensions – Manual and Automated. Manual Extensions require you to manually set it up. Automated Extensions are automatically applied to the ad, following Google’s Ads’ discretion. 


Automated Ad Extensions

As mentioned, automated extensions are automatically generated by Google and do not require any set up actions from you. However, if you want more control over the extensions, do manually input your own extensions. Your manual input will generally override any automated sitelinks.

However, do note that Google will still make the final decision in which extension will be shown to which audience. Let’s explore the different types of automated extensions:


1. Dynamic Sitelink Extension

These are links that are automatically added to your ad which allows users to directly view the information or web page that they are looking for.. In other words, these are links to “conversion-focused” web pages which promote a specific user action.

Auto Dynamic ExtensionSource: Google

2. Dynamic Structured Snippet Extension

These are extensions that automatically show additional information about your business. It provides useful and relevant information to users at a glance. The information is meant to help users decide if your site contains answers to their search query.

Auto Structured Snippet ExtensionSource: Google

3. Dynamic Callout Extension

Similar to the dynamic structured snippet extension, these provides relevant information at a glance. Such information includes things like “Order Online” or “Great Service”. These extensions will only show when Google predicts that it will boost ad performance. 

Source: Google

4. Automated Call Extension

These are extensions that allow you to add contact numbers to your ads. When your ads are shown with the call extension, mobile users will be able to simply click on the link to call you business directly. With the direct ability to connect with you, customer engagement will also improve.

Auto Call ExtensionSource: Google

5. Automated Location Extension

Help users to find your business locations by showing your address and a map to your location. Since this service is connected to Google Maps, users can even find directions to your location. In addition to the address, this extension may also include a phone number so that users can easily contact your business for more information.

Auto Location ExtensionSource: Google

6. Automated Seller Ratings Extension

These are extensions that help to gain trust from new users. Google will be able to display your ratings only if your business has garnered some ratings on various websites. The ratings across these websites will be aggregated and averaged out to show the final rating, usually out of 5 stars.

Auto Seller Ratings ExtensionSource: Google


Manual Ad Extensions

Manual ad extensions are added by you to provide additional information about your business. They are seamlessly incorporated as part of your ads to help boost ad performance.

How To Set Manual Ad Extensions

Setting up extensions for your ads are just as simple as setting up your ads. Simply follow the steps below:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads Account
  2. Click on “Ads & Extensions” on the left-hand menu and then 
  3. Click on “Extensions” at the top of the page which will bring you to the Extensions management page. 
  4. To create a new extension, click the blue “Plus” button


Setting Up Extensions (1)Source: Google Ads

Once you click on the Plus button, you will be provided with a list of extensions that you can select. For this example, we will run through the process of setting up  the “Sitelink extension”.

Setting Up ExtensionsSource: Google Ads

Select “Sitelink extension” and you will be brought to the extension set up page. Each extension will have their own variable that you must enter. Google will provide prompts and guidance to help you with the setting up process.


Setting Up ExtensionsSource: Google Ads

For the Sitelink extension, you will need a minimum of at least 2 sitelinks. You can also decide if you want to add the sitelink to your “Account”, “Campaign” or “Ad Group”. Additionally, you will also be given a desktop and mobile preview of what your extensions will look like when shown together with your ad.

Once you have input the relevant information for the sitelinks, you may also decide when you want your extensions to be shown in the “Advanced” options. When you are done, make sure to hit “Save” and your extension will be under review. You will soon be notified of the successful set up of your extension. Now that you know how to manually setup your extensions, let’s explore the different types of extensions that you can consider as you set up your ad.


1. Sitelink Extension

As shown in the example above, these are links that are automatically added to your ad which allows users to easily access relevant pages on your website. Depending on how you have set up your extension, your ad may show with or without the accompanying description.

For example:

Manual Sitelink ExtensionSource: Google

2. Callout Extension

Similar to the sitelinks extensions, callout extensions provide extra information about your business. They usually appear after your description but before your sitelink extensions. These types of extensions allow you to showcase your unique offerings such as on-going promotions. In the example below, Pizza Hut (Singapore) has chosen to highlight their delivery options, delivery timings and also their promotions. Users looking at the ad will immediately know if the ad is relevant to them.  

Manual Callout ExtensionSource: Google


3. Structured Snippet Extension

Structured snippet extensions lets you highlight unique attributes of your product or services. Examples of how structured  snippet extension can be used are:

  • Highlight technical aspects of your business
  • Highlight job roles of your customers to attract attention from people of the same demographic
  • Variation of product offerings, such as sunglasses frames

Manual Structured Snippet ExtensionSource: Google

4. Call Extension

Call extensions simply allow you to include your business contact number. On desktop, the call extension will only be displayed as a number, like so:  

Manual Call ExtensionSource: Google

On mobile, the call extension will be displayed with the added feature of allowing users to simply contact you with just one tap of a button. You may want to only display this extension during your operating hours so users will not be disappointed when they call in for enquiries. The call extension on mobile will look like so:

Manual Call Extension on MobileSource: Google

5. Location Extension

Location extensions simply allow you to include your business address(es) in your ad. To use this extension, you will first need to have a “Google My Business” account and connect your Google Ads account to your Google My Business account. Location extensions are usually indicated by the “location pin” icon. Additionally, users are able to click on the extension and access Google Maps in order to see the exact location and get direction to your business(es). This extension is especially useful for local businesses, particularly in retail, hospitality and F&B. 

Manual Location ExtensionSource: Google

6. App Extension

App extension only works if the user is on their mobile device. It allows users to directly install your app from the Search Engine Results Page. When the user clicks on your ad, they will be directed to the App Store or the Google Store to continue with the download.

Manual App ExtensionSource: Google

7. Price Extension

Price extension allows you to showcase specific products, together with their product photo, a short description and pricing. These ads are also clickable, allowing users to be immediately directed to the product page for more information. This extension is extremely useful for marketers who want to feature different variations of items in one glance.

Manual Price ExtensionSource: Google

There are also other extensions that you may want to utilize such as the Message Extension (only available in certain regions), Promotion Extension, or Affiliate Location Extension. Google has made is easy for you to set up these extensions 


You should now have a good understanding of how to use ad extensions to further drive your SEM efforts. Different extensions are used for different purposes, but all of them share the common goal of drawing attention and capturing more traffic to your website. 

Just remember to make sure that any of the extensions that you choose to use is relevant to your business and also pertinent to the user who is searching for information about your business. Also, do note that Google ultimately holds the final decision with regards to how your ad and the associated extensions may be displayed. This is so that they ensure that the information displayed is aligned with the interests and preferences of each individual user. 

Finally, to reap maximum benefits from your extensions, do ensure that your website remains up to date at all times.

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