What's in this article?
As any marketer will tell you, business reviews go a long way towards boosting your conversions. Now that Google AdWords has rolled out review extensions, you have the opportunity to combine your paid search network campaign with third-party recommendations that can boost click-throughs, conversions, and sales.
If you’re not already using ad extensions like the Google Review extension, you’re not getting the biggest bang for your ad spend buck. It’s time to activate this feature for your AdWords account.
What It Is
Google’s Review Extensions lets you highlight favorable third-party reviews in your search ads on desktop devices (no mobile or tablet yet). Review text can be up to 67 characters, recommending or endorsing your business (as a whole) with a review, award, or accolade. Review extensions appear below your two lines of ad description text. The review source functions as a separate link within your ad, but there’s no CPC cost to advertisers when prospects click on this review source link. Here’s what it looks like:
25 Character Ad Title
35 Character Description Text
35 Character Description Text
35 Character Display URL Text
NEW! 67 Character Review (Review Text + Source Website)
This feature is intended for business AdWords users to feature a third-party publication or organization’s review, and specifically, those reviews that appear in press write-ups, awards announcements, or third-party rankings by taste-making authorities. It has to be for your business as a whole, not for a unique product or service you offer.
Additionally, Google has a pretty clear idea of what kind of “third-party” review it wants, hence it outlaws:
- Reviews that can’t be linked back directly to a publicly available website source.
- Paid endorsements or sponsored content.
- Multi-click hunting expeditions for users to get to the get to the review source.
- Aggregate reviews and rankings from user review sites.
How It Works
Setting up Review Extensions is both easy and not so easy, this being Google. The easy part is enabling the feature. Simply sign in to AdWords, and click through per Google’s instructions to add a review.
The harder part is following Google’s many rule stipulations concerning the reviews. Most common ways to run afoul of the rules include:
- “Outdated” reviews that are older than 12 months.
- Repeating your business name in the review text.
- Repeating ad title or ad description text in the review text.
- Using a second-hand source for the review.
- And changing the review text from the original.
The curious thing is that Google allows “paraphrased” review text, but it’s quite finicky about how that’s done, as PPC Hero pointed out. No added exclamation marks. No embellishment or mischaracterization — reviews are approved by people, not just an algorithm.
One review will be used for all your campaign ads, though you can change out one approved review with another if you wish. Your use of the endorsement has to be okay with the review source. Google even provides a fast-tracked process for publisher’s who’ve had their content used without their consent. Google also notes that reviews won’t show every time, because “there are a variety of factors that affect whether your review can show, including your bid, ad relevance, available space on the search results page, and other extensions or information.”
I know the specifics of this new feature may seem a bit daunting, but let’s step back and take another look at the big picture.
What Review Extensions Can Do for Your Business
Here’s the verdict. Review Extensions are a really great opportunity for businesses. We already know the value of testimonials and endorsements, especially from an authoritative source. That’s exactly what’s on offer with this features.
For its part, Google claims Review Extensions can significantly boost clickthrough rates. At Kaleidico, we’re also seeing a lot of success for our clients, both in e-commerce and other businesses. In fact, we’ve measured a 3% uptick in branding campaigns within just a few days of activating this Ad Extension. That is what we call a great digital marketing opportunity.