Today’s post is by Joe Hall, Search Account Manager at 3Q Digital.
First of all, what are they?
Before we decide if Offer Extensions are worth your time, it would help to know what they are. Offer Extensions are a relatively new feature launched by Google in the middle of 2013 that allows brick and mortar stores to promote themselves online and connect online advertising to foot traffic in-store. Basically, Offer Extensions are an easy way for stores to convert online shoppers into in-store shoppers.
Offer Extensions drive physical traffic through special promotions, be it a free week of yoga classes, or a one time/item 25% discount. The important part of the promotions is that while they are accessed online, the promotions are only redeemable in the store. Customers can print out the promotion, or use the Google Offer app to store their collected offers to present them in the store, but they can’t use them online. If they want to use the promo, they have to physically show up to a store.
This sounds great! How do I do it?
Setting up an Offer Extension is really quite simple! First, go into the Ad Extensions tab in any campaign. Then, select View and then select Offer Extensions. From there you can create a new offer!
To create an Offer Extension, you’ll need to fill out the following fields (so it’s best to have them ready in advance!):
– Offer Headline (this is the only line of text which is shown prior to a user clicking into the offer!)
– Redemption Date
– Distribution Date
– Discount Amount / % / Free Promo
– Offer Image (should support the brand image but does not necessarily require the brand logo)
– Offer Code
– Terms and Conditions
– Business Name
– Offer Details (this is optional
Be sure to connect your Google Places account to maximize this extension, but that’s it! You’ve got the ball rolling on your Offer Extension!
Wait a minute; I’m not sold yet. What are the benefits and detriments to Offer Extensions?
If you’re an online site with a brick and mortar presence, Offer Extensions can help you to cross promote your services! Offer Extensions help you promote your online products, while also driving foot traffic into your stores. They also help you better control ad space, since they can run alongside sitelinks and location extension. Using the services together, you can take up as much space as the opposing two ads, as shown below.
The cons don’t affect the results or the cost efficiency of the extensions, but they do affect the time to market, and they can require a lot of time and resources to troubleshoot. It all comes down to the approval process, which can either go very smoothly or leave you high and dry. If there isn’t anything wrong with the way you’ve set up your Offer Extension, the approval process can range from 1-4 days. If your ad gets disapproved, Google leaves you without any specific error report, and requests from reps for a review of the disapproval can take over a week to get clarified. This is extremely user-unfriendly and should be rectified as soon as possible.
What kind of return should I expect?
Do not expect this extension to make or break your sales this week, but it will increase your dominance in Google real estate and get a lift in store traffic. Every little bit helps! You’ll also have a better result by having a different promotion on your offer extension than your base ad.
If your company has a brick and mortar presence in the regions you’re targeting and can run any of the three kinds of promotions, you should be running offer extensions. It’s a great (and Google-sanctioned!) way to dominate the ad space since the combination of offers and sitelinks as well as the base ad copy, allows you to potentially have 3-4 different promotions running without overlap. There’s no sense in wasting valuable ad space in the headline or D1 or D2 when you can leverage the Offer Extension with the specific offer!
Happy foot traffic!
–Joe Hall joined 3Q Digital in June of 2013. He has worked within SEO and SEM at Baytech Web Design since graduating from Santa Clara University in 2011 with a degree in Marketing. Over the last few years, he has worked on a range of industries such as financial, technology, and real estate. When out of the office, he enjoys spending time hiking through America’s great outdoors.