Adwords Extensions – Sitelinks Extension


Have you ever sat in front of your computer, staring blankly at the rows and rows of exported Adwords data and wondering what you’ve done to your life and what your skills would amount to in the inevitable zombie apocalypse? Me neither – I love this job!

Also – I got my zombie problem solved.

 [Image via]

One of the best parts of this industry is that it seems to advance at a fast enough rate to keep you constantly on your toes, which is especially true, if you’re trying to be competent in SEO and PPC on several search engines. This post was supposed to go out on the week of June 6 2011 but got a bit delayed, and then Google started testing a new version of sitelinks and then it got delayed a bit more.. you get the picture. Anyway – Google Adwords Extensions..

Here’s an at-a-glance guide to Adwords Extensions. And the posts about longer titles in Adwords and Location extension.

Regarding the Sitelinks extension- let me make this as clear as possible:


I want you.. to start using Sitelinks!

Why use Sitelinks Extensions?

As with all extensions for Adwords, the Sitelinks increase the visibility of your ad. The unique thing about this extension though is that it displays only when your ad appears on top of the organic search results, meaning that you already have to have a well performing ad running (average position 1-2.x is good in most cases).

Apart from the visibility (and increased CTR) factor, you can use the extension to weed out irrelevant clicks.

For example: One of our clients is offering database cleaning services, including database checks against Telephone Preference Service lists (lists of people who’ve opted out from marketing contacts by phone). One of their performing keywords is “Telephone Preference Service” (on phrase) – obviously this results in loads of irrelevant searches. By adding Sitelinks with texts like ‘Corporate Database Cleaning’, ‘Database Audit’ etc. we effectively identify the service as being b2b, thus lowering CTR, but increasing the conversion rate.

Another great thing about this extension is that it lets you direct people to different pages with one ad.

For Example: Let’s say you’re advertising Häagen-Dazs for their brand name. Since the search for this keyword can mean a number of things, it would be beneficial to include sitelinks like ‘Shop Locator’, ‘Products’, ‘Dessert Recipes’ so that each searcher has an increased chance to end up on the page they’re looking for – thus lowering the bounce rate and increasing the amount of potential conversions.

How do They Appear?

So – How exactly does the Sitleinks extension look in action? In the simplest form it looks like this:

This is why the optimal number is 4

As you can see, you basically get twice the real-estate on the Google page if your Sitelinks show, so that’s a definite attention-grabber and CTR-increaser right there.

Additionally it was reported on 7th June that Google is testing an embedded version of the Sitelinks extension. It looks like this:

Not as good, but still could attract attention

This is at a test stage at the moment, but could be rolling out live in the near future. The embedded Sitelinks will be triggered if your Sitelink text is an exact match with your ad copy text (probably other factors are also involved, but this is as much as can be gathered from the original post). In theory you could get an ad that is a full link, but I doubt that Google’s going to go for that.

So – grabbed your attention? Good. On to the next part:

How to Set Up Sitelinks Extension

There are essentially two ways to set up the sitelinks extension – an easy or basic setup and an advanced one with more tracking in mind. Before we start, you need to enable the Ad Extensions tab in Adwords.

Basic Set Up

The basic set up of Sitelinks is very easy:

  1. Go to the Ad Extensions tab in Google Adwords
  2. Select ‘Sitelinks Extensions’
  3. Choose ‘+ New extension’

    Steps 1 to 3 of Sitelinks extension set up

  4. Select a campaign that you wish the Sitelinks to appear for (high performance campaigns recommended)
    • It’s recommended to use either relevant pages or just key sections of your site (‘Related Services’ vs ‘Contact Us’). Alternatively you can use the sitelinks to establish the type of business that’s advertising (as shown above).
  5. Enter the link text and destination URL for the Sitelinks (4 is recommended, but you can have any number from 1 to 10)
  6. Click ‘Save’
  7. Done!

Advanced Set Up

The advanced set up is more or less the same as the basic one with these small additions:

  • In step 5., when writing in the destination URL, add ?sitelink=name to the end of that URL, so it will show up your analytics tools as a unique page.
    Example #1:
    If your original URL is,
    then enter
    Example #2:
    If your original URL is
    Then enter
  • Create a custom segment in Google Analytics, where you identify that page URL should contain ‘sitelink=’ parameter,  for easier tracking.
    Get It Here  
  • Do not copy and paste the Sitelinks to each other campaign – make the URLs with unique identifiers, so you know which campaign the visitor came from


You’re done..

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Links to other extension posts:

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