Posted by JustinV
Hey there Mozzers! Today I'm going to talk about how to link your new Google+ Business Page to your Google AdWords account so you can start utilizing the new social extension feature.
As we all know, Google+ has been hard at work lately trying to increase their user base and trying to close the gap between them and Facebook. Over the past few weeks they have moved one step closer by rolling out their Google+ business pages – basically the equivalent to Facebook business profiles.
Now, before I go any further, I want to state a quick disclaimer; social extensions are brand new within AdWords and the folks over at Google are still ironing out the kinks. There are still many questions around how they will evolve over the next several months, but for now I will do my best to explain what social extensions are, how to set them up, and what they can do for your PPC performance.
What Are AdWords Social Extensions?
Social extensions within AdWords are Google's way of annotating your Google+ follower count to your PPC ads. Here's what it looks like in action:
Pretty cool, eh?
Now there's 2 types of Social Extentions that Google rolled out with, Personal and Basic. The example above is a Personal social extention. It shows you how many people within your Circles who have +1'd either the landing page or the Google+ Business Page. When the Basic social extension is shown, it will show you how many people across the web have +1'd the landing page or the Google+ Business Page. For example, if Roger Mozbot does a search on robot wheels he might see an ad that has the Basic social extension, "300 people have +1'd this". That means that 300 people across the web have either +1'd the landing page or the Google+ Business Page.
How Do You Set Up Social Extensions?
1. Setup your Google+ Business Page
The first thing you need to do is setup your Google+ Business Page, if you haven't done so already. Our Chief Community Wrangler, Jen Lopez, set ours up and told me it was quick and painless. But, if you need some help on how to set up your business page, check out this article by Search Engine Land.
2. Verify your site
In order for Google to verify that you are the owner of the Business Page, you need to do 2 things.
- In the "about" section of your Google+ Business Page, add a link pointing to your website.
- Create a link from your site to your Google+ Business Page by adding the Google+ badge to your website. You can do this easily by adding a snippet of code to your website and formatting the Google+ badge.
3. Activate social extensions in your AdWords account
After completing the first 2 steps, go in to your Google AdWords account and click on the "ad extensions" button, then make sure you are viewing "social extensions" and click "new extension".
Now you'll have to paste your Google+ Business Page URL in to the box:
After saving the new social extension, it may take a few days for Google to approve it. It will say "pending review" until it has been approved and then the status will change to "eligible". Now your ads should start showing social extensions. W00t!
What Are The Benefits Of Setting Up Social Extensions?
So now that you have everything set up properly, you're probably wondering what type of impact the social extensions will have on your ad performance. I can tell you that I have seen a nice bump in CTR on all of my ads that have been shown with the social extensions. The data is pretty preliminary since Google is only showing social extensions on a limited basis, but so far, the results look very good.
After setting up everything correctly in your AdWords account, if you want to see how the social extensions are performing, follow these simple steps:
- Click in to one of your campaigns that has enabled social extensions
- Click on the "ads" tab
- Click on the "segment" drop down and select "+1 Annotations"
In the above screenshot you can see that while we only had a handful of impressions showing with the basic social extension, it has a much higher CTR then our standard ad. I reviewed some other ads within our campaign and am seeing a significant bump in CTR on all ads that were shown with either the personal or basic social extensions!
We know that these social extensions are still in their infant stages at Google, and I'm sure Google will be making some tweaks to them as they gather more data. But for now, there are several unique advantages you will have by turning on social extensions in your AdWords account.
- Most advertisers still aren't utilizing social extensions so you can roll out with them before your competitors do
- It only takes a few minutes to set up, it is free, and it will instantly give your ads more credibility and trust by having the social annotations appear within them
- While the results are still very preliminary, it appears that ads with social annotations are generating higher CTR's
- Increase the number of +1's you have on your Business Page since users who +1 your ad will count as a +1 to your Business Page.
I hope you find this post helpful and can get some value out of turning on social extensions within your AdWords account. If you have already turned them on and are seeing results, please feel free to share them with me. Also, if you have questions, please let me know and I'll do my best to answer them.