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Forward > Blog > How to Use Google AdWords Image Extensions
posted by Ryan Magallanes

How to Use Google AdWords Image Extensions

17 June 2013

Google’s product manager, Awaneesh Verma, announced the beta launch of AdWords Image Extensions that allows the adding of graphic elements in text ads. Today, more than one in six searches on Google provides visual contents as part of the result.

“Image extensions enable you to more accurately convey the body style of a car, the cut of a pair of jeans, or a particular shade of eyeshadow, making your ads richer and more informative,” wrote Verma.

When advertising a business or a product, sometimes it is easy to show rather than tell.  People say that a picture paints a thousand words. Apparently, with this new advertising scheme, many will be tempted to make everything “imagey”. But heads-up to advertisers, in-line with this update is a guideline that Google launched to strictly screen the images.

Here’s what Image Extensions look like:

Example of Google AdWords Image Extension

Image courtesy of searchengineland.com

Few guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Ensure that the images that you use are relevant to your advertisement.
  • Use images of high quality (preferred image size is 640 x 340 and only 16:9 aspect ratio is allowed.
  • Avoid using animation, overlays or logos that are not part of the product.
  • Images need to be available and visible on your landing page.
  • Avoid unnecessary white space
  • Make sure you have the digital rights to use the image.

Is Beta Version worth a try?

Advertisers can choose the images they want to use in their ads but these need to be approved by Google. Due to some restrictions on the beta stage, Image Extensions can only be used in English language ads. The choice of images will most likely be the key to success.  For some, this might be considered as a killer feature as it will push down organic SERPs.

Giving a huge space of search result to one advertiser, Google must be 100% sure that the result will satisfy the searchers’ needs because if not, it will result to lower conversion. Sure it will increase Click-Through Rate, as users are generally visual, but keep in mind that the landing page should be edible enough for the users to digest. A landing page that is relevant to your image adwords as well as striking the right balance for design and function will help raise your Google AdWords Quality Score.

“The introduction of image extensions further solidifies Google’s transition toward a more visually engaging SERP,” says PPC Analyst, Reece O’Neill. O’Neill also mentioned that it’s too soon to give feedback on his image extension testing experience, but added that “With over 50% of above-the-fold content often dedicated to sponsored listings, it’s clear that businesses with large budgets will find the most success with PPC. I think it’s further evidenced by the fact that image extensions will only trigger for an ad in position one. Overall, I’d expect image extensions to yield additional paid clicks … but the lingering question of how conversion rates are affected remains to be seen.”

Today, just a small percentage of Google searches see these image-conscious PPC ads; therefore we do not have concrete data when it comes to gauging the performance of the images.

 What do you think will be the impact of AdWords Image Extensions? Is the Beta Version worth a try? Tell us about your thoughts or experiences in the comments.


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