Use Google Sitelinks To Improve CTR

November 14, 2011

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor


Guess what? Google is testing again! Google started testing up to 6 sitelinks (in a Three-line format) in Ads at the beginning of September. Prior to September, Google was displaying up to 4 sitelinks (in Two-line format).


If you do not have sitelinks set up, we highly recommend adding these to your Brand campaign as it helps you direct your customers to a more valuable page. It also gives you more real estate on the page.
Lenox sitelinks
Especially with Holiday approaching, you can use sitelinks to call out Specials, Free Shipping, New Holiday Items In Stock, Black Friday Sale…the sky is the limit! This will help protect your campaign from a possible drop in position due to changing ads too much. For more information on that, see Google hates your new ads on this blog! Just be sure to remember to update these sitelinks post-season or post sale event. Nothing looks worse than an outdated ad, and the same applies to sitelinks.
Also, strategically choose the pages that you would like to highlight, do not just choose any ole link. You are trying to push your customers further down the purchase funnel so keep that in mind.

Why start with your brand campaign? Sitelinks are designed to appear in an ad when a search query is deemed highly relevant. For these instances, we have found that Brand terms are the most likely to trigger sitelinks.

Two-line formatted sitelinks have been proven to help increase CTR by an average of 17%, additionally, I have seen an 11% increase this month to date in my clients’ brand campaign with Three-Line sitelinks appearing!

According to Google, in order to help increase the likelihood of your sitelinks to appear:

  • Your ads should have one of the top positions above the search results
  • Your ads should have a very high quality score
  • Your sitelink URLs must direct to pages that are part of your main website.

In Adwords:

  • You may enter up to 10 direct links to pages on your site, Google will choose which of those to display depending on the query
  • Click on the Ad Extensions tab, then View: Sitelinks Extensions
  • Click +New Extension, Select your campaign, add your Link text and Destination URL and you are all set! (just remember in order to track performance/revenue in ChannelAdvisor, a tracking URL should be used as the destination URL)

In ChannelAdvisor:

  • To generate a tracking URL from ChannelAdvisor, we recommend creating a dummy keyword in the respective Google campaign/ad group of your account
  • For ex. [sitelink_tracking url]****.05, this will then bring any revenue attributed from an order placed on a sitelink into your appropriate campaign
One last tip, when creating your sitelink text, be brief! Short and sweet is key and the most successful.

For more information on Google Adwords, and how to get the most from your adspend, check out this ChannelAdvisor eBook: Take Google Adwords Reporting to the Next Level.

Post by Lori Prestipino, Paid Search Campaign Manager