Tuesday, November 24, 2009 | 10:27 AM
Beginning today, all U.S. advertisers can get started with a new feature of AdWords called product extensions. Like Ad Sitelinks, which we introduced earlier this month, product extensions are a way for you to enrich your existing AdWords ads with more relevant and specific information. Product extensions allow you to use your existing Google Merchant Center account to highlight your products directly in your search ads. When your AdWords text ad appears, and your Google Merchant Center account contains products that are relevant to the searcher’s query, product extensions show the images, titles, and prices of your products in a plusbox under your ad.
With product extensions you can show users the products from your site that are most relevant to their current query. You're charged the same cost-per-click (CPC) whether a user clicks on your main text ad or any of the offers within the product extensions plusbox; however, you won't be charged if a user simply expands the plusbox without clicking through to your site. Advertisers who implemented product extensions during our beta found that the additional product information helped improve the performance of their search campaigns. For example, Zeta interactive, who manages advertising for SonyStyle.com, reported seeing over a 10% increase in clickthrough rate (CTR) for their ads with product extensions.
Like Product Listing Ads, which we announced as a limited beta earlier this month, product extensions are part of our effort to make ads more useful and relevant for shopping-related queries by allowing advertisers to include relevant product information directly within the ad. However, unlike Product Listing Ads, which are automatically targeted and priced on a cost-per-action (CPA) basis, product extensions are priced on a cost per click (CPC) basis and will only display when your ad is triggered by one of the keywords in your product extensions enabled campaigns. What's more, product extensions give you the option to prefer which products are displayed when a user’s query triggers your ads. For example, you may sell dozens of laptop computers but you want to promote the newest or best selling inventory using product extensions when a user searches for 'laptop computer' on Google.com. By making a simple addition to your Merchant Center account, you can easily control the products that display for certain queries. Of course, you can always use automatic targeting, and let AdWords determine the most relevant products in your account to a user’s query.
It's easy to get started with product extensions. First, log in to Google Merchant Center and add your Adwords customer ID to your account. Then, simply visit the campaign settings tab in your AdWords account, find the 'Ad extensions' heading and select the option to "Use product images and information from my Google Merchant Center account." No need to create new campaigns or ad groups, update your keywords or change your ad text. Product extensions are available now to all U.S. advertisers, but remain in a limited beta outside the U.S. Over time, we hope to offer product extensions to all advertisers globally.