How ad assets (extensions) work in PPC

Posted: 26 Jun 2024

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a model of online marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. PPC ads can appear on search engines, social media platforms and various websites across the internet.

The most popular form of PPC is search engine advertising, which allows advertisers to bid for ad placement in a search engine’s sponsored links when someone searches for a keyword that is related to their business offering. For example, if you bid on the keyword “PPC consultant,” your ad might show up in the very top spot on the Google search results page.


Here’s a brief breakdown of how PPC advertising works:

  1. Keyword research: Advertisers research and select keywords that are relevant to their business and likely to be used by potential customers when searching for their products or services.
  2. Creating ads: Advertisers create ads that will appear when the chosen keywords are searched. These ads usually include a headline, description, URL and can feature various ad assets.
  3. Bidding: Advertisers set a bid, or the maximum amount they are willing to pay for each click on their ad. The actual cost per click (CPC) is determined by an auction system.
  4. Ad auction: When a user types a search query, the search engine processes the request and runs the auction. This determines the ads that will appear and in what order.
  5. Quality score: This is a metric used by search engines to determine the relevance and quality of your ads and keywords. A higher quality score can lead to lower costs and better ad positions.
  6. Ad placement: Based on the bid amount and quality score, the ad is placed in a certain position on the search engine results page (SERP).
  7. Clicks and conversions: Users click on the ads, leading them to the advertiser’s website, where the goal is to convert these clicks into sales or other valuable actions.


Importance of maximising PPC efficiency and performance

Maximising the efficiency and performance of your PPC campaigns is crucial for several reasons:

  • Cost-effectiveness: PPC can be expensive if not managed correctly. By optimising your campaigns, you can lower your cost per click and increase your return on investment (ROI). Efficient use of your budget ensures that you are getting the most out of every penny spent.
  • Targeted advertising: PPC allows you to target specific demographics, locations and even times of the day. By fine-tuning these settings, you can ensure your ads are seen by the most relevant audience, increasing the chances of conversions.
  • Immediate results: Unlike SEO, which can take months to show results, PPC can drive traffic to your site almost immediately. This makes it a valuable tool for promotions, product launches and other time-sensitive campaigns.
  • Measurable results: PPC provides detailed metrics and analytics, allowing you to track performance and make data-driven decisions. You can measure impressions, clicks, conversions and much more, enabling you to continually refine and improve your campaigns.
  • Competitive advantage: In competitive markets, appearing at the top of search results can be critical. Effective PPC management ensures that your ads are prominent, giving you an edge over competitors who may not be as adept at optimising their campaigns.
  • Flexibility and control: PPC campaigns can be adjusted in real-time. If an ad isn’t performing well, you can tweak the ad copy, change keywords or adjust bids. This level of control allows you to respond quickly to market changes and optimise your performance continuously.
  • Enhanced brand visibility: Consistent presence in search results increases brand awareness and credibility. Even if users don’t click on your ads, repeated exposure can reinforce your brand’s presence in the market.

By focusing on maximising efficiency and performance, businesses can ensure that their PPC campaigns deliver the best possible results, driving traffic, leads and sales cost-effectively. This is where a PPC consultant can provide immense value, using expertise and experience to manage and optimise campaigns effectively.


Understanding ad assets (extensions)

What are ad assets (extensions)?

Ad assets, previously known as ad extensions, are additional pieces of information that can be added to your PPC advertisements. These assets extend your ads with extra details and features that can make them more appealing and informative to potential customers. The rebranding to ‘assets’ reflects their integral role in providing a richer, more robust advertising experience.

Ad assets in PPC

Ad assets are supplementary elements that advertisers can append to their main PPC ad text. These elements can include various types of information, such as additional links, contact details, promotions and more. The primary purpose of ad assets is to provide users with more context and options directly within the ad, without requiring additional clicks to gather information. This can enhance the effectiveness of the ad by making it more useful and relevant to the user.

By incorporating ad assets, advertisers aim to achieve several objectives:

  1. Enhance ad relevance: Ad assets provide more detailed and pertinent information, making the ad more relevant to the user’s search query.
  2. Improve user experience: By offering more options and information upfront, ad assets make it easier for users to find what they need, improving their overall experience.
  3. Increase ad space: Ad assets allow ads to take up more physical space on the search results page, making them more noticeable and likely to attract clicks.
  4. Boost ad performance: With additional information and features, ads are more likely to engage users, leading to higher click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates.


How ad assets enhance ad visibility and user engagement

Ad assets play a crucial role in enhancing both the visibility of ads and the engagement they generate. They achieve these outcomes by: 

Increased ad real estate

  • By adding ad assets, your ads occupy more space on the SERP. This larger footprint makes your ad more prominent compared to standard text ads. The additional space can push competitors’ ads further down, giving your ad a visual advantage.

Improved ad rank

  • Search engines like Google use a combination of bid amount and ad quality to determine ad rank. Ad assets can improve your ad’s quality score by making it more relevant and useful to users. A higher quality score can lead to better ad positions at lower costs, enhancing visibility without escalating expenses.

Enhanced CTR

  • Ad assets provide users with multiple ways to engage with your ad. For example, sitelink assets allow users to navigate directly to the most relevant pages on your website, while call assets enable immediate phone contact. These options increase the likelihood that users will find a reason to click on your ad, boosting your CTR.

Targeted user engagement

  • Different types of ad assets cater to various user needs and intents. For instance, location assets attract users looking for nearby businesses, while promotion assets appeal to deal-seekers. By addressing specific user needs, ad assets can significantly enhance user engagement and satisfaction.

Trust and credibility

  • Providing additional information through ad assets can build trust with potential customers. When users see structured snippets detailing specific products or services, or price assets showing transparent pricing, they are more likely to view your business as credible and reliable.

Better conversion potential

  • Ad assets can drive users directly to conversion-oriented pages. For example, a lead form asset can capture user details directly from the ad, or a price asset can lead to product pages with pricing information. This direct path to conversion points can improve your overall conversion rates and reduce the steps users need to take to complete a desired action.

Customised user experience

  • By offering a variety of ad assets, advertisers can tailor the ad experience to different user preferences. Some users might prefer calling a business directly (using call assets), while others might want to explore multiple product categories (using sitelink assets). This customisation increases the likelihood of user engagement as it meets users where they are in their buying journey.

Ad assets are powerful tools in PPC advertising that extend the functionality and appeal of your ads. By enhancing ad visibility, relevance and user engagement, they contribute to more effective and efficient PPC campaigns. 


The most important ad assets to use and why they matter 

Sitelink assets (extensions)

Sitelink assets are one of the most versatile and effective ad assets available. These assets allow advertisers to include additional links within their main ad, directing users to different pages of their website. Each sitelink can have its own descriptive text, providing more context about the link’s destination.

Sitelink assets are additional hyperlinks that appear below the main ad text, leading to various sections of your website. They can include links to product categories, special offers, contact pages or any other relevant pages that might interest potential customers.

Importance: Sitelink assets are crucial because they enhance user navigation and improve the overall user experience. By offering multiple pathways to your website’s most relevant pages, sitelinks help users find exactly what they are looking for more efficiently. This can reduce bounce rates and increase the likelihood of conversions. Furthermore, sitelinks expand the size of your ad, making it more prominent on the search results page, which can lead to higher click-through rates.

Callout assets

Callout assets are brief snippets of text that highlight specific attributes or offers of your business. These can include phrases like “Free Shipping,” “24/7 Customer Support,” or “Price Match Guarantee.”

Importance: The primary importance of callout assets lies in their ability to provide additional context to your ad. They allow you to highlight unique selling points and promotions that can entice users to click on your ad. By adding these extra layers of information, you can address potential questions or concerns users might have, making your ad more appealing and effective.

Call assets

Call assets display your business phone number alongside your ad. On mobile devices, this often includes a clickable “Call” button that allows users to initiate a phone call directly from the ad.

Importance: Call assets are especially important for businesses that rely on phone calls for leads or sales. They make it incredibly easy for users to get in touch with your business, which is crucial for mobile users who prefer calling over filling out forms. This direct line of communication can significantly increase your lead generation and conversion rates.

Location assets

Location assets display your business’s address and a map marker, helping users locate your physical storefront or office. These assets can also include the distance from the user’s location to your business.

Importance: For local businesses, location assets are vital. They help drive foot traffic by making it easy for potential customers to find your business. This is particularly beneficial for retail shops, restaurants and service-based businesses where physical visits are crucial for sales.

Structured snippet assets

Structured snippet assets highlight specific aspects of your products or services under predefined headers such as “Destinations,” “Styles,” or “Types.”

Importance: These assets help in providing detailed information about what you offer, catering to users who are looking for specific items. By showcasing this information directly in the ad, you can attract more qualified clicks from users interested in particular aspects of your business.

Price assets

Price assets show the prices of your products or services directly within your ad. Each price asset/extension can link to a specific product or service page on your website.

Importance: Price assets are particularly effective for attracting price-sensitive customers. By displaying prices upfront, you set clear expectations and attract users who are ready to make a purchase, thereby increasing the likelihood of conversions.

App assets

App assets include a link to your app’s download page in the relevant app store, facilitating direct downloads from the ad.

Importance: For businesses that have a mobile app, app assets are essential. They drive app downloads by making it easy for users to find and install your app directly from the search results, increasing your app’s user base.

Promotion assets

Promotion assets showcase current sales or special offers, such as “20% off” or “buy one get one free,” directly in your ad.

Importance: Promotion assets are great for creating a sense of urgency and encouraging users to take immediate action. By highlighting special deals, you can attract more clicks and boost conversions during promotional periods.

Lead form assets

Lead form assets allow users to submit their information directly from the ad, making it easier to capture leads.

Importance: These assets are highly effective for lead generation, as they reduce the friction associated with navigating to a landing page. By capturing user information directly from the ad, you can streamline the process and increase the number of leads collected.

By strategically using these assets, you can make your ads more relevant, visible and compelling, ultimately driving better results for your business.


Implementing ad assets in your PPC strategy

Best practices for adding ad assets

Implementing ad assets effectively in your PPC strategy can significantly enhance the performance of your campaigns. Here are some best practices to ensure you get the most out of your ad assets.

Relevance: choosing the right assets for your business goals 

The first and foremost consideration when adding ad assets to your PPC campaigns is relevance. Each ad asset should be chosen based on how well it aligns with your business objectives and the needs of your target audience. For example, if your goal is to drive foot traffic to a physical shop, location assets would be highly relevant. On the other hand, if your business relies heavily on phone enquiries, call assets would be essential.

Relevance also means tailoring your ad assets to the specific products or services you are advertising. For instance, if you’re promoting a seasonal sale, promotion assets are ideal as they can highlight the specific offers you are running. Structured snippet assets can be used to showcase different categories or types of products, giving potential customers a quick overview of what you offer.

Moreover, relevance extends to the user’s search intent. Understanding what your potential customers are searching for allows you to provide the most pertinent information through your ad assets. This not only makes your ads more useful but also increases the likelihood that users will engage with them.

Ad rank and quality score: how assets impact these metrics

Ad rank and quality score are critical factors in the success of your PPC campaigns. Ad rank determines the position of your ad on the SERP, while quality score is a measure of the relevance and quality of your ads and keywords. Ad assets can positively impact both these metrics in several ways.

Firstly, ad assets contribute to a higher quality score by making your ads more relevant and useful to users. When you provide additional information through assets, it improves the overall user experience, which search engines value highly. This can lead to a better quality score, which in turn can improve your ad rank and reduce your CPC.

For example, sitelink assets provide users with direct links to specific pages on your website, increasing the likelihood that they will find what they are looking for. This improved navigation can enhance user satisfaction and engagement, boosting your quality score. Similarly, callout assets can quickly convey key selling points or offers, making your ad more compelling and relevant.

Ad assets also impact ad rank by increasing the CTR of your ads. Search engines use CTR as a key indicator of an ad’s relevance. When your ad includes extenassetssions that attract more clicks, it signals to the search engine that your ad is highly relevant to the users’ queries. This can improve your ad rank, placing your ad in a more prominent position on the SERP.

Furthermore, the physical size of your ad is expanded with the addition of assets, making it more noticeable and likely to be clicked on. This increased visibility can enhance your ad’s performance metrics, including CTR and conversion rates, which are crucial for maintaining a high ad rank.

To maximise the benefits of ad assets on your ad rank and quality score, it’s important to regularly review and optimise your assets. Monitor performance data to see which assets are driving the most engagement and adjust your strategy accordingly. A/B testing different assets can also provide insights into what resonates best with your audience.


Tips for optimising each type of asset 

To ensure you get the most out of your ad assets, consider these optimisation tips for each type:

Sitelink assets:

  • Use descriptive text: Make your sitelinks clear and enticing. Use descriptive text that gives users a good idea of what they will find when they click.
  • Relevant URLs: Ensure the URLs you link to are highly relevant to the users’ search queries and provide valuable information or services.

Callout assets:

  • Highlight unique selling points: Use callout assets to showcase what sets your business apart, such as “Free Delivery” or “24/7 Support.”
  • Keep it concise: Callout text should be short and impactful, making it easy for users to quickly grasp the benefits.

Call assets:

  • Use a trackable number: Set up call tracking to measure the effectiveness of your call assets.
  • Set call hours: Ensure your call assets are only active during business hours when someone is available to answer the phone.

Location assets:

  • Verify your address: Make sure your business address is correctly listed in your Google My Business account.
  • Include opening hours: Display your business hours to help users know when you’re open.

Structured snippet assets:

  • Be specific: Choose headers that are relevant to your business and list specific items under each header.
  • Update regularly: Keep the list items current and reflective of your latest offerings.

Price assets:

  • Be transparent: Clearly state the prices and make sure they reflect what users will find on your website.
  • Categorise: Group similar products or services to make it easy for users to compare.

App assets:

  • Target mobile users: Ensure app assets are targeted primarily at mobile users who are more likely to download apps.
  • Highlight benefits: Mention key features or benefits of the app to encourage downloads.

Promotion assets:

  • Create urgency: Use time-sensitive promotions to create a sense of urgency, encouraging users to act quickly.
  • Be clear: Clearly state the promotion details and any terms and conditions.

Lead form assets:

  • Keep it simple: Ask for the minimum amount of information necessary to follow up with leads.
  • Offer incentives: Provide a compelling reason for users to fill out the form, such as a free consultation or discount.

Regularly monitoring and refining your assets will ensure they continue to meet your business goals and provide value to your potential customers.


Measuring the impact of ad assets

Tracking performance

Effectively measuring the impact of ad assets is crucial for optimising your PPC campaigns. Google Ads provides a variety of tools and reports to help you track the performance of your ad assets. Here’s how to make the most of these resources:


How to use Google Ads Reports to track the performance of ad assets 

Accessing reports:

  • Log in to your Google Ads account and navigate to the campaign or ad group you want to analyse. Click on the “Ads & Assets” tab, and then select “Assets.” Here, you will find data specific to each type of asset you have implemented.

Segmenting data:

  • To gain more detailed insights, use the segmentation options available in Google Ads. For instance, you can segment data by “Click type” to see how many clicks each asset received or by “Device” to understand the performance across different devices (desktop, mobile, tablet).

Viewing asset performance:

  • In the “Assets” view, you can see performance metrics for each asset type, such as sitelinks, callouts, calls etc. This view provides a high-level overview of how each asset is contributing to your campaign’s success.

Custom reports:

  • Google Ads allows you to create custom reports to focus on specific performance metrics. Use the “Reports” tab to build detailed reports that can help you track the performance of individual assets over time.

Using filters:

  • Apply filters to narrow down your data to specific campaigns, ad groups or assets. This can help you identify which assets are performing well and which may need adjustments.

Key metrics to monitor 

To accurately assess the impact of your ad assets, focus on the following key metrics:


CTR is the ratio of clicks to impressions for your ads. It indicates how often people click on your ad after seeing it. A higher CTR suggests that your ad and its assets are relevant and engaging to users. Monitor the CTR of your assets to understand which ones are driving more engagement. For example, if your sitelink assets have a higher CTR, it indicates that users find the additional links helpful.

Conversion rate:

Conversion rate is the percentage of clicks that result in a desired action, such as a purchase, sign-up, or inquiry. High conversion rates indicate that your ad assets are effectively guiding users towards completing valuable actions. Analyse the conversion rates of ads with different assets to see which combinations are most successful. For example, if ads with call assets have a higher conversion rate, it means users are more likely to convert when they can easily contact your business.

Cost per conversion:

Cost per conversion (CPC) measures the average amount you spend to achieve a conversion. This metric helps you evaluate the cost-effectiveness of your ad assets. A lower cost per conversion means you are getting more conversions for less money, indicating that your assets are helping you achieve your goals efficiently. Compare the CPC of ads with different assets to identify the most cost-effective strategies.


Practical steps to optimise based on metrics

Identify high performers:

Regularly review your reports to identify which assets have the highest CTR, conversion rate and lowest cost per conversion. Focus on these high-performing assets and consider allocating more budget towards campaigns or ad groups that use them effectively.

Adjust underperformers:

For assets that aren’t performing well, consider making adjustments. This might involve changing the text or links in sitelink assets, updating the offers in promotion assets or refining the targeting for call assets.

A/B testing:

Conduct A/B tests with different versions of your assets to see which variations perform better. For instance, try different callout texts or promotion details to determine which ones resonate more with your audience.

Regular updates:

Keep your ad assets up to date. Remove any outdated promotions or irrelevant links and regularly add new assets to keep your ads fresh and engaging.

Comprehensive analysis:

Use a holistic approach by combining the performance data of assets with overall campaign metrics. This helps you understand the broader impact of assets on your PPC strategy.

This ongoing process of monitoring, analysing and adjusting will help ensure that your PPC campaigns remain effective and continue to drive valuable results for your business.

Analysing results

Once you’ve tracked the performance of your ad assets using Google Ads reports, the next step is to analyse this data to gain insights into their effectiveness. Here’s how to interpret the data effectively:

Comparative analysis:

  • Compare the performance of different ad assets within the same campaign or ad group. Look at key metrics like CTR, conversion rate and CPC for each asset type. This comparison helps identify which assets are performing best.

Segment performance:

  • Use segmentation to break down performance by device, location, time of day and other factors. For example, you might find that call assets perform exceptionally well on mobile devices but not on desktops. This detailed view helps you understand the context in which each asset is most effective.

Conversion paths:

  • Analyse the paths users take to convert. Check if specific assets lead to higher conversion rates by looking at multi-channel funnel reports. This can reveal whether users who engage with certain assets are more likely to complete a desired action.

Engagement metrics:

  • Look beyond CTR and conversion rates to other engagement metrics such as average session duration and pages per session. These metrics can indicate whether the information provided by the assets is engaging users and leading to deeper interactions with your site.

Asset-specific metrics:

  • Each asset type has specific metrics that can provide deeper insights. For example:
    • Call assets: Number of calls, duration of calls and call-through rate.
    • Location assets: Clicks to get directions, shop visits.
    • Lead form assets: Number of form submissions, completion rate.

ROI analysis:

  • Calculate the ROI for each asset by comparing the revenue generated from conversions to the cost incurred. This financial perspective helps you determine the overall value each asset brings to your campaign.


Making data-driven decisions for optimisation 

After interpreting the data, the next crucial step is to make informed, data-driven decisions to optimise your ad assets. Here’s how to approach this:

Prioritise high performers 

  • Allocate more budget and focus to assets that demonstrate high performance. For example, if sitelink assets have the highest CTR and conversion rate, consider expanding their use across more campaigns or refining them further to maintain their success.

Refine underperformers:

  • Identify underperforming assets and tweak them to improve results. This might involve:
    • Adjusting text: Revise the copy in callout assets or structured snippets to make them more compelling.
    • Updating links: Change the URLs in sitelink assets to direct users to more relevant or better-converting landing pages.
    • Testing new offers: Modify promotion assets with new or more attractive offers.

A/B testing:

  • Implement A/B testing to compare different versions of an assets to see which one performs better. For example, test different headlines or descriptions in your sitelink assets to see which variation leads to higher engagement and conversions.

Dynamic adjustments:

  • Use automated rules or scripts to adjust your assets based on real-time performance data. For instance, set rules to activate certain call assets during business hours and deactivate them when your business is closed to ensure efficient use of ad spend.

Continuous monitoring and iteration:

  • Regularly monitor the performance of your ad assets and make iterative improvements. The digital advertising landscape is dynamic and what works today might not work tomorrow. Continuous optimisation ensures that your ad assets remain effective.

Integrate user feedback:

  • Pay attention to user feedback and behavioural data to understand how your target audience interacts with your assets. Use insights from customer reviews, surveys and social media comments to refine your ad assets strategy.

Cross-campaign insights:

  • Leverage insights from successful assets in one campaign to inform strategies in others. If a particular type of asset works well in one context, it might be beneficial in another, similar context.

Holistic strategy alignment:

  • Ensure that your ad assets align with your overall marketing and business objectives. assets should support your broader goals, whether it’s driving sales, generating leads or increasing brand awareness.

By systematically analysing the performance data and making informed adjustments, you can continuously optimise your ad assets for better results. This data-driven approach ensures that your PPC campaigns are not only effective but also adaptable to changing market conditions and user behaviours, leading to sustained success over time.


Common pitfalls and how to avoid them 

Overloading ads with too many assets

One common mistake advertisers make is adding too many ad assets to their campaigns. While it might seem beneficial to provide as much information as possible, overloading your ads with assets can lead to clutter and confusion. When users are presented with too many options, they may experience decision paralysis and are less likely to engage with your ad.

To avoid this pitfall, focus on the quality and relevance of each asset rather than the quantity. Choose assets that directly support your campaign goals and provide clear, concise information. Regularly review the performance of each asset to ensure it adds value and contributes to the overall effectiveness of your ads.

Using irrelevant assets that don’t align with user intent

Another frequent mistake is using assets that are irrelevant to the user’s search intent. Assets should enhance the user experience by providing additional, relevant information that aligns with what the user is looking for. For example, if you’re running a campaign for a seasonal sale, using structured snippet assets to highlight unrelated services might confuse users and reduce the effectiveness of your ad.

To align assets with user intent, carefully consider the keywords and search queries you are targeting. Ensure that each asset provides value and relevance to these searches. Conduct regular audits of your assets to verify that they continue to meet the needs and expectations of your target audience.


Get in touch 

If you’re looking to optimise your PPC campaigns and make the most out of your ad assets, consider partnering with a PPC consultant. With expert guidance, you can navigate common pitfalls, implement best practices and achieve your advertising goals more efficiently.

A PPC consultant can provide tailored advice, in-depth analysis and strategic planning to enhance your campaigns. Whether you need help with keyword research, ad asset setup or performance tracking, a consultant can offer the expertise and support you need.

Don’t let your PPC campaigns fall short – get in touch today.