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Automated Extensions

By piranha

20th April 2017

Google has recently announced an expansion of its automated extension facility.

When a company is running a PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign, Google can now pull information like phone numbers directly from the website. A ‘call’ button can then be added to related search results. When someone searches for a related term on their smartphone, they can see that business appear in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) then press the ‘call’ button to initiate a call right there and then.

Clicks on ‘call’ buttons and other functions work the same as links on PPC campaigns. When a customer clicks on them, Google charge a pre-specified amount to the user’s AdWords account.

This has big implications for businesses running PPC campaigns. Customers are given a very simple and obvious route to initiate contact with that company, increasing the chance of a sale or conversion. Where visitors previously had to visit the site to find the phone number – then copy and paste it into their smartphone’s call facility – Google has provided a much more streamlined customer journey.

Automated extensions can also display other information:
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  • Sitelink extensions can send users to specific pages on your site based on their search term. This can help people to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
  • Structured snippet extensions can paint a better picture of your site’s services and related info.
  • Ratings can also be displayed to help visitors decide which company is more reputable.
  • This information will only ever be used by Google if it thinks it will strengthen the business’s PPC campaign. Automated extensions are not controllable by webmasters but sites can opt out if desired.

    Google estimate that by using automated extensions, clickthrough rates can also be increased by 4-5%. These extensions are implemented automatically; there’s no way to tell if a PPC campaign will generate them or not. It is possible, however, to make sure that your site has all the relevant information listed to make automated extensions possible.

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