Quietly like a ship in the night, Google recently made a slight tweak in Google AdWords reporting that made tracking ad extensions performance just a little bit easier – you can now see conversion data for extensions in Google AdWords. The AdWords blog did not mention this fun little update, but PPC sleuths across the web soon started spreading the news.
While some may point out that this update is not really groundbreaking (you could always infer this data with some Google Analytics finagling), I still say it’s worthy of a blog post or two. Ad extensions are extremely useful facets of Google search ads that can help to drive click-through and conversion rates. Being able to more easily report on the performance of the extensions themselves (rather than just the ads they were associated with, as before) can help us to kick account performance up a notch.
Before I get ahead of myself, here’s how to see the data: Go to your “Extensions” tab in AdWords and add the column “Conv.” (which wasn’t available on this report before). This layout gives you data for the particular set of extensions you are looking at and reports if your ad received a conversion while the extensions were showing. On a related note, you can further refine the report by segmenting by “click type” to see if the conversion came from a click on the actual extension, or on the headline that was accompanying the extensions.
So what does this mean? Is this really any different than segmenting your data by click-type and seeing the performance labeled “Sitelinks”? Yes and no.
Yes: You can now see conversion data associated with a specific set of extensions. So, let’s say you are testing two different sets of sitelinks to see which set drives a higher conversion rate. With this update, you can now see the conversion rate associated with a specific set of sitelinks. And you can see this all within the Extensions tab, without digging around for the data elsewhere.
No: You could always dig this up in Google Analytics if you appended your sitelinks destination URLs with UTM parameters. We’ve been doing this on our accounts because we didn’t have access to this data in AdWords. Now it’s just that much easier to optimize based on the conversion data available in AdWords.
A pessimist may say, “Rachel, this is all well and good, but you still can’t see how a specific sitelink performed. You can only see how an entire set of sitelinks performed.” And that pessimist would be right. Sitelink reporting at the most granular level (each specific link) is still missing from AdWords. So, if you want to see how a specific link did, continue the method of appending UTM parameters to your destination URLs and analyze performance in Google Analytics. But I wouldn’t be surprised if specific extension performance reporting will be available soon.