What is a Price Extension
Price extensions are the latest rollout of ad extensions, additional pieces of information the extend your text ad. Ad extensions include the opportunity to add your business address, a phone number, and callouts that highlight what differentiates your business. The price extension is a quick and efficient way to save precious ad text space, by listing the pricing on your products or service offerings with an ad extension. This feature should be used by any business or advertiser that offers something that costs more than free!
While all businesses can and should add the price extensions to their AdWords campaigns, two specific types of price-point business will benefit most: those with a lower price point that can undercut competitors and want to highlight this, and those with lower prices points than competitors, and those with very high price points.
Businesses that can offer the same or acceptable substitutes of products or services at lower prices than competitors will win in the online consumer universe where a couple clicks allows consumers to price-compare quickly and efficiently. Why buy something more expensive from one business, when you could get the same product or service for less from someone else? The problem is traditionally the limited copy space meant advertisers were hindered from getting across the lower prices in their text ads. Adding the extension to show multiple products or services and their pricing.
On the other hand, an expensive boutique type provider such a luxury hotel or spa center may wish to filter out unwanted price comparison shoppers who will end up with sticker shock after accruing precious click spend. By highlighting that the products or services are not for consumers seeking a bargain, the price extension weeds out those who would not be a good fit based on affordability upfront, rather than after a click and visit to a landing page or website.
So how do you set up the price extension? There are a lot of variables involved in the price extension, and it is not as simple to set up as, for example, a call extension is where you simply input your phone number. We review the steps next.
Setting up A Price Extension
Price extensions have more steps to set up than most of the ad extensions available to advertisers. While there are a lot of options to choose from, the process can still be fairly painless. The most important first step is determining what you want to advertise with this extensions? If there are only a handful of services that an advertiser wishes to advertise on, then it is best to use the account level version of this extension so that it can associate with all your campaigns. If you wish to tie specific products or services with themed campaigns then choose the campaign level. Finally, tying listed services or products with their prices at a granular level across the account may warrant using the ad-group level.
Now that an advertiser understands what they wish to advertise, whether its 3 products or services, period, or a plethora of items which can be spread out over specific campaigns and ad groups, the next step is choosing the appropriate selections.
First, determine which type your products or services falls under. Those who do not sell products, but services or a form of labor may wish to choose one of the last 3 options including service categories and service tiers. Speciality professions such a real estate agent may choose neighborhoods or locations, and an event manager, the events type.
Next, be sure to choose the appropriate currency your business deals with. For most of our readers, the automatic setting for USD is correct. The price qualifier below that allows an advertiser to state the pricing as a set price, leaving the selection “no qualifier” as is, a base price, “from” and a ceiling price “up to”. An oil change service advertiser may select the from qualifier stating oil change prices start from a set point, as a customer may choose additional options beyond the oil change.
Having decided the drop down selections for type, currency and price qualifier, it is on to the actual ad extension body itself.
As stated under the “?” icon when hovered over, each price extension’s body is made up of 4 main components: a header (similar to an ad’s clickable headline), a description, a price and a final url, choosing where on a website or landing page to send the user after clicking the header.
A 25 character limit is imposed on the header and the description. A price extension can have up to 8 services advertised with one price extension, but requires a minimum of 3. It is best to start with the top 3 items or services the advertiser wishes to promote with this ad extension, as space may dictate only showing the first 3. Headers should be succinct and specific listings of services. Returning to the oil change example, potential headers could be “39 Check-Point Oil Change”, “Windshield Wiper Replacement”, or “Coolant Top Off”. Using the capitalization pattern in the header is a good practice to attract consumer attention and improve the click-through rate (CTR).
Next, the description should be short and sweet, saying exactly what this product or service is. Under the “39 Check-Point Oil Change” a description could read as “Only 30 Minutes” or “Comprehensive Inspection”. Remember, this is an ad extension, so stating a call to action (CTA) is not necessarily a good use of the limited 25 character counts in the header and description.
The price listing is next. Depending on the price qualifier used (do you remember this “From”, earlier, it’s “Up To” you which you choose) the price you state will either be the set price advertised, a starting point or maximum price point. After typing in the price, there is a units section next to it that allows the price to be qualified again by a unit of time, especially prevalent for service based businesses who charge by the hour, or a software company that licenses by the month or year.
The final url should be the most relevant page on your website or landing page that covers this specific product or service. To improve relevancy and estimated CTR, it is best to send users to a page either very specific to this item or a page that discusses each of the items.
Additional non-mandatory considerations for advertisers are the application of scheduling start or end dates for prices that may run as time-limited promotions, or adding url options such as tracking templates for the purposes of tracking on the back-end that users engaged with text ads with specific price extensions. Again, these are not mandatory, but helpful for the example situations mentioned here.
To learn more about the setup process for price extensions, please watch this AdWords in 60 Seconds tutorial video shown below.
Price Extension Success Stories
Price extensions are one of the ad extensions that are easily applicable to all businesses that sell a product or service that costs more than free. But the price extension is especially helpful for two price-point groups: competitive, lower sell-points than direct competitors and high-price point boutique level businesses.
A client of ours provides subscriptions to its digital and print newspapers. With different subscription types and time durations, the client is able to highlight the breadth of offerings using the price extension, and focus on the quality of its news coverage and synopsis of the most important events local and foreign, rather than using up precious ad copy space to discuss pricing and subscription time. Even with the newly rolled out Extended Text Ads (ETAs), the saved character space is crucial. Changing to the pricing model, more consumers have signed up for the subscription they want, having a wider selection to choose from in the ad itself, and a higher conversion rate has occurred as well as fewer consumers click to browse at the selection.
Another high-end alcohol and drug treatment facility client offers amenities comparable to world-class centers around the world. The biggest issue with a client advertising such niche, expensive services is to pre-qualify users based on a consumer’s financial limitations. It does not make sense to rack up clicks and ad spend on consumers that will never be able to afford these services. In addition to using the top income geographical targetings (are you familiar with these!?), the use of price extensions that detail a from sticker price in the ten’s of thousands quickly disqualifies consumers that cannot afford the services ahead of a precious click, of which in this industry a click can be $10 or higher.
Best Practices for Price Extensions
Tip #1 Keep Price Extensions Brief and On-Point
Short, succinct statements in the header and description lines for your products. A good example for a car wash is “Premium Car Wash” - “Soap Wash, Wax and Shine”. Avoid focusing on call to actions as the price extension is really intended to extend the real estate on the Search Results Page (SERP) and give users a selection to choose offerings by quickly visiting specific pages on the website with more details.
Tip #2 Determine Price Extension Granularity Level
Determine what you wish to sell and organize your price extensions accordingly. Remember, you can choose to associate price extensions at the account level (a “one-size fits all” model), and at the more granular campaign and ad group levels. If you sell products, it may not make sense to advertise prices at the ad group level when a shopping campaign with its product listing ads are a better fit. Keep time and workload in mind as well as the benefits of granularity of offerings.
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