Google Offer Extensions are the latest and greatest AdWords advertising extension, enabling advertisers to make some powerful adjustments to their standard-issue Google ads. Offer Extensions integrate offers with search, allowing you to attach a clickable coupon, rebate, or discount offer to any standard Google Search ad.
Previously, Google Offer Extensions were available in a private beta for select AdWords advertisers. The feature is now on track to be rolled out to all advertisers along with a ton other changes by the end of February.
Here’s what an AdWords Offer Extension looks like in the wild:
New Google AdWords Offer Extensions Integrate Discount Offers with Search
How Do AdWords Offer Extensions Work?
Advertisers can attach a redeemable offer to their regular Google search ad. When users click the offer, they’ll be sent to one of two locations, depending on the advertiser’s chosen redemption option:
- Online Redemption: If your deal is for online redemption, users who click the “view offer” link will be taken to your offer page, complete with redemption details, existing on your business’s website.
- In-Store Redemption: If you choose to do an in-store redemption option, users who click the “view offer” link will be taken to a Google hosted landing page. From there, users can choose to print out the offer or “save it for later” by sending it to the “My Offers” section of Google Offers for later in-store use.
Why is Google Implementing the Offer Extension?
Google has been fiddling around in the deal space for some time now. It makes sense that Google wants to enter the deal market space – they have over a million local advertisers, and the coupon concept works well in tandem with local businesses.
Google in 2010 was reported to have been in talks to buy Groupon for as much as $6 billion – an offer that was rejected by Groupon, which later filed for an IPO. As a result, Google Offers was created in 2011 to directly compete with deal sites like Groupon and Living Social – the Groupon concept was considered relatively easy to repeat and replicate, which Google did with its own offering.
Google Offers failed to take off with quite the horsepower Google was hoping for, but the Googs wasn’t about to give up that easily.
Google “Save to Wallet” was the next step in Google’s quest for couponing. “Save to Wallet” is a feature for Google Wallet that lets users save deals they discover to use at a later date. It basically serves as an online coupon clipper for coupons that can be used at brick and mortar businesses or online.
Google Wallet as a whole has been struggling to wrangle in users, despite being a cool product, partly because the technology doesn’t work across all mobile phones. The “Save to Wallet” feature continues the trend of Google emphasizing local.
And now we have AdWords Offer Extensions, a logical next step in Google’s efforts to delve into the realm of coupons, offers and rebates. It’s clear that Google sees the value of coupons and deals, especially when combined with local searches, which account for roughly one of every 4 searches conducted on Google. Offer Extensions are a smart move for Google, but it’ll benefit advertisers even more if they take Google up on the offer.
Offer Extensions: Better ROI Measurement for Advertisers
Online advertisers – in particular those with physical retail presences – have long lamented the difficulty in measuring the all-encompassing value of online marketing. The traditional model of conversion tracking online measures completed actions as those that end in a “thank you” page, be it at the end of a form or an online purchase, but the real measure of online advertising is fairly elusive. How many web surfers saw your business’s ad, but instead of buying online, went to your brick and mortar location?
While measuring the full ramifications of online ads continues to be a challenge, Google has recognized the challenges advertisers face in being unable to track how PPC traffic affects footfall.
AdWords Offer Extensions closes the gap between online and offline activity considerably. Google keeps track of how many users save and print your online ad offer, so that users can better measure their ROI. When users choose to print out your ad offer to redeem your deal in-store, you’re getting a better glimpse at the ramifications of online action toward offline.
AdWords Offer Extensions Let Advertisers Easily Enter the Deal Market
Coupons and discounts are big. Whether it’s “buy one, get one free” or “20% off,” if users know they are getting a deal, they are more likely to go ahead with a purchase. Everyone enjoys the feeling of getting a bargain.
Coupons mean more eyeballs and attention for advertisers. Even if users see your deal, save it for later, and forget about it, they’ve still interacted with your business and brand more than they might have if you didn’t put out an ad offer.
Putting up a deal with a site like Groupon or Living Social can be quite a hassle. Some of the biggest complaints are the very high costs and lack of control over your deal once it launches. Offer Extensions serve as a great alterative to deal sites like Groupon, letting advertisers enter the deal market through the familiar form of AdWords.
The Value of Foot Traffic
AdWords’ Offer Extensions feature gives advertisers the capacity to turn online interest into in-store traffic. What’s more valuable? An online purchase or a physical purchase at a traditional store? The answer often depends on the size of your business (big name chain vs. small local business) and your industry.
Small local businesses often gain the most from in-store purchases. For many businesses, part of their perceived value lies in their accessibility for users. This is especially true of places that provide products or services that don’t work well (or at all) online – think flower boutiques, ice cream parlors, and cafes.
Even larger businesses that are capable of online orders can benefit from consumers taking advantage of in-store deals. A user may find an online deal for Olympia Sports, for example, and use that coupon, have an order delivered, and that’s the end of the line. An in-store offer, on the other hand, prompts a user to find a nearby Olympia Sports. Once a user has visited that physical store and its location, the individual will be more likely to return there in the future for sporting needs that can’t be dealt with online.
How to Set Up Google Offer Extensions in AdWords: Easy as Pie
One of the great things about Offer Extensions is how easy they are to implement. It’s a fairly simple process, but Offer Extensions are only available in “enhanced campaigns,” so when you create your campaign, you’ll need to choose one of these campaign types:
- Search & Display Networks – All features
- Search Network only – All features
You can issue offers at the campaign level of your AdWords account by clicking Ad Extensions
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