One under-used feature of Google AdWords, is the Structured Snippet Ad Extension. This little known component of the Ad Extensions is surprisingly useful for certain types of ads you may use in AdWords, if promoting products or services. In a nutshell, when triggered like any other ad extension, it will expand your ad with an additional level of detail, highlighting traits, types or features of what you are advertising.
How are Structured Snippets defined?
Having a look in AdWords, at first glance, Structured Snippets may appear very similar to Callout Extensions. However, Callout Extensions are used to point out what makes your products, services or business itself special to prospecting visitors. Structured Snippets on the other hand, use a set of predefined categories, known as ‘Headers’ which allow you to highlight particular products or services themselves. A similarity they share with Callout Extensions is that the Structured Snippets are not links, they are not clickable, and simply provide additional information to your potential customers when they view your ad.
Creating a Structured Snippet for your AdWords Campaign is very straight-forward. They are by definition, limited by the predefined Headers available. At this time (Feb 2017) there are 13 header options available, as follows.
As you can see, these Headers are quite versatile in their options, especially Styles / Types, which can be applied to various kinds of products in particular.
One you have selected your header, you’ll be asked to provide at least 3 values, though you can provide up to 10 to increase the level of detail, and Google recommends at least 4. These values are what will appear in your ad, after the header is mentioned. For example, if your ad was promoting jackets, and your Header was ‘Styles’, your values could be ‘Parkas’, ‘Trenchcoats’, ‘Raincoats’, etc. And this would display in your ad underneath your main ad description text as:
Styles: Parkas, Trenchcoats, Raincoats
Why use a Structured Snippet?
Structured Snippets provide additional information to your potential customers, increasing the probability that they will click on your ad (increasing your CTR, and Quality Score in AdWords) at no additional cost. Like other Ad Extensions, Structured Snippets have no cost, and you will only be charged if your ad is clicked on as usual.
Like some other Ad Extensions, Structured Snippets can be scheduled to run at certain times/days, if you prefer to advertise to different audiences at different times, or have seasonal information you would like to switch on. Device preference is also an option, allowing your snippets to display on mobile devices (or not), to provide you with even more customisation of your ads.