What Are Image Extensions?
Google have recently launched (Beta) a new and exciting extension for Google search ads called image extensions. This allows the advertiser to upload rich and high-quality pictures of their products and services they are advertising on google search. This new feature complements search ads by adding a visually appealing picture alongside the ad text. Image extensions will appear beside your advertisements which can entice more customers to click on your ads as they are now given a visual and textual representation of your products or services.
Using quality images from your landing page will also help you increase ad quality which can have a positive impact on quality score. A good quality score will perform better on Google search and clicks on your ads will be cheaper.
Image Extensions and Dynamic Image Extensions
There are two options when creating image extensions. Normal image extensions allow you to pick the image you would like to appear alongside your ads, while dynamic image extensions allow Google to pull images from your landing page and curate a selection for you. The best option for advertisers would be to utilise both image extensions and dynamic extensions. Google will always choose image extensions over dynamic image extensions where appropriate.
What are the Benefits of Image Extensions?
Although there is not much data relating to the effectiveness of image extensions, due to the novelty of the feature, we predict that these image overlays will help boost click-through rate (CTR) and drive high-quality traffic towards your website.
CTR will be improved as it provides a visually appealing differentiator to consumers when your ads appear alongside competitors.
Having a picture appear alongside your ad will also help drive more highly qualified leads to your website as the consumer already has a good idea of what your products look like. This is especially relevant for products that rely upon aesthetics, such as clothing and jewellery.
Best Practices to curate highly impactful image extensions
Look for at least three unique images
Make sure you have three unique and appealing images that can be used for your ads. This will allow you to test which images are the most pleasing and informative for consumers.
Make sure your pictures are relevant and useful
Your pictures should be both highly relevant to the search queries they are popping up beside and provide useful information that can not be conveyed through text. The relevance of the pictures should follow the same rules as headlines and descriptions. They should also be highly useful and entice the consumer to click through and find out more about the product.
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but some advertisers will not give it the right amount of attention it deserves. Make sure pictures are high quality and not too busy. You want the main portion of your picture to concentrate on the product/service without too much noise and clutter that could potentially distract the consumer.
In summary, we believe this is a great feature introduced by Google. It adds an extra visual element to extensions that is quite unique and impactful. We would highly suggest incorporating this new extension into your ads and see what kind of results it can drive.