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Google Ads Image Extension Explained

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With the implementation of image extensions, Google has taken a positive step away from text-based additions and enabled image extensions for users - giving advertisers the ability to display images alongside their search ads.

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Extensions for Google Ads can take many forms to give users the choice of converting in any way they see fit. Over the past few years, Google’s implemented a range of ad extensions offering a range of additional sitelinks, addresses, phone numbers, text numbers, app deep-links and more recently forms to enable more online conversions.

However, with the implementation of image extensions, Google has taken a positive step away from text-based additions and enabled image extensions for users - giving advertisers the ability to display images alongside their search ads.

But what actually is the Google Ads image extension? And how can businesses implement it to leverage better levels of exposure within their SERPs? Let’s take a deeper look at how marketers can use image extension to their advantage:

What is Google Ads Image Extension?

Google Ads extensions are nothing new, and marketers have long familiarised themselves with features like structured snippets, callouts and sitelink extensions as a means of boosting their prominence on results pages. These extensions can help to add a body of text to ads, provide valuable information to customers and generally improve the click-through rate of ads. The arrival of image extension is the latest SERP-boosting tool on the block.

In a nutshell, image extensions are exactly what you’d expect from the name. They enable users to add an image to support a text ad, helping to generate a more visual element and provide additional information to support a business.

One of the biggest perks of image extension is that they can be dynamic, which means Google can automatically add relevant images from a company’s landing page to an ad once the dynamic image extension option has been enabled.

Google ads image extension

(Image: Google)

Significantly, the addition of a thumbnail image to Google’s SERPs provides a vital, colourful and eye-catching image that commands attention amidst the search engine’s simplistic theme. In a highly competitive online landscape, marketers can utilise the image extension as a means of generating that vital added advantage over their rivals.

Currently, image extensions are being rolled out across mobile browsers, although a more widespread rollout is expected as the new feature is updated over time.

How to Create a Google Ads Image Extension

Google Ads image extensions can be added per campaign, making it more straightforward to conduct bulk uploads. It’s also possible to add image extensions to multiple campaigns or ad groups in any one go, or to ad groups singularly.

However, the most efficient way of selecting multiple ad groups or campaigns is by following the steps below:

  1. Sign into your Google Ads account
  2. In the page menu on the left, select ‘Ads & extensions’

  3. Click on the plus button and select ‘image extension’

  4. From the ‘Add to’ drop-down menu, select a campaign or ad group that you want to add your image extension to.

  5. Click on the plus button next to ‘images’ and then select an image source from the top of your dialog box.

  6. Here, you can select:

    1. ‘Create new’ - This adds image assets for you to choose from. You can select ‘Scan website’, ‘Upload’ or ‘Recently used.’

    2. ‘Use existing’ - This enables you to select image extensions from any existing campaign or ad group in your Ads account.

  7. Follow the prompts in order to upload your selected images.

  8. If any of your images don’t carry an aspect ratio of 1:1 or 1.9:1, it’s important that you crop them before you include them in your extension. Click the image that you would like to crop and make your changes before pressing ‘Continue.’ Repeat this step for your remaining images.

  9. You can pick up to 20 images for your image extension before hitting ‘Save’ to confirm your choices.

  10. Once you save your images, you’ll be able to see a preview of your final image selection to the right of your screen. If you’d like to make further changes, simply click on the pencil icon to edit.

Of course, it’s important to note that the images you upload will be subject to approval by Google after they’ve been saved. Once they’re approved, the images will start to show up alongside your ads on mobile SERPs.

Outperforming Competitors With Image Extensions

Although image extensions are a relatively new feature from Google, we can already see positive use cases from marketers that have adopted images within their ads.

Performance image extensions

(Image: Seer)

Seer Interactive has recorded significantly higher click-through rates alongside their ads featuring image extensions as opposed to those without an accompanying image. There’s also a tangible fall in cost-per-action values, too.

This indicates that the use of image extensions can not only boost click-through rates but lower the cost of campaigns in the process.

In an online space where countless businesses are vying for attention online, image extensions can be a valuable tool in actually showing users what your company is about, rather than attempting to shout louder than all of the other companies alongside you in Google’s SERPs.

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