Google's site links have been a core part of paid search ads now for some time and are now recognised as part of the landscape of these results, however what impact have these had on the campaigns’ results and should these now be an integral part of ad copy writing? We have been testing, researching and fine tuning these for some time to be able to give accurate and insightful answers to this in a bid to run more successful paid search campaigns.
Using a large data pool and lengthy time period we have discovered some very insightful and useful results that we are able to share with our other managed clients' campaigns. An example of a retail client show's that for when there were no visible site links on the ad copy we were receiving a CTR of 3.54%, however when these were visible, and thus increasing the prominence of the ad text and the space utilised by this, these produced a CTR of 11.30% on their own; a clear and unquestionable marked improvement. So this could then be concluded simply that site links work more efficiently when compared to the original ad copy, but then there is an extra, and far more revealing dimension to this: the effect on the overall performance of the ad when site links are shown.
Combining the clicks of the site links and the core ad copy when these are shown together, this then provided us with an overall CTR of 50.02% identifying us with a slightly surprising conclusion: it is not the site links themselves that are enticing consumers to click through but a combination of these with the original ad copy when viewed together. This obviously means that the ads are also benefiting from the increased ctr gained by appearing in one of the top 3 positions. This, with the percentage increase in space that this ad copy then occupies makes the whole package almost irresistible for brands!
Google's beta's, tests and experiments come and go almost daily, many without impact or even recognition, however paid search site links have proved to be a very worthwhile addition to the standard ad copy and one that has clearly had a positive impact on campaign results. This then, is one test that has become a fully-fledged addition to our recommended ad copy offering.