For any advertiser looking to maximise PPC, sitelinks are a necessity. They play a vital role in allowing users to deep link to other areas of your site & they can also have a positive impact on your Ad Rank and at the same time they increase your SERP real estate.
Due to unforeseen circumstances we were able to analyse the effects of removing sitelinks on PPC performance. As an agency we are fully brought in to the positive impact of sitelinks therefore once the issue was resolved we added them back into our account, hence why we only have 4 days’ worth of data for this analysis. For this specific client it’s worth noting sitelinks drive 20% of all sales, after just a couple of days the effects of having no sitelinks on the account became very apparent.
I have chosen to compare the week without sitelinks to a similar week (in terms of front end volumes and seasonality). Now because there are always going to be other influences impacting the results, we have to take this data with a pinch of salt. However the negative influence not having sitelinks were having was clear to see.
A few comparisons between the weeks (all brand data)
- Impressions stayed steady.
- CTR dropped around 20% with the absence of sitelinks.
- Negative impact on sales.
Above you can see on this particular client that clicks and impressions go up and down due to the weekend. CTR has stayed pretty steady up until the point the sitelinks were removed. The drop in CTR then goes directly back up when sitelinks are re-added. Coincidence?
We then had a look at the average CTR for the days where we had the issue; you can see below there is a significant difference, with Thursday the difference being 15%
That is then reflected in the number of clicks being delivered, with again Thursday having a difference of 166 clicks or 42% less!
This actually turned out to be a great opportunity to really test the impact of sitelinks and assign some sort of value to them, especially since the SERP layout changes in February, where sitelinks can now show on all positions. The importance to include sitelinks becomes even greater. The fact of the matter is if you want to be getting the most out of your brand, whether you’re working on a strategy to increase Quality score or you just want to promote other areas of your site, you need to add sitelinks.