Google Ads Extensions – what’s new?

Author Jade Austin 4 min read time

As always, Google is ever-changing, especially when it comes to features on Google Ads.

A few new updates were rolled out globally in recent months and we’re sharing our thoughts on two of the newer extensions – Lead Form Extensions and Image Extensions. We wanted to give them a first-hand try and let you know our honest thoughts, so grab a cup of tea or coffee and find out what we have to say. 

Image Extensions

This feature was in BETA for a while and has recently been made available globally, which is very exciting. 

To break it down, Image extensions allow you to upload ‘visuals’ to complement your text ads and these will show on the Google Search results page. Like so:

Image extension example

To us, this extension is an absolute game-changer. Being able to visually showcase a business’ products or services without having to run other campaign types like Shopping or Display is amazing, especially with generic keywords. 

We’ve definitely seen CTR improve where we’ve tested the extension, and we’ve been trying new keywords & ad copy with the visual element in mind, so it’s great to be able to try new strategies on an existing channel.

Key takeaways are:

  • Ensure the images are as relevant as possible – be granular and add the extensions at ad group level to be as specific as possible.
  • Make sure the images complement the text – if your ad copy says “Luxury Skincare Brand”, back up that statement visually.
  • Think about how the images are portraying your brand as a whole – like you would with other forms of visual advertising.
  • Keep it sharp – you’re not Renoir.

Another great feature relates to Search Partners – if this setting is enabled, the image extensions can also show on your ad in YouTube search results, making Search Partners a much more valuable option now than before. 

Lead Forms

Another extension that recently launched globally is the Search Ad Lead Form. These can help to generate leads on mobile & tablet devices by letting people submit their information directly in your ad. 

The benefits of this are that Google is making it much easier for the user to pass along their details, being able to do so without even leaving the search results. However, it’s worth noting that there are some downsides too.

How do lead forms work in real-time?

  1. A user clicks on your ad headline, which then causes a lead form to pop-up
  2. The user is then able to fill in their name, email, contact number etc, and is then able to submit this information
  3. A message such as ‘Thank you for submitting this form! A member of our team will contact you shortly’ will appear and the data will be available to follow up with

In the usual Google Ads style, there’s a variety of CTA’s to choose from, such as:

  • Apply now
  • Book now
  • Contact us
  • Download
  • Request a demo
  • Sign up
  • Subscribe

From our tests, we’ve seen some success, but I think it will be a while until this feature will consistently generate good quality leads for businesses across the board. 

People can be protective over their data and want to know that the website they’re sharing their personal information with is legit. Although the extension is allowing users to make contact quickly, perhaps it’s too quick for those top-funnel audiences that still need a bit of convincing before parting with any information

Another limitation is that these extensions are only available on mobile, thus limiting your reach on platforms. In addition, depending on what country your ads are running in they must adhere to data collection policies, which can make things complicated.

Final thoughts

Both of these recent features have great potential to increase the performance of ads and help maximise ROI. We can’t wait to see how they develop over time and what new features Google brings out next.

What are your thoughts on Lead Form and Image extensions? Do you have any questions that we haven’t answered? Get in touch here.