If you are not already harnessing the power of Review Extensions within your Google AdWords account, then you are most definitely missing a trick.

In this guide I will be showing you what review extensions actually are, how to set them up and how to optimise them. I’ll also share with you some real data from one of the accounts I manage that has the extensions installed.

You, as the business owner or account manager, already know that your company is great, so why not spread the word with Google AdWords Review Extensions? Review Extensions let your potential customers know that a respectable third-party source agrees with your view. Adding a paraphrase or exact quote from a positive review, award, or accolade not only promotes a positive “third-party” endorsement of your company and/or service, but also provides you with greater real-estate when it comes to the SERP. It also increases the chance of a customer clicking on your ad rather than on a competitor’s ad that does not have a Review Extension enabled.

How Google AdWords Review Extensions work:

There are two types of Review Extensions – quote and paraphrased. You can use either, so as long as they are attributed and linked to the published source where the review is displayed.

Here’s how an ‘exact quote’ review extension looks:

And here is how a paraphrased review extension looks:

(Image credits to the good old Example.com)

If you have a review written in your creative adtext, migrate it to Review Extensions now and free up valuable space for further keyword insertion to help promote your product or service.

However, you should be aware that Review Extensions are not always displayed. There are a number of factors that attribute to the extension showing, including your bid, ad relevance and many more wonderful Google algorithms.

Don’t have Review Extensions installed? Let’s walk through it now…

(If you do already, bravo, you can skip this bit)

Rules, regulations, red tape, rules etc. etc. etc.:

  • Review Extensions are currently only supported in English (désolé).
  • Reviews should be business related as a whole, and not attributed to a particular product. Why promote a product when you should be promoting how great your company is, right?
  • Reviews from individuals are not allowed.
  • Include the year for an annual award.
  • Ensure you have permission from the third-party to utilise the review; don’t get yourself in trouble with the Google Policy Police.
  • Best practice, keep the Review Extension text out of the creative adtext
  • Press releases are not allowed.
  • Amending the review from the original text is also a no-no.

How to create Review Extensions: (better than an Ikea DIY manual)

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account
  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. On the left-side navigation, choose the campaign you’d like to add the review to.
  4. Click the Ad extensions tab.
  5. From the View drop-down menu, choose Review Extensions.
  6. Click Account extension, Campaign extensions or Ad group extension, based on which level you want the extension to show, and then click the + Extension button.
  7. To create a new review, click the + New review button at the bottom of the window. (You can also add an existing review to your campaign by clicking the arrow next to the review you want to add.)
  8. In the “New review” window, select the “Format” of the review, either “Paraphrased” or “Exact quote”. Write the paraphrased or quoted review in the “Text” field and the name of the review’s source in the “Source” field. Remember, you are limited to no more than 67 characters for these two fields combined. Include the URL of the web page where the review can be found in the “Source URL” field. The Source URL must match the Source name.
  9. Click Save.
  10. The new review will appear in the window under “Selected reviews”. Click Save.
  11. Google reviews all Review Extension submissions. This can take a day or two, so be patient; it’s worth it.

Here’s how to see basic reporting statistics for your review extensions (you want to see how they’re performing, right?):

  1. Choose the campaign or ad group that contains the review that you’re interested in.
  2. Click the Ad extensions tab.
  3. Choose View: Review Extensions from the drop-down menu.
  4. You’ll see a table with the associated reviews and performance statistics including clicks, impressions and click-through rate (CTR).

NB: You can also filter your statistics by clicking the Segment drop-down menu and selecting the type of stats you’re interested in. My favourite is ‘Click type’, which will indicate where users are clicking on your ad – the extension, sitelink extension, main headline etc. (Note: Click type only reports metrics on ads whereby the review extension was displayed).

Real findings:

(real data, real report, I couldn’t think of a catchy sub-heading here)

So, I thought it might be a good idea to share some metrics with you from a live account that I manage… what is it they say? ‘The proof is in the pudding’?

Click to enlarge.

In the image above, I am comparing the Overall Performance of each campaign, whereby all data is reported, against the Review Extension Performance data only.

In summary:

  • CTR increased from 3.80% to 8.39% on average.
  • Average CPC decreased from $1.22 to $1.16.
  • Average Ad Position increased from 4.1 to 2.4.
  • Cost / Conversion decreased from $67.89 to $65.67 whilst maintaining a relatively identical Conversion Rate of 1.77% to 1.80%.

So, the results look pretty good eh? Now I am not saying that all of you will see the same results, but I would certainly suggest that you give it a try today.

Now, I’m sure some of you are saying that the data in the image above looks great, but what were the costs of the extension? Well, wait for it….. £0.00. A click on the review extension does not cost a penny, thrupenny bit, shilling, nada. As always though, you are charged a standard CPC for anywhere else a user clicks on your ad, headline, sitelink etc.

So there we have it, a complete guide to review extensions, what they are, the benefits, how to set them up, monitoring and some real-life results.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and, as always, I welcome your feedback. Have you recently experimented with review extensions? Let me know how they have performed for you.

Flickr Image Credit