Category

Tracking

Google Ad Sitelinks and Tracking

By | Tracking

Announced in Fall of 2009, Ad Sitelinks is an AdWords feature that lets you include additional links to deeper content within your Google text ad. Per Google’s blog here:

“Rather than sending all users to the same landing page, Ad Sitelinks will display up to 4 additional Destination URLs on your search-based text ad for users to choose from. By providing users with more options, you can create richer, more relevant ads that improve the value of your brand terms and other targeted keywords.”

They use Priceline as an example:

sitelinks

Ad Sitelinks can be found under the Ad Extension section of your Campaign settings. The many benefits for AdWords advertisers include ability to:

  • Show FIVE links in your ad, instead of one
  • Promote specials offers (e.g. holiday promos, free shipping, 10% off first purchase, etc.), increase awareness of and/or push new products, etc.
  • Potentially control additional ad real estate in the results pages, a great advantage if you’re in a highly competitive vertical

See Chris Zaharias comment in this Rimm-Kaufman blog, which includes links to a few case studies showing how advertisers actually increased their CTR via Sitelinks.

NOTE: Not all ads qualify to display Sitelinks in results and you can read more about Google’s “quality criteria” here.

TRACKING:

To track each sitelink separately you will want to append ValueTrack identifying query parameter to the destination URL of the sitelink – AdWords provides direction here. As an example:

Sitelink 1: Get Free Quote – http://www.ppc-buyers.com.php53-2.dfw1-2.websitetestlink.com/quote?origin=sitelink&campaign=ppcbuyers&sitelinkname=quote&keyword={keyword}&matchtype={matchtype}

Sitelink 2: Our Services – http://www.ppc-buyers.com.php53-2.dfw1-2.websitetestlink.com/services?origin=sitelink&campaign=ppcbuyers&sitelinkname=services&keyword={keyword}&matchtype={matchtype}

Sitelink 3: PPC Packages – http://www.ppc-buyers.com.php53-2.dfw1-2.websitetestlink.com/packages?origin=sitelink&campaign=ppcbuyers&sitelinkname=packages&keyword={keyword}&matchtype={matchtype}

Sitelink 4: Landing Page Optimization – http://www.ppc-buyers.com.php53-2.dfw1-2.websitetestlink.com/lpo?origin=sitelink&campaign=ppcbuyers&sitelinkname=landing+pages&keyword={keyword}&matchtype={matchtype}

Tagging your links will result in your landing page URLs being tracked with the additional sitelink parameter, which means you can view stats in Google Analytics. They will appear as a separate entry in Top Content reports and you should also be able to view stats in the AdWords section of the Traffic Sources section in Analytics.

  • Navigate to Traffic Sources > AdWords > Campaigns (or other level)
  • Select “Landing Page” from the second Dimensions drop-down menu
  • Click “Advanced Filter under “Filter Campaign” drop-down
  • Select “Landing Page” under Filter Dimensions, type “sitelink” into empty field and click “apply filter”
  • Here you’ll see visits, goals, etc for the AdWords sitelinks you tagged, with keyword and match type data captured as well.