Price extensions, first introduced by Google in July of this year, are a new way to showcase multiple price points to users on mobile devices. Instead of sending the user to a generic landing page, you can now send them directly to the e-commerce page with the product that they’re interested in. It effectively reduces the number of clicks needed to convert a potential customer.
The prices and products that you add are displayed in a horizontal sliding format so the user can swipe through them. Here’s an example picture from Google:
As you can see, price extensions take up plenty of real estate, so there will certainly be tough competition for them.
Details on price extensions
Here’s what advertisers need to know about price extensions:
- You need a minimum of three, maximum of eight, different entries to use price extensions. Google recommends at least five.
- You need to have the top ad position to use price extensions.
- They can be added to the account, campaign, or ad group level.
- You can use start and end dates to automatically switch out price extensions.
- They can be combined with all ad formats except sitelinks.
- If you sell a time-based service, you can qualify a price with per hour, day, week, month, or year.
- While it’s most useful to link to a separate page for each price extension, you can use the same URL if that’s all you have.
- Of course, price extensions must be relevant to the keywords in an ad group.
- The CPC on a price extension is the same as the CPC on the title or display URL of the ad. If the user clicks on more than two price extensions, it will only charge for two. If someone clicks on multiple links while on the ad, these will be counted as duplicate or invalid clicks. In addition, there is no extra cost for setting up this extension.
- Headers and descriptions both have 25 character limits.
- You can add price qualifiers such as “up to”, “from”, and “$20-40” if you have a range of prices.
How to leverage price extensions
Price extensions have already been shown to improve clickthrough rates for some advertisers. WordStream found that price extensions boasted four times the CTR over plain ads. When used correctly, these extensions can also help boost your quality score.
Here are four basic steps for leveraging price extensions:
- Identify opportunities for mobile commerce. Remember, price extensions are only available for mobile devices. What products or services do you sell that someone might buy on a mobile phone? On-the-go items like a pizza or a haircut are more likely candidates than a high-involvement purchase like a car.
- Optimize your pages for mobile visitors. This will not only make your conversion rate higher, it will also potentially improve your quality score which drives down your CPC.
- Pair with other ad extensions. The call or location extensions allow the user multiple options for buying your product besides buying it online. For example, if you’re selling pizza, price extensions could help users decide on the size they want before they pick up the phone to order.
- Use the ad group level. Price extensions assume that the searcher is ready to compare and contrast multiple price points and product offerings. Thus, your entries should be specific to the keyword they search. Planning price extensions at the ad group level allow you to be more specific and relevant.
Should I use price extensions?
This extension is not for everyone, and it’s not without risks. As stated earlier, high-involvement purchases likely won’t be boosted by price extensions. People are unlikely to make a decision on enterprise-level software via 50 characters of text on a mobile search page.
In addition, there is a risk that your CTR and quality score will decrease. If your prices scare people away, or none of the options you provide seem relevant, the user might decide not to click on an ad they would have clicked on otherwise. And your quality score could go down if Google thinks your price extensions aren’t relevant enough.
On the flipside, there are numerous benefits to price extensions.
- Potentially higher conversion rate, with less wasted clicks. Customers who would otherwise click through and abandon once they see your prices can be a big factor in a low conversion rate. With price extensions, you can inform these customers upfront.
- More real estate. Price extensions are one of the biggest ad extensions available, and cover up a large portion of a mobile screen. This can increase the chances that people notice your ad instead of immediately scrolling down.
- More opportunities. A user may search for one item, then realize they actually wanted a more premium version based on your price extensions. This instant upsell is a powerful bonus.
It’s up to you to weigh the benefits versus the costs for your unique situation. Try them out—then watch your metrics carefully to see if they’re worth it for you. Keep in mind that to use price extensions, you’ll need the top ad slot for a search. This may require a higher bid or an investment of time to improve your quality score.
If you’re looking to get started, here are Google’s instructions for setting up price extensions.