Back in early 2015 Google rolled out Dynamic Structured Snippets. These automated ad extensions display additional, industry-specific information about your products and services.
Examples include a list of shoe brands or the number of nonstop flights to Chicago.
Due to their success, later in 2015 Google rolled out the Structured Snippets Ad Extension.
The Structured Snippets Ad Extension
Structured snippets look very much like their dynamic cousin – displaying additional text below your ad that highlights specific aspects of your products and services. The key difference being that the dynamic version is automatically created by Google, whereas structured snippets are written by the advertiser.
Structured snippets consist of 2 parts… the header and the values.
The advertiser selects from 13 pre-defined header choices and then specifies up to 10 specific values of his or her choosing.
The 13 Structured Snippet Headers
When setting up structured snippets you choose from 13 pre-defined headers provided by Google. Bear in mind many of these are industry specific – and so many won’t apply to your business.
Google’s rules for values: All values must list useful features or facilities of a building or place.
Examples: WiFi, Pool, Fitness center, Kitchenette
The amenities header is great for advertising hotels, residential or office buildings, and other services related to real estate. Note that the values must be specific amenities offered – Google will not approve promotional text such as “Rated most comfortable.”
Google’s rules for values: All values must be actual brands offered by the advertiser.
Examples provided by Google: Nest, Nexus, Chromebook
The brands header is ideal for retail or ecommerce stores that offers multiple brands of a particular product. Each value must be a specific brand – Google will not approve generic or promotional text such as “Over 50 brands available” or “latest iPhones on sale” etc.
Google’s rules for values: All values must list specific classes offered by an educational provider.
Examples provided by Google: Creative writing, Data structures, Linear algebra
The courses header is perfect for educational companies. Note that the values must be specific courses of study and Google will not allow generic degree programs such as BS, Ph.D, or MBA.
Google’s rules for values: All values must be courses of study at online or traditional educational institutions.
Examples provided by Google: Business administration, Accounting, HR management
The degree programs header is great for colleges or other educational companies that offer degrees. The values must be actual degrees that are offered – Google specifically will not approve more general terms referring to the degree duration, e.g., “2 year,” “4 year,” “masters.”
Google’s rules for values: All values must include city, state, or country names only.
Examples provided by Google: Paris, Berlin, London
The destinations header is ideal for companies in the travel business. Note that the values must be cities, states, or countries. Google will not allow promotional or generic text… “Locations in 150 cities,” “Luxury tour guides,” even something as simple as “Visit Paris” will not be approved.
Google’s rules for values: All values must include hotel names for which the advertiser is offering booking services.
Examples provided by Google: Luxury Inn, Alpine Lodge, Lakeside Hotel
The featured hotels header is perfect for – you guessed it – hotel and hotel booking companies. Note that each value must be a hotel name and cannot include promotional text such as “10% off Garden Grand Inn” or “lowest rate at Plaza Hotel.”
Google’s rules for values: All values must be specific insurance coverage types.
Examples provided by Google: Third party liability, Collision, Umbrella, Car rentals
The insurance coverage header is great for – you guessed it – businesses that offer insurance products. Values are restricted to specific coverage types and cannot be promotional or generic such as “free rate quote” or “all coverages offered.”
Google’s rules for values: All values must list specific models or range of models offered by an automobile manufacturer or dealership only.
Examples provided by Google: Corolla, Prius, Yaris
The models header is one of the most restrictive categories and is limited to specific automobile models. Note that the values cannot include automobile manufacturers, model year, or information about model specs or price.
Google’s rules for values: All values must be sub-regions or districts within a city.
Examples provided by Google: Financial district, SOMA, North Beach
The neighborhoods header is ideal for businesses that operate in specific areas or neighborhoods of a city. This could include delivery companies, real estate companies, or other service businesses. Note the values must be neighborhoods and Google will not allow names of cities, countries, or apartment buildings.
Google’s rules for values: All values must be specific offerings of a service provider and not features of a product. Think of these as services that have a price attached to them.
Examples provided by Google: Oil change, Smog check, Tire alignment
The services header can be used by service businesses and professionals including dental or medical professionals, lawyers, finance or real estate professionals just to name a few. All values must be names of specific service offerings and not include promotional or generic text such as “25% off…” or “broad range of services offered.”
Google’s rules for values: All values must list names of performances or actual TV shows.
Examples provided by Google: The Voyage, Knights, American Dancer
The shows header is great for theaters or online streaming services such as Netflix. Note that the values provided must be names of actual shows or performances and cannot be general information regarding the show or time or the venue.
Google’s rules for values: All values must be variations of a fairly specific category.
Examples provided by Google: Chukka, Cowboy, Combat, Chelsea
The styles header is great for retailers or companies offering fashion/beauty products or services. Note the values must be specific.
Creating Structured Snippets
To create structured snippets in your account, navigate to the Ad extensions tab in your AdWords account and select Structured snippet extensions from the View drop down menu.
Click the red + Extension button:
And finally click the + New structured snippet button.
This will bring up the dialogue box shown below:
Select your language and header:
Select a header that matches the products or services you offer. Refer to our detailed discussion of each header above.
Add up to 10 values:
Enter up to 10 values that will display after your header. Keep in mind the values must all relate to your chosen header and must follow the rules laid out above.
Sometimes you want to show one set of structured snippets to users on desktop/laptop/tablet devices and a separate set to users on mobile devices.
This can be useful if you have a separate mobile version of your website. Or perhaps you have certain snippets that are more relevant to users on mobile who tend to be “on the go.”
To do so create 2 sets of the ad extension – one for mobile and one for desktop. Then when you are creating the mobile version simply check the mobile “Device preference” box.
Note that if you only create one set of extensions and select the mobile device preference, they may still show on desktop. So if you do create a mobile version be sure to create a standard version as well.
Start/end dates & scheduling:
By default, once your structured snippet is approved it will be eligible to display at all times. Expanding the “Start/end dates, scheduling” section allows you to set a specific schedule for when the extension will display.
Start/end dates: Allow you to set specific start and end dates that you’d like the snippet to display.
Example: You are running a holiday sale that you’d like to promote with structured snippets. Just set the start and end dates ahead of time and your extension will automatically display during the relevant period.
Scheduling: This option allows you to display your structured snippet only at certain hours of the day or days of the week. Perhaps you’d only like it to show when you are open for business, or when you have operators taking phone calls. Or perhaps you run a weekly “20% off on Sunday” sale that you’d like to promote with snippets.
Structured snippets at the account, campaign, or ad group level
Like the other ad extensions, structured snippets can be created at the account, campaign, or ad group level. By default they are inherited downwards – structured snippets created at the account level are applied to all campaigns, and snippets created at the campaign level are applied to all ad groups within the campaign.
To override this default, navigate to the ad group or campaign you’d like to adjust and click on the “Ad extensions” tab. Select the structured snippets extension type from the View: drop down menu and click the red + Extension button.
You will see a menu with two options. (Note: the screenshot below is from a campaign. If you do this from the ad group level you will see slightly different text.)
Select one of the following:
- Use campaign structured snippet extension: choosing this option will allow you to add/remove any of the existing snippets already created in your account, or create new ones specific to this campaign.
- Disable structured snippet extensions: will turn off structured snippets for the selected campaign.
The process is the same for the ad group level.
The structured snippets ad extension is not a good fit for every advertiser, but is a great additional to your account if one of the headers is a good match for your products and services.
Like all ad extensions, structured snippets increase the physical size of your ad. This will help your ad stand out from the competitors and should help you get more clicks, more relevant clicks, and even improve your cost per click and ad position!
If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear from you in the comments sections below… so don’t be shy!