Activating Social Extensions Improves PPC Performance

Case Study: Social Extensions in PPC Ads

After writing on the introduction of social extensions within Adwords, I wanted to test how effective these extensions might be in influencing social connections.  To test their effectiveness, I choose four clients running PPC campaign that also had a verified Google+ Business Page and activated the social extensions for one week to compare before-and-after results.

The four clients included two regional PPC accounts (Hotel Groups A and B), a domestic PPC account (Hotel A) and an international account (Hotel B), so all campaigns were unique in their keyword and targeting.

Social Extension Case Study Results:

The results demonstrated that when social extensions were shown, the click-through-rate (CTR) – or the number of times an ad was clicked divided by the number of times it was shown –  was much higher than when ads were shown without social extensions (compared with both historical data and during the test when social extensions weren’t available):

  • Hotel A – 4.16% CTR without extensions vs. 6.70% CTR with extensions
  • Hotel B – 2.86% CTR without extensions vs. 3.65% CTR with extensions
  • Hotel Group A  – 0.31% CTR without extensions vs. 0.85% CTR with extensions
  • Hotel Group B – 1.38% CTR without extensions vs. 2.46% CTR with extensions

CPC decreased among locally-targeted campaigns with social extensions, but increased moderately to significantly for non-local campaigns with social extensions.

impact of social extensions on ppc ads

For Hotel A, once the social extensions were activated, they saw a decrease in their ad’s average positioning along with an increase in click volume.

In summary, some takeaways from this case study suggest that:

  • Social extensions adds another, personal level of trust and relevancy to ads
  • It is still very important to create compelling ad copy to support social network references
  • Google is not yet able to track conversions/revenue made by bookings that saw the social extension, but I’m predicting this feature will not be far behind.

Contributed by
Jonas Pauliukonis, Sr. eStrategist

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