Google tests a visual approach for search ads with Google Ads Image Extensions. Search ads can now be displayed in combination with matching images next to them.
Through ad extensions, Google has been trying to optimize the ad experience for years. Since the end of 2019 there is a new extension, which is already available for some accounts in the beta version.
For Google Ads Managers this is an ideal opportunity to highlight their ads even more and to display their product and topic images early in the user journey.
Example Google image extension
Who can use Google Ads image extensions?
Currently, the extension is only available for accounts that have been whitelisted by their Google contacts. Therefore, the ads can only be found sporadically. Examples of brands that work with the new format include Tripadvisor and Booking.com.
Which use cases are there?
Especially advertisers who sell physical products benefit. For example, Moebel.de can score early on by already providing an example table in “industrial” style in their search ad. Meanwhile, users can only guess which products are hidden behind the search ads of competitors.
Also, the tourism industry can provide an early insight into its hotel portfolio. Booking.com can convince the customer in comparison to the competition by showing already on the search results page how a hotel room is furnished.
How much do the image extensions cost?
Like other ad extensions, the image extension isfree. It serves to improve the click-through rate as much as possible, regardless of whether the user clicks on the ad text or one of the extensions. Therefore, the costs are just as high as for a normal click.
How does the image expansion work?
By clicking the Extensions tab in your Google Ads account, you can select the format and apply it to campaigns and/or ad groups as desired.
Afterwards, an image can be uploaded and selected via the image box. If no suitable picture is available, you can scan the website as usual for possible pictures.
Those who want to avoid the manual procedure can also work with the dynamic image extension.
What are dynamic image extensions?
Using the dynamic image extension, Google automatically selects which images are displayed next to the search ads. Google accesses all images that are on the landing pages of the ads and selects the most suitable ones.
Attention: By activating this function you confirm that you have the rights to all images on the advertised websites and that they can also be used by Google.
What is the image requirement?
To meet Google’s requirements, the images must be square or can be cropped to a square. While the accepted minimum size is 300 × 300 pixels, the recommended size is 1200 × 1200 pixels.
Furthermore, the image file size of 5120 KB must not be exceeded.
When will it be available to everyone?
There is no official date yet when the feature will be rolled out and available to all advertisers.
Conclusion and recommendation for Google’s image extension
Especially advertisers who work with visuals to market their products can benefit greatly from the image extension.
Again, the more fitting the image is to the search query, the higher the expected click-through rate. Whoever takes the extra step and ensures that the images fit on the ads at the most granular level per ad group will be able to profit from this in the long term.
Like any other extension, the image extension makes the ad wider and thus takes up more space on the search results page, which has a positive effect on the click-through rate and ultimately CPC.
In addition, the extension format can be easily combined with other extensions, as it does not take up space elsewhere.
All in all a great opportunity to upgrade your search ads. With a little initial effort, ads can be made more tangible and of even higher quality.
If you want to learn more about the Google Image Extension you can also check out our discussion from Firesidechat #25: