How to increase the CTR of ads in Google Ads and Yandex.Direct using sitelinks

The Yandex.Direct and Google Ads contextual advertising systems have tools that increase the usability of ads, make them more attractive to users and, as a result, increase their click-through rate ( CTR ). One such tool is sitelinks.

What are sitelinks and why you need them

Quick links allow the user to go to the internal sections of the site immediately from the search ad – without clicking on the main link in the header.

In Yandex.Direct, sitelinks look like this:

In Google Ads, sitelinks look exactly the same, except for highlighting the keywords from the query:

What sitelinks give advertisers:

  • Increasing the CTR of ads. Sitelinks make the ad one line wider, and therefore visually more noticeable. You don’t have to pay extra for placing sitelinks – you still pay only for clicks. Clicking on a quick link costs the same as clicking on the main link in the title.
  • Simplification of navigation. Links to related topics allow users to jump directly to where they need to go. This is a way to increase ad relevance.
  • More space for sales text. With the help of quick links, you can reveal in detail the essence of the offer and describe the favorable conditions.

Quick links are created in the interfaces of Yandex.Direct and Google Ads before or after the launch of the campaign (it doesn’t matter).

Basic requirements for sitelinks

Sitelinks, like other ad elements, are moderated. To prevent your ad from being rejected, follow these rules:

  • the same domain name is used in the URL of the quick and the main link (in PromoPult this check is carried out automatically);
  • names and descriptions of sitelinks are made without typos, errors and words typed in spacing or capslock;
  • titles and descriptions reflect the essence of the pages to which links lead;
  • sitelinks do not repeat each other in name, description, or URL, and also do not contain contact information;
  • Yandex.Direct cannot use question and exclamation marks; Google Ads does not allow punctuation marks, the sole purpose of which is to attract attention (for example, an exclamation point before a word or multiple quotation marks).

Create quick links with descriptions

Yandex and Google, for some queries, show expanded ads with the maximum number of sitelinks. In both advertising systems, this number is equal to eight.

Yandex shows such ads in an exclusive placement – this is the first advertising result expanded by sitelinks with descriptions (descriptions are not displayed on mobile phones).

By clicking on the link “other results from the site” you will be taken to the issuance of all the pages of this resource indexed by Googlebot.

The maximum number of sitelinks that Google displays on desktop is six, and eight on mobile devices (in a carousel format).

The maximum length of descriptions in Yandex and Google is 60 characters with spaces for each link.

How to improve the performance of sitelinks

Sitelinks increase the CTR of ads – but for this you need to compose them in such a way that they are useful and do not mislead users. Let’s look at a few typical situations.

Situation 1. The main link leads to the main page.

In this case, there are several options for generating sitelinks:

  • indicate the most important categories of goods or services;
  • offer to familiarize yourself with the working conditions (payment, delivery, promotions, return conditions, guarantee, etc.);
  • sell using quick links (place the hottest offers and promotions in the links).

What approaches do not work well:

  • lead to pages with specific products (users are at the wrong level of the sales funnel and are not yet ready to choose a specific product; the exception is if goods or services can be counted on the fingers);
  • make “discordance” (one link to the product, another to the category, the third to working conditions, etc.).

Situation 2: The main link leads to a directory section.

In this case, the following approaches to the formation of quick links show themselves well:

  • lead to the pages of the most popular brands (required with products of this category only);
  • add links to pages with the most popular products from this category (suitable only for stores with a narrow assortment, where 3-4 products from the advertised section provide the main revenue);
  • terms of delivery of goods, discounts, special offers;
  • filters by price/size/weight/gender and other criteria.

What approaches do not work well:

  • take people to other categories (if a person is looking for a smartphone, it is important to interest him with the help of favorable conditions, prices, assortment, but not offer to buy a refrigerator);
  • offer specific products if the store has a wide range (in this case, it is better to write “1000 models”, “100 brands”, etc.);
  • mix links from different levels (for example, one link to a product, another to a neighboring category, and a third to contacts).

Situation 3. The main link leads to the product/service page.

What approaches work:

  • indicate product modifications with prices;
  • specify the terms of delivery, promotions, discounts, benefits (the main thing is that all this is relevant for a particular product).

What you should not do is to divert to other categories and products (with the exception of complementary products / categories or substitute products).

As you can see, there are many approaches to building sitelinks. And it is unrealistic to immediately find a balance that maximizes CTR. Need testing.

How it is carried out:

  • choose the ads you plan to test;
  • define a variable (there should be one variable in each test cycle – for example, the order of sitelinks or the names of sitelinks);
  • make changes to quick links and wait for statistics to accumulate (depending on the amount of traffic, the testing period can be from a couple of days to a week);
  • compare the CTR of ads before and after testing and draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the changes;
  • if the changes worked for a plus, leave them and test the next variable.

Testing is a simple but routine process. In the PromoPult system, testing of quick links “on the machine” is available – within the framework of the “Context +” technology . This technology is enabled by default when you launch the contextual advertising module. The cost of its use is 10% of the advertising budget.

The Context+ technology automates a number of operations:

  • creation of quick links and their testing;
  • continuous improvement of ad texts (ads with a low CTR are selected and moderated by specialists who are engaged in their improvement);
  • working on negative keywords (disabling impressions for words with low-quality traffic and cross-backing track).

As a result, the Context+ technology saves advertisers time and budget. Therefore, it is not recommended to disable it.

Sitelinks are only part of the journey

Properly setting sitelinks does not mean that the CTR of your ads will increase. There are many more factors: geotargeting, time targeting , bid and impression management, selection of key phrases, ad texts and titles, and others.

If you do not have enough experience to work on contextual advertising on your own, you can seek the service of a professional, but If you still decide to do everything yourself, conduct a contextual advertising audit to be aware of problem points, quickly make changes and avoid wasting money.

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