Create effective Search ads

Use as many asset types as possible

Assets are pieces of content in your ad that give people information about your business and easy ways to connect with you. This guide gives you an overview of the types of assets that can show in addition to your headlines and descriptions, such as images and sitelinks.

Enable all asset types that make sense for your business.

Advertisers spend lots of time optimizing their ad text (which is great), but implementing asset types that can show in addition to headlines and descriptions is often an immediate and highly impactful way to improve CTR. An asset adds value to potential customers by being present and providing additional relevant information.

Tip

Every type of asset that shows in addition to headlines and descriptions is intended to provide additional benefit to users, which translates to a higher CTR for you. On average we have found that there is a 10-15% CTR uplift* from implementing a new asset type beyond headlines and descriptions.

*This will vary by client, business type and asset type, among other factors, and Google cannot guarantee this or any uplift.

We’ve also found that more information is a good thing, which means that ads with multiple types of assets often perform better than ads with only one. Identify which assets work for your business and implement them. The best combination of these assets is automatically determined on an auction-by-auction basis. The extra prominence that comes with using multiple asset types can also be a great thing for you and your brand, and that extra space can go a long way toward standing out on the results page.

Assets and Ad Rank

Assets that can show in addition to headlines and descriptions are a component of Ad Rank along with your bids, the quality of your ads and landing page, the Ad Rank thresholds, and the context of the person’s search. You can often get the same number of clicks for less money when you use these types of assets. They’re intended to be a good thing for your performance.

Ad Rank also determines which of these assets are eligible to show in your ads and how much you pay per click. During each auction, you need to pay the minimum amount necessary to clear the Ad Rank thresholds and beat the Ad Rank of the competitor immediately below you (if any). For example, if your Ad Rank places you in the top position with location assets and sitelinks, you’ll pay the minimum amount necessary to show these assets.

These type of assets will only be shown when your Ad Rank is high enough. There are times when you may need to increase your ad quality or bid in order for these asset types to show.

Make your assets as high quality as possible.

Use case: You want to visually showcase your products and services.

Example image asset

Image assets add relevant visuals of your products and services to your ads. This makes it easy for people to learn about your business and take action–especially on mobile. In fact, advertisers see a 10% increase in clickthrough rate on average when image assets show with their mobile Search ads.1

When creating image assets, try to include at least 3 unique images and make sure they’re relevant to your keywords, ads, and landing pages. Also, be sure to provide both square and landscape images, while putting the most important content in the center of them.

To find what works best for you, you can experiment with different visual styles including product imagery, lifestyle imagery, and creative visualizations of abstract concepts. If possible, avoid using images with white backgrounds. If you don’t have images from your landing page that you can use, you can choose from a searchable library of stock images that are free to use in Google Ads, or try images from your social media campaigns.

Case Study

HUGO BOSS logo

As a world-renowned retailer in the premium apparel industry, HUGO BOSS was looking for a way to increase engagement of its Search ads to drive more sales. To visually inspire consumers searching for the brand’s latest apparel, the company included image assets that featured rich brand imagery in its responsive search ads. Using audience data and Target ROAS Smart Bidding as part of its strategy, image assets helped HUGO BOSS achieve a 2.5x return on ad spend and 5% improvement in clickthrough rate when compared to overall mobile traffic.

Consider creating image assets for your priority campaigns and ad groups, then opting into dynamic image assets for a quick way to add images to the rest of your ad groups. Dynamic image assets use machine learning to automatically select the most relevant images from your ad’s landing page and add them to your ad. Once you opt in, we'll add images from your landing pages to their corresponding ad groups in your campaigns.

Tip

When selecting your images, be sure to follow our creative guidelines.

Use case: You want to help people find what page they're looking for on your site with just one click Sitelinks assets

Optimize the messaging in this space routinely, just as you do with ad text.

Sitelinks make your ads more helpful by showing additional links that take people directly to specific pages on your site. Advertisers can see a 20% increase in clickthrough rate on average when 4 sitelinks show with their Search ads.2 

Make sure to have at least four active sitelinks, but remember that you can go all the way up to twenty total per ad group or campaign. Keep in mind that adding sitelinks at the account level can be a fast and efficient way to start showing them with your ads. Just be sure your sitelinks are relevant to all of your campaigns and ad groups. You can also consider using dynamic sitelinks for a quick way to add sitelinks to your account. Once set up, you can take your time creating unique sitelinks for each campaign or ad group, and letting the system show the best combination.

Sitelinks allow 25 characters for the link itself, and that space allows for testing. We’ve found that briefer sitelinks are generally the most effective, though, so try and keep them short and crisp. Also make sure your sitelinks use copy that’s different from your headlines and descriptions. If certain sitelinks aren’t receiving a lot of impressions they’ve been passed over by the system, which means that you could probably work on improving those first. When deciding which landing pages to use for your sitelinks, make sure they’re different from your ad’s landing page, and start with the ones that get the most visitors—these are usually the most helpful.

Tip

Looking to test the text you use for your sitelinks? Try out different versions in a campaign experiment.

Use principles of ad copy writing as you create sitelinks. Think of distinct calls to action and benefits that relate to a user’s search and the page you’re directing them to. You can also take lessons from previous ad tests and apply them. For example, you can use losing (but still strong) ad copy as your sitelinks or their descriptions.

  • Sitelinks with descriptions
Sitelinks with additional detail

To help people learn more about your business, be sure to add additional detail to your sitelinks by including descriptions with them. Descriptions help your sitelinks stand out and provide a great opportunity to prove value to customers before they click. Many advertisers see this format most frequently on their brand terms where they’re the only ad above the results.

Tip

To maximize performance, provide at least 4 sitelinks with descriptions for all your ad groups and campaigns.

Use case: If you want to highlight specific information about your products and services on top of what you already mention in your ads and sitelinks

Callout assets

Callout assets essentially get you an extra line of ad text that tee up into tight, short snippets of text (25 characters or fewer). They aren’t clickable, so the focus of the ad will remain on your headline.

With callouts you’ll want to highlight features of your business or product. Identify what short snippets could enhance your existing ad text and make it more convincing. By focusing on standard features that you offer, such as no contracts or free shipping, you can open up that space in your ad text. Avoid repeating whatever you use in your callout in your ad text or your sitelinks. Make sure you're providing information a user wouldn’t otherwise have - if it’s in the ad your callout won’t serve.

A few things that you should keep in mind when using callout assets:

  • Keep them short (think bullet points, not sentences)
  • Be specific (add concrete information like specific sizes or rates)
  • There’s a two callout minimum, and up to four can show at one time (depending on space)

Structured snippet assets

Use case: You want to provide context on your products and services before visitors click through to your site structured snippets

Structured snippets focus on attracting clicks from visitors who are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer. You can enable them at the ad group, campaign or account level. 

Write shorter snippet values (think 12 characters or fewer) for campaigns that serve on mobile. Add as many relevant headers as possible for your business, and try to include at least 4 snippets for each of those headers. You’ll also need to keep your snippets informational instead of promotional.

Use case: You want users to fill out a lead form and share information with you.

Example lead form asset

Lead form assets allow you to show a lead form directly in your ad, giving people an easy way to share information with you as they search. If you find yourself wanting to improve the quality of your incoming leads, try including more questions in your lead form to further qualify people. 

If you want to drive a higher volume of leads, you can choose to show a lead form every time someone taps the headline in your Search ad. Just be sure to make your ad as informative as possible since you’re asking users to submit a lead form before visiting your site.

Gif of example lead form

Use case: Phone calls are an important way for customers to connect with you Call asset

Start by deciding whether receiving a call can be more valuable to you than a regular website click. This can be particularly true on mobile devices. Review how many conversions are generated from calls (via clicks on the call button) vs. website clicks (via clicks on your ad’s headline). If calls convert at a higher rate, use call assets and adjust your bid strategy to maximize total conversions instead of just online conversions.

Once you’re driving calls, be sure to track conversions from them. When using call assets, plan on using Google forwarding numbers. This option provides you with details about the calls that you receive and allows you to track calls as conversions.

Phone calls have the added benefit of working with target CPA and ECPC bidding options. These options automate bidding - incorporating factors such as device, browser, location and time of day - to get the most conversions for your budget.

Tip

If calls are important for your business, check out our guide to driving calls in Google Ads.

Use case: You want to give people an idea of your prices before they visit your site.

Price asset example visual

Price assets allow you to showcase multiple product categories or services along with their average prices in your ad. Helping people understand your prices early on can help you increase the quality of clicks your ads receive.

When setting up price assets, be sure to link to landing pages that represent each product category or service. This will help reduce the number of pages visitors need to click through and get qualified customers to purchase faster.

Use case: You want to quickly highlight sales and special offers without having to update every ad.

Promotion asset Example Visual

Promotion assets are a great way to highlight sales and special offers without needing to take up character limits in your ad’s headlines and descriptions.

Take advantage of the optional “Occasions” feature to add a bold label next to your promotional text and make it stand out even more. You can choose from occasions like “Christmas” or “Mother’s Day”. Just take note that some occasions will cause your promotion asset to only show during certain dates.

Use case: You want to promote your physical business location to people nearby.

When you set up location assets for your ads, you make it easier for your customers to call, visit your business or identify where your business is located.

There are two ways to enable location assets in your account:

  1. If you sell products or offer services at major retailers, the easiest way is to add chain store locations directly to your account in Google Ads (recommended).
  2. If you don’t see your retailers in this list or prefer an alternative, you can also link to a Business Profile.

Whichever way you choose, the locations you add are eligible to show with any Search, Display, or Video ad in your account. 

If you want to assign locations to particular campaigns or ad groups, set up location groups when you create your location assets.

Keep in mind that chain locations update automatically as stores open, move, or close; while updates to locations in Business Profile may take up to a day to reflect in your Google Ads account.

Use case: You want to drive users to your site, but you also want to give them the option of downloading your app App asset


The mobile app asset allows you to extend your text ads with a link to allow users to download your app from Google Play or the App Store. This asset can be used with both brand and generic keywords, and it can show alongside any of your other assets. You just have to decide what your primary motivation is. If it’s site traffic, use app assets. If it’s app downloads, use app install ads. Since a user’s operating system is automatically detected, you don’t have to worry about any compatibility issues. Target whichever operating system works for you and your app, and the system should take care of the rest.

Some Assets Will Show Automatically

Tip

If you qualify, certain assets will automatically show in your ads without any action on your part, including:

Use case: Your company (not your individual products) has accrued numerous positive user reviews online Seller ratings asset

These ratings will show automatically if you meet the criteria listed here.

You can view your current active reviews by visiting https://www.google.com/shopping/ratings/account/lookup?q={xxxxxxx.com} (replace xxxxxxx.com with your domain). If you have a total rating lower than 3.5 stars, it won’t be shown on Search ads.

We want our users to find value in the ads we display, so you can rest assured that we want your ads to be engaging. If these assets are projected to hurt your performance we won’t show them.

If you would rather opt out of assets that show automatically, that option is available to you.

 

 

1. Google internal data, 3/5/2021 - 3/18/2021
2. Google internal data, Global, 10/24/2021 - 11/24/2021

Next: Test and optimize creative messages

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