Adding to its repertoire of new features, Google Ads has begun offering a beta version of image extensions. Currently available only to select advertisers, this new extension displays a small image next to your text ad on the search engine results page (SERP).
What Are Image Extensions?
Image extensions are a new ad extension in Google Ads. The feature is still in beta and only available to select advertisers.
As shown in the example below, the image extension shows as a small photo next to your text ad on the SERP. The image compliments your ad messaging and brings a visual element to your ad.
Similar to Google’s other recent innovations like gallery ads, image extensions are eligible to show up exclusively on mobile devices.
Since they are a new feature, there is not yet a wealth of data available on the effectiveness of these extensions. However, because they help your ads stand out on the SERP, we expect image extensions will boost mobile clickthrough rate (CTR) and help drive more traffic to your site.
Furthermore, as Google has experimented with SERP layout changes recently, the format of these image extensions may be an indicator of what’s to come with organic search results.
Consumers have become used to online experiences that merge visual elements with text and information. Google has responded to this shift by developing visual SERP features, adding favicons to organic listings, and other tactics to incorporate visual content on the search results page.
Ads with image extensions could potentially mimic what organic listings look like in the future.
How Do I Create Image Extensions?
Currently, image extensions can only be implemented by ad group. This makes bulk uploads more cumbersome than if you could add them account-wide or per campaign.
However, you can add the image extensions to multiple ad groups at once. The most efficient method for selecting multiple ad groups across more than one campaign is as follows:
- Start at the “All Campaigns” view in your account
- Select the Ads and Extensions tab
- Toggle to Extensions, and click the blue plus button to add a new extension
- Click on the Image Extension option
- This will bring up a new screen along with a popup box, in which you can view all your campaigns and the ad groups within them
- Go through each campaign you want to add the image extensions to, and select all the applicable ad groups
- Click Done
Once you’ve selected all the ad groups you want to include, you’ll need to upload your images. Click the blue plus button in the Images box, go to the Upload tab, and choose the file(s) you want to display next to your ad.
If you don’t have image files ready to upload, you can enter your website’s URL and Google will scan your site for images that meet their requirements.
Like other ad extensions, your image extensions will have to be approved by Google once they’re saved. After they’re approved, the images will begin to show up next to your ads on the mobile SERP.
What Are The Image Requirements?
To meet Google’s requirements, images need to be in square format or able to be cropped into a square. While the minimum size accepted is 300 x 300 pixels, the recommended size is 1200 × 1200.
Note that image file sizes cannot exceed 5120KB.
When Will They Be Available To All Advertisers?
It’s unclear when Google plans to make image extensions available to all advertisers. We may learn more about their vision for this ad extension during this year’s Google Marketing Live, scheduled for June 2020.
However, until we hear more, advertisers should check in on their account regularly to see if image extensions have become available.
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