written by Pauline Jakober

If you read my PPC column last month, you’re aware that I’m not a fan of Google AdWords Dynamic Structured Snippets, which automatically generate random text into ads. Literally the same week that article was published, Google answered our pleas to put the power back into our hands and Structured Snippets was born.

Google made this announcement in a feature on August 27:

“Over the past few months, many of you have been seeing tremendous success with dynamic structured snippets. And we’ve heard that you sometimes want to customize the information that shows in this format. That’s why today, we’re starting to roll out structured snippet extensions: advertiser-provided structured information that shows with your text ads.”

Yes, of course, we want the ability to customize. Now that we have what we want, we can really get down to business.

There are now a total of seven possible manual ad extensions available to advertisers in AdWords:

  • Apps
  • Calls
  • Location
  • Reviews
  • Sitelinks
  • Callouts
  • Structured Snippets

Instead of slapping up another piece of text, think about your entire ad extension strategy. When looking at your extensions from a bird’s-eye view, you have the opportunity to highlight the most important features, benefits, and actions for what you’re promoting. In the same way websites can get messy with time as pages are added and taken away without regard for the impact to overall site strategy, so, too, can your ads.

Structured Snippets lets you highlight certain aspects of what you’re advertising. Google gave the example of a hotel’s amenities, like free Wi-Fi, a business center, and a fitness club.

Advertisers can choose from predefined categories of products or service aspects, called Headers, and can customize the details from there.

In the hotel example, “Amenities” would be the predefined header. As of today, the list of headers to choose from includes:

  • Amenities
  • Brands
  • Courses
  • Degree programs
  • Destinations
  • Featured hotels
  • Insurance coverage
  • Neighborhoods
  • Service catalog
  • Shows
  • Styles
  • Types

At first glance, there appears to be a nice variety of predefined headers for both products and services. Although I’m sure some organizations won’t be able to find what they need, and may find it challenging to use Structured Snippets.

read more at searchenginewatch.com