Back in May, Google made an announcement that gallery ads would be sacked and image extensions would be implemented. Since that announcement, the implementation on image extensions was launched. There is an additional feature on the image beta as it has the added dynamic countdown functionality to responsive search ads. 

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What is the image extension in search ads?

Google has implemented this image extension to be open to both responsive search ads (RSA) as well as expanded search ads (ETA). When the image extension is switched on and activated on an ad impression of your choice, the image extension shows a single right-justified image alongside your text ad. 

This is an example of how Hugo Boss made use of image extension:

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(Marvin, 2020)

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How can we utilise this image extension?

There are two types of image extensions options available to be utilised:

  1. Manual: You have the option to manually upload images that are relevant to your ads. 

  1. Dynamic: You may allow Google to pull images dynamically from your website to use in as the image next to your ad. The image has to square and Google recommends a size of 1200 x 1200 pixels. 

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Can everyone make use of this image extension and what are the results like?

The short answer is no. You will need to be eligible in order to make use of this nifty feature. In order to find out about your eligibility, ask your account representative if you have one. 

In terms of the results this image extension can achieve, Google has mentioned that Hugo Boss saw a 2.5 lift in ROI in addition to the 5% increase in click through rate using image extension with RSAs. 

N.B: if you happen to be running campaigns with Microsoft Advertising, since 2015 the account, campaign and ad groups levels have supported image extensions. The compatibility with Google Import tool and image extensions are uncertain at this time, but once more information about it comes to the surface – you will be the first to know.

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RSAs now has countdowns

Thanks to countdown ad customisers, you are now able to inject dynamic ad copy into your RSAs. 

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(Marvin, 2020)

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In order to use countdowns, the syntax is the same as the ETAs. All one would have to do is simply set an end date, from there the number of days on the countdown and whether it should reflect your timezone or your viewer’s timezone. Just consider that if you select your viewer’s timezone, there is a possibility they could be seeing the countdown after your sale or promotion has ended. 

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(Marvin, 2020)

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Why do we care?

By adding these two new features to RSAs, it demonstrates that Google is continuing to actively invest in the format. Simply put, RSAs are here to stay. If your business has not been playing scientist and experimenting with RSAs, I think it is time to hop on the bandwagon and take another look at it. 

It’s important to note that in some instances RSAs may not always outperform ETAS, however these features provide you with more flexibility. Another perk is you can use them as a testing ground for new ad copy variations. 

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