What’s Google Ad SiteLinks?
I’ve had a lot of clients ask me recently about Google Ad SiteLinks. Most of the questions I get are on tracking the SiteLinks traffic in Coremetrics Search, as well as how search managers can use SiteLinks to their advantage to actually drive more (and better) conversions.
“Ad Sitelinks is a new feature for search-based ads that lets you include up to four additional links to deeper content on your site beyond the main landing page.” There’s more if you want a richer explanation, but the above ought to be enough to give you an idea SiteLinks is all about.
Here’s what it looks like:
This new feature should become available to most advertisers this month. The additional links will usually only appear for extremely high quality score branded keywords. Some of the benefits include:
- Better conversion rate, average order value and visitor engagement for the deep link traffic
- The ability to highlight top performing categories and promotions
- An option to segment traffic based on gender or other content categories
- A large increase in CTR and visibility for the ads that trigger SiteLinks
Tracking Ad SiteLinks traffic in Coremetrics Analytics
Now let’s get to the real issue at hand: analyzing SiteLinks’ contributions to your bottom line. Unfortunately, Google has not yet made reporting available for impression and click metrics. There will also not be API integration by Google for SiteLinks until Q1 2010.
As such, it’s currently only possible to track SiteLinks traffic within Coremetrics Analytics. The upper portion of the ad, independent of the SiteLinks appendage, will continue being tracked by Coremetrics Search as usual without any issues.
Each sublink should be tagged separately with the standard Coremetrics MMC tracking codes at the campaign level, under settings in AdWords:
I’ve included several examples below:
- www.url.com?cm_mmc=AdWords_Search-_- CampaignName -_-SiteLinks-_-credit+scores
- www.url.com?cm_mmc=AdWords_Search-_- CampaignName-_-SiteLinks-_-brand
This breakdown allows you to quickly navigate to the SiteLinks portion of the traffic in Marketing Programs, as well as separate the performance of each text link to refine your conversion KPIs.
Analyzing the traffic data in Coremetrics
Although AdWords does not have the ability to report on the SiteLinks traffic at this time, we can use Coremetrics Analytics to perform that analysis and look at all the relevant traffic and conversion KPIs.
Based on your MMC parameters as shown in the example above, here is how the traffic and conversion data comes out in Marketing Programs:
Let’s take a closer look:
In this case, the text link “credit reports” received 17 sessions (equivalent to clicks), which turned into 2 orders and $39.46 in sales. “Credit scores” received 75 sessions but 17 orders. 45 Day Avg CR corresponds to the session conversion rate based on a 45 day backward average attribution (which gives split credit to each click that contributed to a conversion). The CTR here is calculated using the total impressions for this campaign, and using sessions as clicks.
Following the example above, you can easily create a custom metric that weighs CTR, CR, AOV and visitor engagement to understand the impact of SiteLinks to the search channel.
The next post in this series will dive into leveraging SiteLinks for the holiday season by better selecting each link, accurately measuring its relative performance, and maximizing the overall impact of SiteLinks on the search channel to measure and avoid natural search cannibalization.
How are you using SiteLinks and more importantly, optimizing its contribution to your business objectives?