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December 2, 2014

Three Advanced AdWords Features You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

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Photo Credit: Carlos Luna via flickr

So you’ve been running a Google AdWords account for a while now and think you’ve got a pretty good handle on things, but are you confident that you are getting the most conversions possible? Are you using all the tips and tricks that the experts use? Could your AdWords campaign use a more competitive edge to nudge it past your competitors?

The truth is, most Google AdWords advertisers have accounts that are a little stagnant. Most AdWords advertisers don’t make use of all the features available to them. But it’s often those advanced features that can give you the competitive edge you are looking for.

Below are the details for three advanced AdWords features that you’ve probably never heard of, but should definitely be using.

1) Callout Extensions

Callout Extensions allow you to include 25 characters of additional descriptive text in your standard text ad, for example *24/7 Customer support* / *Free global shipping* / *Open 7 days, year round*.

The rules that apply to text ads generally apply to callout extensions, too. Think of Callout Extensions as a product tagline or catch-phrase that you might use on a TV commercial. Using them can differentiate your ad from those of other advertisers, which gives you a better chance to catch the attention of searchers.


You can activate Callout Extensions via the Ad Extensions tab. Click on the tab and then choose *View Callout Extensions* from the View drop down list. You can then create a new callout extension via the red +Extensions button.

2) Sitelinks Extensions

Sitelinks Extensions allow you to include additional destination links in your standard text ad, similar to the sitelinks you see in the Google search results pages. The links can lead to alternative pages on your website that differ from the destination URL used in your text ad. The rules that apply to text ads generally apply to sitelinks extensions too.

Sitelinks extensions are a powerful feature because they provide several additional opportunities to entice your potential customers to click on your ad, based on their specific search intent.


You can activate Sitelinks Extensions via the Ad Extensions tab. Click on the tab and then choose *View Sitelinks Extensions* from the drop down list. You can then create a new sitelinks extension via the red +Extensions button.

3) Bid Adjustments

Over time, you’ll probably notice patterns with your ad click-throughs. You might notice that you get more clicks from mobile devices, or at a certain time of the day, or from specific geographical locations.

By setting bid adjustments, you can increase or decrease your bids to gain more control over when and where your ad is shown. A bid adjustment represents a percentage change in your bids. You can increase or decrease every bid by a certain percentage in your campaign to bid more or less competitively across devices, locations, time of day, and more. You can also adjust your bids based on how your ads perform, helping to improve your return on investment (ROI).

For example, say you’ve set a max CPC bid of US$1. If you know that your campaign performs well on mobile devices, you can set bid adjustments to increase your bids for mobile to try to capture all available traffic. For example, you could set a +20 percent adjustment for searches on mobile devices, resulting in a final bid amount of US$1.20, while your bids for searches on other devices remain the same.

If you set multiple adjustments, they’ll be multiplied together to determine how much your bid will increase or decrease. Your spending on individual clicks may vary as your bids increase or decrease according to the adjustments you’ve set, but your overall daily budget won’t change.


Device Bid Adjustment

Use mobile bid adjustments to bid more or less for searches that occur on mobile devices. You can set a mobile bid adjustment for an entire campaign or individual ad groups. Bidding for devices with larger screens (like desktops, laptops and tablets) is grouped together. You can activate Device Bidding at either the campaign or ad group level.


Location Bid Adjustments

Use location bid adjustments to increase or decrease your bids depending on whether your customers are in certain countries, cities, or other geographic areas. You can also use location extension targeting to set different bids for customers who are located in a geographical area around your business. Location bidding is available at the campaign level.


Ad Scheduling Bid Adjustments

Use ad scheduling bid adjustments to increase or decrease your bids by percentage for specific days of the week or specific times of the day. Ad Scheduling bid adjustments are available at the campaign level.

To activate bid adjustments, follow these steps:

  • Sign in to your AdWords account at
  • Click the Campaigns tab at the top.
  • Choose a campaign. If you want to set bid adjustments for devices, you also have the option to choose an ad group.
  • Click the Settings tab.
  • Choose the Locations, Ad schedule, or Devices sub-tab.
  • Set bid adjustment.
  • Click the cell in the “Bid adj.” column of the row you want to adjust.
  • Choose “Increase by” or “Decrease by” from the drop-down, and enter a number.
  • Click Save.

Setting bid adjustments in bulk: To set bid adjustments for multiple rows on the Locations or Ad schedule sub-tabs, select the check-box next to each row, then click the Set bid adjustment button. Enter your adjustment and click Save.

Activating one or more of these advanced AdWords features can make a huge difference to the cost effectiveness of your campaign and might even provide that competitive edge you’ve been looking for.


Article by Kalena Jordan, one of the first search engine optimization experts in Australia, who is well known and respected in the industry, particularly in the U.S. As well as running a daily Search Engine Advice Column, Kalena manages Search Engine College — an online training institution offering instructor-led short courses and downloadable self-study courses in search engine optimization and other search engine marketing subjects.