Google has launched 'Product Extensions', a way of showing images and prices for specific products directly in AdWords ads. Product extensions is available to all US advertisers now, and remains in limited beta elsewhere, though Google says it hopes to make the product available to all advertisers in due course
"Product extensions are priced on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis and will only display when your ad is triggered by one of the keywords in your product extensions enabled campaigns," says the search giant. "What's more, product extensions give you the option to prefer which products are displayed when a user's query triggers your ads.
"For example, you may sell dozens of laptop computers but you want to promote the newest or best selling inventory using product extensions when a user searches for 'laptop computer' on Google.com. By making a simple addition to your Merchant Centre account, you can easily control the products that display for certain queries," explains Google. "Of course, you can always use automatic targeting, and let AdWords determine the most relevant products in your account to a user's query."
Advertisers who implemented product extensions during the beta found that the additional product information helped improve the performance of their search campaigns, with Zeta Interactive, which manages advertising for SonyStyle.com, reporting a more than 10% increase in clickthrough rate (CTR) for their ads with product extensions.
Other formats currently under test include comparison ads, location ads and product listing ads.