Google Adwords: Image Extensions Explained

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this is especially true when it comes to advertising. With Image Extension, advertisers on Google can now add relevant images to their text ads. This new beta was introduced in June and although it is still in its early days of development, the feature looks very promising.

So what are the benefits of adopting Image Ad Extension?

Until now, product ad extensions were the only way to include images with the adverts and those were limited to products listed in Google shopping. Thus, the new image extension opens new possibilities to a broader range of advertisers such as service-based companies and other non e-commerce businesses. Not only does it make your ads richer and more informative, but it also makes you stand out from the competition –  resulting in a higher click-through-rate.

One of the main advantages is that it reduces wasted clicks. Often with text ads PPC advertising, users might click on an ad which is not relevant to what they are actually looking for because the keyword used in the headline might entail different meanings.

For example, we have been using this extension for PR Power, a supplier of lighting towers for the construction, mining and civil works industries. There are two types of light towers, those used for decoration such as garden led light towers and those use for heavy duty, industrial purposes.  By displaying products’ images as shown on the screenshot below, it makes it more clear for the user and as a result reduces significantly the volume the unwanted clicks.


Another benefit is that images can appear alongside of another extension such as site links or location extension. And last but not least, the cost-per-click is the same!

How does it work and what are the requirements and limitations?

Here is how it works: advertisers choose the images they want to include and submit them for review. Please note that you must own the rights to the images and they should meet several criteria. For example, we are not allowed to show the company‘s logo unless the logo is a part of a product.

Image extensions are currently limited to the top advert position and it’s not always sure that the images will show even when ads are displaying in the top spot as the feature is still in its development stage. However, we have been using it for a couple of weeks now and have noticed a large increase in the volume of impressions received. The image ads received 10 times more impressions in June compared to the previous month.

There are two factors to consider before choosing to run image extension: the level of competition and campaign’s budget. This brings out to our attention the costs associated with deploying this extension. In a very competitive market, appearing in the top position at all times can be very costly. This means that if you are not paying top dollar and your adverts are not already showing at the top, the images might never show in the search results.

Analysing the data

As with the other ad extensions, the stats are visible in Adwords under the segment section > click type. However, it doesn’t give the performance data of each image. Maybe something Google will introduce in the near future.

The extension is not directly available through the Adwords platform, so you need to fill out a form to apply to take part in the beta.

At Bang Online, we have our own Adwords representative which makes the process much more convenient and quicker. Contact us today if you’d like to take part.