If you're here you've certainly ran across the Google Ads Sitelink Extensions.
You really can't miss them. Google really pushes everyone to set up Sitelink Exentsions whenever they set up a new campaign. Why might that be? In my inexperience it is because Google bills most users for clicks, and they get clicks, which Google can bill you for... but because most people use them incorrectly they bring no value to use as the advertiser.
Basically they are a slot machine lever that Google Allows you to pull. Following my best practice will prevent that.
I covered this as a video here. Or you can read on!
FIRST, what are Sitelink Extensions?
Sitelink extensions are variant of ad exentsions in Pay-Per-Click Google Ads. They appear below the traditional ad body and make your ad take up more space on the page, allowing you to capture the attention of more searchers and direct them to relevant pages on your site.
If you've used them, you will notice they do get a lot more clicks. They are engaging and searchers like to click on them.
Clicks are good for Google, as they largely bill on a per click basis.
Clicks however are not good for the advertiser, because they are valueless unless they lead to a conversion.
When using Sitelink Extensions Google Ads will get you a ton more clicks, but that doesn't mean more conversions for you!
The Best Practice
Most advertisers (like the example in my video) use sitelinks to direct the user around their website. That's a failing move. Google Pay-Per-Click are a direct response marketing method.
If you are going to use Sitelinks; each site link must go to a landing page that drives the user to your conversion action.
Sitelinks should not go to random pages on the website. Each site link should go to a landing page, following direct response marketing principles.
To Use Sitelink Extensions Or Not
Doing it right, and creating a landing page for each Sitelink Extension is tedious and the return is often marginal.
As a rule of thumb I will use sitelinks when search terms are ambiguous and there are different customer avatars to speak.
Consider a roofing company. Most people searching for roofing services will simply search for 'roofing company near me'. The search term reveals very little about their needs. That specific searcher may be searching for a tile roof, metal roof, or asphalt roof. They may be searching for emergency leak service or roof replacement. They may be a homeowner or a general contractor looking to sub out a project.
All of those search terms could be adequately satisfied with with one landing page.
From there you may see a little improvement creating landing page for homeowners and commercial clients, as they are two separate avatars.