Structured Snippet Extensions for Shopify 
Some Google Ads stand out more and encourage clicks from genuine buyers. And that’s the name of the game if you’re spending money on pay-per-click advertising with Google and sending people to your store.
Google Ads by their nature contain relatively limited information but with structured snippet extensions, you can add more detail and make these ads more specific and more targeted to your buying audience.
However, there is a knack for getting these right. Do so and it can increase the click-through rate (CTR) and your ROI from Google Ads campaigns.
So, what are structured snippet ad extensions and how can you use them effectively in your next Google Ads campaign?
What are structured snippet extensions?
Ad extensions add extra information to your Google Ads campaigns. You might want to include extra links, product details (colors, styles, etc.) call buttons, pricing info or location information for instance.
There are different ad extensions to help you be more specific in your ads and provide detail rather than just generic info.
Structured snippet ad extensions are a specific type of extension that allows advertisers to describe features of a specific product or a range of products/services provided by the business.
“Structured snippets are extensions that highlight specific aspects of your products and services. They typically increase ad performance by giving people more reasons to click.”
With these extensions, people get more information to preview the range of your products or services instantly – without even clicking on your ad.
This will help you achieve two things:
- Weed out clicks from buyers who are looking for something else – which costs you money in Google Ads campaigns.
- Encourage clicks from genuinely interested buyers – which make you money.
This all adds up to an improved ROI.
If you own a Shopify store that uses search ads as part of your store marketing, this should be good news. It is another potential way to gain an important edge on competitors by helping your ads stand out from the rest.
How are the snippet extensions structured?
Snippet extensions consist of the following two sections:
- A header (for example, Styles, Types, or Brands – see more below), and
- Values (for example, UnderArmour, Nike, Adidas)
For desktop shoppers, up to two structured snippet extensions can appear at a time. Ads on mobile and tablet devices are shorter and only show one header.
Keep in mind that these extensions form part of the text of the ad and are not clickable. They simply add detail when required to the existing “fixed” text of the ad.
You can create multiple extensions. This information will then be ready to be included in your ads if and when Google deems that it is useful for a searcher to know (see more about user intent below).
What are Google’s guidelines for the snippets?
The extensions are subject to the set of standard Google ad policies as well as certain other requirements.
Following is the complete list of the 13 header options currently offered by Google, along with a brief guide to the values that are allowed and not allowed:
- Amenities: only list useful features or facilities of a building or place.
- Brands: only list brands you offer in your store.
- Courses: list specific classes offered and do not promote entire degree programs.
- Degree programs: only list study courses at online/traditional institutions.
- Destinations: names of cities, states, countries, places of interest, cultural/heritage sites, etc.
- Featured hotels: must be hotel names for which you provide a booking service.
- Insurance coverage: only list values that are specific types of insurance coverage.
- Models: only list specific product models or a range – no manufacturer or store names.
- Neighborhoods: valuesshould be sub-regions of a city (no city or country names).
- Service catalog: values should only include specific offerings of a service provider – no product features.
- Shows: names of performances or actual TV shows are permitted (no other info, times, venue, etc.)
- Styles: include variations of a specific category only.
- Types: Values should be variations of a product category.
As you can see from the above list, some of the headers listed are specifically geared towards particular industries. “Amenities”, for instance, is for the hospitality industry and “courses” for a training organization.
For most Shopify store owners, headers like “Brands”, “Models”, “Styles” and “Types” may be the most useful and some will not be relevant at all.
Keep in mind that extensions are not allowed to be overly promotional. For instance, Google prohibits the use of punctuation and symbols in snippet text for the sole purpose of drawing attention to the ad, e.g., exclamation marks, emoticons, etc.
The use of purely promotional words like “sale” or “free shipping” in the values or repetition in the values across the same or different headers is also not permitted and may result in an extension be rejected by Google.
As the store owner, you are also responsible for proper trademark use in your ad text, assets, and business information.
Google doesn’t show you the actual snippets they create until they appear in an ad. So, you need to be sure that you are following the guidelines to avoid nasty surprises in your ads.
The importance of gauging user intent
Google has become extremely clever at gauging user intent.
If its algorithm determines that your header type matches the intent of the searcher, it will show in the ad. Otherwise, it will not be visible.
Say, for instance, you have a header for your women’s jewelry store of types, with the values gold, silver, platinum, diamond. A shopper is searching for gold and silver women’s jewelry. The structured snippet extension may show in your ad because it is a specific search for a specific product. Google will interpret the intent to buy this product and display all the relevant information you have provided within its ad limits.
If, however, the shopper is searching for emerald necklaces, another header may show as the values gold, silver, platinum, diamond do not match the intent.
Sometimes, if the intent to buy is very obvious, the structured snippet might not even be needed. Say, for instance, a particular brand name and model is entered into search, e.g., buy Samsung flip phone. The user intent is quite obvious and the extension may not be needed to encourage the click.
However, if Google sees that the intent is to compare products before buying, it may make more sense to show the product options available.
This can get complicated – but ultimately Google will decide according to its algorithms. You may have to play around with the extensions a little and see what works.
Google will display the most relevant structured snippet to a potential buyer based on his or her query intent. Google is pretty smart these days. Don’t try to fool it.
How do you add structured snippet extensions to your Google ads?
The process of setting up structured snippet extensions for Google to include in your ads is quite simple:
- After logging in to Google Ads, select Ads & extensions from the menu on the left-hand side.
- Click on the Extensions tab and then click the plus icon to add a structured snippet extension.
- Select the level you’d like to add the snippet to from the Add to drop-down menu (add at the account, campaign, or ad group levels – see more about this below).
- Create a new snippet by choosing a language (from 40 available) and a header from the drop-down menu (13 header types as detailed above).
- Enter at least three or four values (up to a maximum of 10).
- Select a device preference if required: snippets will then only show on those devices.
- If necessary, schedule your extension to only show at a particular date/time range using the Advanced Options dropdown menu.
- Add to an existing snippet by clicking Use existing and checking the boxes next to the appropriate snippets.
- Don’t forget to SAVE!
How to edit or remove the extensions
Clicking the pencil icon on the structured snippet summary card will allow you to edit that snippet if you need to make changes.
To remove it, simply check the box and hit Remove. This will remove it from the campaign but it will remain available for you to re-activate at a later date if required.
If you want to turn structured snippet extensions off completely, navigate to Automated extensions and click More in the top right-hand corner of the page. Select Advanced options and check the button Turn off specific automated extensions and select dynamic structured snippets from the list. You can then specify a reason for disabling the extensions and click the Turn Off button.
Should you add snippets at the account, campaign, or ad group level?
As with all Google extensions, you can add structured snippets at the account, campaign or ad group level.
We recommend focusing on campaign-level extensions. You can create multiple structured snippets at this level and simply add them to campaigns if relevant.
Adding structured snippets at the ad group level allows you to be highly specific but it takes a lot more time. Account-wide snippets are far more general and will not be a good option if you manage multiple ecommerce stores on one Google Ads account.
Bear in mind that lower-level structured snippets override higher-level ones, i.e., structured snippets added to an ad group will show instead of structured snippets added to the account. Again, our recommendation is to focus on campaign-level extensions for a “happy medium” type of solution.
Best practices with structured snippet extensions
The best strategy with structured snippet extensions is to add as many relevant headers as possible and so you have more chance of matching user intent. Google will ultimately decide but you can have more “horses in the race” to increase the odds of winning.
Understand your target users and what they search for and then create multiple sets of extensions to increase the likelihood of displaying in your ad and helping it stand out.
For each header, provide as much relevant and permitted information as possible. Bear in mind that it should be info relating to a complete group of products or services rather than a single unique aspect of your business.
Be aware of the different requirements for structured snippet extensions compared to callout extensions, with which you can use phrases like “free returns” or “free next day delivery”.
The information you can add with structured snippet extensions is much more limited – generally factual information about your products rather than information about the more general service you provide in your business (customer service, shipping and return policy, etc.).
Both types of extension are required – for different reasons.
Keep within the guidelines for each structured snippet extension header type but try to include at least four values for each. Avoid repetition and overly promotional words.
Finally, bear in mind that smaller snippets are better for mobile users so if the bulk of your audience shops on mobile, be aware of this.