Google AdWords always seems to be sneaking in neat new features and tools that often times tend to get overlooked. One feature I’ve finally decided to give a test drive was the newest extension for AdWords, the “Social Extension”. I decided to test the effectiveness of implementing these with one of my larger clients to see if it was worth pursuing for more clients, and truth be told, I was quite impressed with the results.

Now, I know that Google+ may not yet be the hailed champion to strip the social media crown from Facebook and Twitter, but needless to say they are a contender that won't be going down without a fight (pun intended).

What I find uniquely refreshing, is that Google understands the need for unifying their social media platform and their signature search product. It indeed builds a case for AdWords advertisers, that Google+ adds value where Facebook and Twitter cannot. Being fairly new and unfortunately quite late to the game, Google+ needed a niche that social extension might answer. With a little refinement it could become a huge ally to online advertisers.

Google plus extension advantages:

1.) More often than not, word of mouth can make or break any online deal. Having +1’s immediately builds credibility for potential consumers right off the bat. Similar to the effect of a good review/testimonial, if people +1 your company, your Click-Through Rate and Conversion rate are likely to increase! If you have the advantage of a couple 1000 people liking your company on an AdWords Ad, well, you get the point.

2.) Since Google+ is still quite new, take advantage of social extensions early. Build your social media awareness across all networks and allow those who are searching to find you easy. Utilizing the traffic can get you some extra +1’s and help build your customer base.

3.) It is surprisingly simple and easy to set up!

Let’s get cracking on how to set up your campaigns with easy step-by-step instructions on how to get started.

1.) First off, if you don’t see ad extensions under your campaign screen, click the upside-down triangle (black box on right) and select ad extensions. You then should see the option in the bar as shown. Now click the ad extensions tab to continue.

SocialExtensions1, Adwords Social Extension Instructions 1

2.) You should see something similar to the following. Click the drop-down box shown below (Location Extension should be selected as default) and change to Social Extensions.

SocialExtensions2, Adwords Social Extension Instructions 2

3.) Select New Extension.

4.) Now your screen should look similar to below. This will allow you to customize which campaigns will show your new extension. You can choose as many/few as you would like. The final touch is to manually add your Google+ Page URL, click save and you’re good to go!

SocialExtensions3, Adwords Social Extension Instructions 3

As with all new features, I encourage you to start on a limited basis and expand as it makes sense.

I hope everyone out there gives social extensions a try and finds success with this feature, and don't forget to keep an eye out for new features Google sneaks into AdWords!