In October 2019, Google introduced a new type of ad extension as a beta – the lead form extension. The use? In short: it should save time for both the user and the advertiser. But does it keep what it promises? We took a closer look at this extension.
Lead Form Extension: What Exactly Is It And How Is It Organized?
The lead form extension can currently only be added to search campaigns, but it’s already in the pipeline for video and display campaigns as well.
And this is how it works:
- Step: By clicking on the call-to-action of the extension, the lead form opens.
- Step: The lead form can be designed by the advertiser himself or filled with questions or required fields.
- Step: After sending the data, the user receives a confirmation.
However, this extension is currently still in the beta, i.e. in the test phase. For this reason, it can currently only be requested and used by Google partners. We have adopted this once and describe our experiences in the course of this blog post.
What does the extension mean for advertisers and users?
For users, this new type of ad extension means, above all, time savings, as the form can be filled out directly in Google search without having to move around the website. However, this also means that at the time the extension appears, the user lacks relevant information about the company that could generate the necessary trustworthiness. But this is precisely what is decisive when it comes to the question of whether a user leaves their data on the network.
For advertisers, the time saved for the user is also an advantage, as it has a positive effect on the user experience. But the advertiser himself is not neglected either. In addition to generating leads over the phone, he can also save time and personnel with the new ad extension. This in turn benefits process optimization. Using a webhook link, the lead form extension can be connected to the company’s internal CRM system. The data entered by the user is thus transferred to the CRM system in real time.
Alternatively, the generated data can also be downloaded manually. However, especially in business areas in which inquiries are sent via the ad extension, a certain urgency must be observed, since potential customers could jump off if they wait too long for a response. In addition, the leads are only stored on Google for 30 days.
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Lead form extension – in practice
We have already implemented the lead form extension for some of our customers. This includes both B2C and B2B customers. However, the result was rather sobering across the board. The reason for this may be the fact that users have to provide their data before they were on the advertiser’s website. If the respective company is previously unknown to the user, the probability that he will disclose his data blindly is – with the current steadily growing awareness of data – rather low.
Based on the experience we have been able to gain in the last few months with regard to the lead form extension, we recommend that you implement this preferably in brand campaigns. If the user’s search queries already contain the corresponding company or brand name, he already knows it and the probability that the user leaves his data with a well-known company is significantly higher than if he has never heard of the same before.
In addition, the lead form extension should ask for as little data as possible. It is therefore more suitable, for example, for a newsletter subscription that only requires an email address than for a request that asks for the name, address and telephone number. Doing this increases the likelihood of generating leads through this extension.
All in all, creating a lead form extension takes a little time and, as always, the same applies here: trying is better than studying. Every industry, every company, every target group is different.
However, our experience has shown that this form of ad extension is not very promising so far. For this reason, we are currently still questionable as to whether it will successfully survive the already relatively long beta phase.
Google’s instructions for practical implementation can be found here.