We’ve had a few phones calls in the last couple of weeks from business owners who have received emails from Google informing them about changing the sitelinks policy. (well actually not changing just enforcing!!)

You’ll have received this email if you are looking after you own adwords account with Google. So if you have set up the account yourself and haven’t a clue what site links are then chances are you haven’t activated them so you’ll be fine (except you do really need to go and activate them… thats another story!)

If you’ve had an ad agency set up your account for you or you have set up sitelinks yourself, then you might just want to check to make sure all is in order.

Firstly – what are site links?

Sitelinks are a fantastic way to take up more real estate for your advert on the search engine results page, they will make your advert stand apart from everybody elses if you use them. Here is an image (taken directly from the Google help forums) that shows the site links in action:

Google Sitelinks

The sitelinks are the 4 lines underneath the description (order online now…store locator…deals in your area…Returning customer? Order here), you can see how by adding these 2 things occur

  1. Your ad has doubled in size
  2. You are providing really great service for someone wanting to eat a pizza, giving them lots of different links to click on depending on their personal situation, if they wanted to pick the pizza up they would click store locator, if they were interested in the deals they would click that, you get the idea

The great thing about these extra sitelinks is that you can provide real value to the prospect searching, showing them different areas of your business that they would be interested in and they are really easy to set up in your campaign settings.

What do you need to check?

You need to make sure that your sitelinks actually link to unique pages on your website with unique content on. This means that the prospect will land on different meaningful pages depending on the site link that is clicked (taking the above example if you were looking for the store locator you would want to land on a different page to the main headline)

The sitelinks need to be completely different from the main landing page, or they will not show which will seriously damage your click through rate.

Do yourself a favour, double check your sitelinks to make sure yours are OK!