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Google Ads’ Search Campaign Display/Image Extensions & Display Expansion

When starting out on Google Ads it can be difficult to understand the differences and similarities between Image Extensions and Display Expansion. They both provide advertisers with the ability to use images within their standard search ads campaigns, and they perform well when used together.

In this article, we will look at Google Ad’s Display/Image Extensions and Display Expansion and what they can do for your search campaigns.

What Are Display/Image Extensions?

In short, Display/Image Extensions are images you add to your Google search ads to be shown next to your search ad in Google Search results.

These images allow you to provide more information about your brand or product in your search ads. These images could be pictures of your business’s product that you are advertising, or attention-grabbing images related to your brand that will make your search ads more appealing to people who have searched your specific keywords.

It is important to note that these images may only show if your ad appears at the top (first three results) of a search results page, also in some countries Image Extensions only appear in search results on mobile devices. There are no additional costs to using Image Extensions in your search ads campaign; clicks on your ads or your Image Extensions will be charged as they normally would on your search ads.

 If you are using multiple different extensions (sitelink, callout, structured snippet, etc.) for your search ads; Google selects which extension or combination of extensions to show to a person who searched your keyword based on your campaign goals. Image extensions give your search ads more visibility and can help improve your ads’ click-through-rate.

Now that we have gained a deeper understanding on what display/image extensions are, let’s unpack Display Expansion.

What is Display Expansion?

Display Expansion uses your search ads image extensions and search ad text to create display ads on the Google Display Network (GDN) with any unspent budget in your search campaign if you have enabled Display Expansion (Display Network) in your search ad settings.

Using Display Expansion in your search campaigns will allow your search ads to have more reach at the same cost using similar targeting as your search campaign. Google will try to maintain the same cost per conversion for your Display Expansion ads as your search campaign ads.

When enabling Display Expansion in your search campaigns; ads will be automatically created from your search ad text and any image/display extensions you are using in your search campaign. This process works in the same way Google would normally create Responsive Display Ads in your display campaigns. You also have the option to create your own display ads within your search campaign using different images and text from the image extensions and text used in your search ads.

It is important to remember that Display Expansion is not the same as a standard display campaign. Display campaigns have their own unique targeting and budget while Display Expansion on search campaigns use your search campaign’s keywords and unspent budget to show ads on the GDN.

Now that we have a better understanding of what is display expansion in Google search campaigns, lets have a deeper look into how it works with your search campaigns unspent budget.

What is unspent budget and how is it used for Display Expansion?

Unspent budget is any amount that has not yet been spent from your search campaign’s daily budget limit.

Google will use this unspent budget to bid for ad placements on the GDN. For example, if your campaign has already spent about 95% of its daily budget and the remaining 5% is not enough to get another click on Google Search; Google will use that remaining 5% to bid for ad placements on the GDN using the same targeting as your search campaign. This way Google will still prioritise your search ads and spend within your daily budget limit for your search campaign, providing your search ads with maximum exposure at the same cost.

Both Display/Image Extensions and Display Expansion help improve the overall visibility of your search ads at no extra cost, however, keep in mind you still pay for all clicks on your ads. Display/Image Extensions allow you to visually provide more information to potential customers about your business and products within your search ads. Display Expansion allows you to show your search ads on the GDN using your search ads’ text and available Display/Image Extensions using any unspent budget in your search campaigns.