Category Archives: Affiliate Marketing

Google AdWords Launches Affiliate Location Extensions

Google AdWords Affiliate Location Extensions

Google has recently launched its affiliate location extensions in the United States. Affiliate extensions will assist manufacturers in driving customers to third-party retail stores that sell their products.

What are affiliate location extensions?

As a business that sells products through retail outlets, affiliate location extensions can help you reach customers the moment they are thinking of what and where to buy. Affiliate extensions help customers find stores in their location that sell your products.

How do they work?

Affiliate extensions can help advertisers reach new customers with the following steps:

  1. Someone searches for a product on Google’s SERP
  2. The business ad shows, along with the affiliate location extension
  3. The ad is served to the searcher on Google as an address or a map
  4. A smartphone user can tap the address/map and get directions to the store
  5. The user navigates their way to the store and purchases the product

When manufacturers can use them

As a manufacturer with products in retail outlets, you can use affiliate location extensions to make your products and the store locations easily visible to potential customers in the area. For your own store, use location extensions instead.

Setting up affiliate location extension

To setup affiliate location extensions, add the extension and indicate the retail stores that sell your products. Unlike ordinary location extensions, affiliate location extensions don’t need a Google My Business link.

Affiliate location extensions can be set at account, campaign and ad group levels of your Google AdWords account.

  1. Sign in to AdWords account
  2. Click the Campaigns (or Ad groups) tab and pick an existing campaign (or ad groups). Proceed from All campaigns for account-level affiliate location extensions.
  3. Select the Ad extensions label
  4. Click “affiliate location extensions”
  5. Indicate the retail outlets selling your products
  6. Save your settings.

This new service will go a long way in improving manufacturer-retailer relations and can be thought of as a push campaign to drive footfall into the stores.

Google AdWords Affiliate Location Extensions

The categories

Affiliate location extensions are in 3 categories; ‘Relationship type’, ‘Country’ and ‘Chains’. Depending on your business location, the ‘Relationship type’ and ‘Country’ are pre-defined. For example, if you are a big brand in Sussex, it will be listed as ‘general retailers’ and ‘UK’ respectively. ‘Chains’ is the section you can select from.

“Location Extension”; Origins from 2009

It will be remembered that Google introduced the “location extensions” back in 2009 to help businesses advertise and drive more foot traffic to their locations straight from the search ads.

Affiliate location extension comes as a specialised spinoff for manufacturers and retailers who will benefit from the service.

It is said that 75% of consumers who perform a local search on their phones visit the store within 24 hours. Once again, Google emphasises the importance of grabbing customer attention at the moment when they are seeking a product.

The customer journey is about proactivity; being in the right place at the right time, and affiliate location extension addresses this need sufficiently.

Brand Bidding – Should you Allow Affiliates to Appear on Your Brand?

Brand Bidding - Allow Affiliates to do it or Not?

This guest post will discuss the topic of brand bidding – that is allowing Affiliate ads to appear against your own brand in the search engines.

It goes without saying that no online marketing effort should be considered in isolation. And the beauty of online is the fact that most traffic generation can be tracked, right from the source and cost of an ad, to the end result of buying.  Meaning marketing spend can be allocated to a revenue stream, and therefore easy to work out the achieved return on investment.

Sounds a little too good to be true doesn’t it? And of course in fact it’s not always as simple as that for a typical online business, with a number of marketing channels and an inevitable multi touch point journey from initial ad to final conversion.

Search is typically a key feature in most online marketing plans, and usually is seen to be a high ROI driver partly because a search ad is often the last touch point of a visitor before visiting a site and converting, but also because of the high number of customers starting with Google to find the products and brands they want. But tracking search, and its part in the conversion process is important to gaining a clearer understanding of how other channels are interacting and effecting search traffic. And ensuring affiliate marketing activities are featured in this tracking is too often forgotten  – simply because of the different way spend is attributed. For affiliates, because of the performance based approach, often the reduced risk this brings to marketers gives them comfort in leaving the channel to return and track on its own, when perhaps they are paying an affiliate for a sale they actually could have generated themselves through brand search.

An Example of Brand Bidding on Google - Your Ad in position 1, the Affiliate ad in pos and Competitor adverts in positions 3 - 8

Brand bidding (ie bidding in search to appear against your own brand term) is a perfectly strong strategy for ensuring maximum coverage on the SERPs, and it often can be proven to achieve incremental sales above those gained only through having high organic brand positions. But giving away your brand term to allow affiliates to engage in brand bidding is potentially a risky and wasteful strategy. Brand CPC’s are usually low, and if you have other marketing activities that are driving people to search for you in Google, you might simply be driving customers to click on a PPC brand affiliate link.

You may be prepared to allow your trusted affiliates to commence brand bidding, to help them afford to gain additional sales through the long tail which may cost them more. But if you do this, make sure you are keeping a view of the full purchase journey, and attributing your sales across your ad touch points to fully understand the distribution of your ad spend, including any commissions paid to affiliates.


Paul Reynolds is Director of Insight & Analytics at digitalbox – an online performance marketing company, specialising in LeadGen, Email Marketing, SEO and Analytics.

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