PPC advertisers can now make use of image extensions in Google AdWords ads.

Google has launched a beta test to see how searchers respond to richer content within AdWords text ads.

Image extensions will allow PPC managers to dynamically insert relevant images alongside their ad text.

For example, if a searcher uses Google to look for “Sydney hotels”, holiday firms could use eye-catching and enticing images of Sydney within their ad.

The images will only apply to the ad in position one of the search results. But early tests suggest the images could improve clickthrough rates by up to 10%.

AdWords is constantly evolving its extensions for advertisers. Image extensions join sitelinks, call extensions, offer extensions, location extensions and product extensions in the growing roster of AdWords tools.

Awaneesh Verma, product manager for ad formats at Google, post on the AdWords blog: “Sometimes it’s easier to show than tell when promoting a business. We want to make it easier for you to do both.”

Verma said image extensions would allow car dealers to show different vehicle models and body types, beauty shops to show make-up colours, and clothes retailers to show detail about their garments.

Google says around one in six of searches now return results with visual content (such as a Google+ authorship image or YouTube video).

Image extensions will only apply to image-relevant queries – so searchers looking for ‘platform boots’ may see images of different types of boots, but not the locations of nearby shoe shops.

Advertisers who wish to add image extensions to AdWords PPC campaigns must own the rights to hte images, and submit them to Google for review.

Image extensions are currently still in beta, in English-language format. Advertisers can apply to participate in the beta here.

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About the author:

Alistair Harris is ClickThrough’s head of content. A double-award-winning senior journalist, Ali holds both the NCTJ and NCE qualifications and has more than ten years of experience in traditional press and PR. He has worked in digital marketing and SEO for the past three years and is passionate, enthusiastic and committed to quality.