Google’s Shiny New Lead Form Extension

What Is The Lead Form Ad Extension?

As the name would suggest, it is an extension which allow users to click on your ad and submit their details without having to visit your website. Lead Form ad extensions are mobile only. Google has launched this ad extension in response to ever increasing mobile traffic volumes.

The ad extensions mitigate challenges around mobile page load speed and user journey complexity through allowing users to get in touch directly via the ad unit. All of this should, in theory, help boost click to lead conversion rates for advertisers.

Figure 1 – Lead Form Extension In The SERPs
Lead Form Extension In The SERPs

Figure 2 – Lead Form Extension When Clicked On
Lead Form Extension When Clicked On

Figure 3 – Lead Form Submission Message
Lead Form Submission Message

How Do They Work?

Lead Form extensions can be set up in white listed Google Ads accounts by navigating to the ad extension section of the interface. They work like most other ad extensions in that you are charged for each user clicking on the Lead Form extension.

Lead Form Ad Extension – What’s Shown In The Ad

  • Call to action – you can choose from:
    • Learn more
    • Get quote
    • Apply now
    • Sign up
    • Contact us
    • Subscribe
    • Download
    • Book now
    • Get offer
  • Extension text (30 character limit)

Lead Form – Once Clicked On

  • 1 headline (30 character limit)
  • Business name (25 character limit)
  • Description (200 character limit)
  • Select the form fields from the below fields:
    • Name
    • Email
    • Phone number
    • Postcode
  • Link to your privacy policy
  • Background image

Lead Form Ad Extension – What’s Shown To Users Who Have Submitted Their Details

  • Description (200 character limit)
  • Call to action:
    • No call to action
    • Visit site
    • Download

Once you are live with your Lead Form ad extension and you are hopefully generating leads, you’ll need to download the leads manually from the interface. You can do this by navigating to the ad extension section of Google Ads and by clicking on the “Download Leads” link under the Lead Form extension you have seen convert (see figure 4).

Figure 4 – How To Download Leads
How To Download Leads

What We’ve Learned So Far

Performance

We’ve tested Lead Form ad extensions across two B2B advertisers who have lead generation-based business models. Both of our B2B clients have had the new ad extensions served for around 10-11% of their mobile impressions (see figure 5). Both advertisers have Impr. (Top) rankings of over 70% so they have reasonable visibility at the top of mobile SERPs.

Figure 5 – % of Mobile Impressions Lead Form Ad Extensions Were Shown
% of Mobile Impressions Lead Form Ad Extensions Were Shown

In terms of CTR both clients have seen strong CTR uplifts vs. their overall mobile CTR (see figure 6). This may be skewed by the fact ad extensions are more likely to be shown when advertisers feature in the top positions of mobile SERPs.

Figure 6 – Mobile CTR Uplift When The Lead Form Ad Extension Is Served
Mobile CTR Uplift When The Lead Form Ad Extension Is Served

Both clients had lower Lead Form conversion rates than traditional user journeys which feature a landing page and site hosted lead form. It’s important to state this isn’t statistically significant given both advertisers have relatively low mobile lead conversion volumes for the ad extension at this point.

However, one cause of this may be brand awareness levels. It’s a reasonable inference that most users wouldn’t feel comfortable with submitting their details without finding out more about who the advertiser is and how they can help them with their needs.

Usability

The form itself features both good and poor usability. The good thing is that if you are signed into a Google account, it will populate the form with the details of your Google account. This creates a frictionless experience but will mean users have a tendency to submit their personal email, which isn’t ideal for B2B advertisers. There is also field verification to ensure users submit accurate details.

The poor usability is in the form of the keyboard, which often overlaps the field you are trying to enter details in (see figure 7). This means you need to reduce the keyboard size to see what you’ve entered into the field. This may be an issue for a select number of users (I used a Samsung s10 which is one of the most popular devices) but could be a larger usability issue Google is yet to address.

Figure 7 – Usability Issues
Usability Issues

Finally, there is a lack of flexibility and personalisation in terms of fields that can be used in the Lead Form Ad Extension. This is understandable given the general rule of thumb that less fields equals greater conversion rate. The ability to personalise fields would be useful but Google clearly wants to maximise click to lead form submission conversion rates and let your sales team find the rest of the lead’s details (for now)!

Beta Roadmap – What’s Next?

Google plans to launch multiple choice fields, CRM integration, custom disclosure and custom lead form fields. These developments will greatly improve the flexibility and use of Lead Form Ad Extensions. They also indicate that Google sees this as long-term ad extension development.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s very early days but there is clearly potential for this to be a very useful ad extension for lead generation advertisers. There are a few teething issues around usability and flexibility of the form fields but it’s a promising start. The fact this is an open beta and Google has a development roadmap suggests Lead Form ad extensions are here for the long run and will become an established tactic for advertisers.

Written by Josh Colbeck, Head of Biddable at Blueclaw

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