February 13

What Are Lead Form Extensions & When Should You Use Them?

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What are Google Lead Form Extensions

Conversions on a mobile device or tablet have always been an issue and filling out a form on the small screens can be an almost impossible task. However, Google has developed a new functionality that allows your prospect to fill in your lead form, to apply for services without even leaving the search engine. The new lead form extensions will be displayed underneath your ad on mobile and tablet devices and allow people to fill in their details through your ad on the Search Engine page; meaning that users don’t need to visit your site to become a converted lead. Also, to make things even easier, if your lead is signed into their Google account, then the contact details on the form will pre-populate meaning that conversion can occur within two clicks.

All of this sounds fantastic, but it is worth noting that these forms come with some limitations and they need considering:

  • The lead form extensions will only display on a tablet or mobile devices
  • The lead form extensions will only show on search campaigns
  • There are some industry-specific restrictions and some industries such as healthcare will not be able to use the lead form extensions for collecting personal data due to industry sensitivity
  • Lead form extensions can only be created at the campaign level and not account or ad group level meaning all bidding and targeting options will be determined by the campaign that the form is associated with
  • Lead data will only be stored for 30 days, and so it needs to be exported frequently
  • You will not receive all of the same analytics due to not every user will be transferred onto your site

Creating a lead form extension is simple. Go into a search campaign in Google Ads, and then go into the ‘Ads and Extensions’ then ‘Extensions’ tabs where you’ll then see the lead form extensions section. This functionality means that users can click a call to action button to submit a pre-populated form with the contact information in a users Google account.

How to create Lead Form Extensions

Google has started rolling out their new functionality for campaigns which is the lead form extensions, specially designed for users using tablets or mobile devices.

To set up a lead form extension, you need to go to ‘Ads and Extensions’ > Extensions from the left-hand menu and then when you click the plus if your account has lead form extensions available then it will be displayed.

The next thing that will display on your screen is the page to create your extension. The call to action can be selected from a preselected list and then the text (up to 30 characters) and call to action will be displayed underneath the ad in the Google search results.

After you have followed the above steps, you need to create the lead form that will be displayed to the users when they click the CTA. These forms need to have a Business Name (up to 25 characters), Headline (up to 30 characters) and Description (up to 200 characters). You also need to select what information you would like to ask for such as name, email, phone number and postal code. Within this stage, it is also imperative that you put a link to your privacy policy due to you collecting users personal data.

The final stage of the setup process is to create a thank you message for users once they have submitted the form to you. You can add a description of up to 200 characters and a call to action such as ‘Visit Website’ and add the URL for the page you would like to send the user to. It is worth noting that on the submission page, Google will automatically put on a button saying ‘continue searching on Google’. This button means that not all of the people who complete your form will actually visit your website and therefore you may need to follow up with them to keep them in the sales funnel.

When to use the Lead Form Extension

According to Monetate, it is interesting to note that smartphone traffic worldwide is 56.2% whereas it is only 34.5% for desktop, yet mobile traffic converts at 2.25% whereas desktop is 4.81%. Monetate’s statistics quite clearly identify that there is a huge opportunity to improve the customer journey for mobile and tablet devices, which could be partly why Google has created the new functionality of Lead Form Extensions.

The extension enables you to collect users details without having to send them to a separate page (which can be seen as a pro and a con) however, within the submission message you can put a link to your website in case the user wants to find out more.

The complete ease of using the lead extensions will help increase the number of leads from search ads, but this doesn’t necessarily mean conversions or high-quality leads, and so they need close monitoring.

Once a user fills in the form, you have two options, either store the content within Google Ads and export the information yourself (within 30 days) or you can use webhook and integrate Google Ads to your CRM. Option one involves a lot of manual work for exporting, but option two consists of more upfront work and then is simple, so it’s down to your specific preference.

Although the Lead Form Extension is a great functionality, we think it could be improved with a few additions:

  • More field options especially in the B2B sector so you know who precisely you are targeting such as job title and company size
  • Integration into marketing automation tools and CRMs
  • And finally, we believe that users should be sent to the site after completing the form. The lead form extension button is great for ease of completing the form for users, but as a company, you still want users to visit your site.

Google has attempted functionality like this before and has been pulled, so let’s hope this sticks.

About the author 

Zara Imrie

Google Adwords Partner and Facebook Ads specialist with a difference! 15 years experience in business, a qualified accountant and an MBA amongst other digital marketing qualifications. A wide range of experience across industries such as manufacturing, telecoms, financial, hospitality & health & beauty.

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