Explained: Manual vs. Automatic Extensions

If you are new to advertising on Google ads, you might be wondering what the difference is between manual vs. automatic extensions. We will explain both manual and automatic extensions, examples of both types of ad extensions, and how ad extensions can help you get more clicks and have more success with your Google Ads.

how are manual extensions different from automatic extensions

Definition of an Ad Extension

Whenever you notice an ad on Google that has more information than a traditional search ad, that’s an ad extension. It might be an ad that has a phone number or links to more pages of a website. Here is how an ad extension works: an ad extension is a feature that shows extra information about your business with your ad and gives searchers more reason to click. Some information your ad extension shows might be:

  • Your business address
  • Phone number
  • Customer ratings
  • Links to your website
  • Any other potential information that potential customers might like to know

Ad extensions are beneficial for several industries including real estate, retail locations, stores, and more.

Benefits of Ad Extensions 

Ad extensions are a type of manual SEO. They have the ability to significantly increase your ad’s click-through rate (CTR.) According to Google, there is a 10 to 15% bump in click-through rate from implementing a new ad extension. For this reason, they are highly recommended by many pay-per-click (PPC) experts. Think about it: aren’t you more likely to click on an ad in Google if it contains all the relevant details you need about a business?

And an added bonus: ad extensions are free to add to your ad. There is no additional cost per click! They will also only appear if Google’s algorithm thinks they will boost your ad’s success and ad rank.

Ad extensions are also beneficial for the customer. They create a better user experience because they appear more professional and dispel the negative connotations around ads.

There are two different types of Google Ads extensions: automatic extensions and manual extensions.

ad extension examples

Automatic Extensions

Automatic extensions, or automated extensions, are added by Google when there is a possibility that they might improve your ad’s performance. These extensions are created by Google’s algorithm. No complicated setup required!

Manual Extensions 

Other ad extensions are manual, which means you need to configure them yourself. While manual extensions require a little more work on your part, they are also more customizable than automatic extensions.

automatic extensions

Ad Extension Examples

You have several different options for which ad extensions to choose from in Google Ads.

Automatic Extension Examples

Automated Call Extensions 

If your website’s business goals include phone calls, Google Ads can set up callout extensions. With this extension enabled, a user will only have to click on your extension to call your company.

Dynamic Sitelink Extensions

A sitelink extension helps users find what they are looking for and arrive at the right location on your website. For example, if your business is a restaurant, your sitelinks might include the following text: menu, hours, takeout.

Dynamic Structured Snippet Extensions

A structured snippet offers additional information and context about your business and what products and services you offer.

Promotion Extension 

A promotion extension is exactly what it sounds like. It allows you to promote any sale you have going on, like a Black Friday sale or anniversary sale. These extensions can help bring you more traffic.

Seller Rating Extensions 

The seller ratings extensions provides a combination of information, details, and ratings next to your ads, which lets searchers see social proof of your business right alongside your ad.

what is an ad extension

Manual Extension Examples

App Extensions

If your business has a mobile app, you can link to your app in your ad using an app extension. Consider this extension if you have an app in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Location Extensions 

This extension helps searchers locate your company and includes info like your business address, phone number, and a map text marker.

Price Extensions

Highlight your products, services, and most importantly, prices by connecting searchers directly to that page of your site. These extensions can appear on both mobile and desktop ads and allow shoppers to see multiple options and prices.

Sitelink Extensions

Sitelink extensions connect to different pages that are all related in some way. For example, you can also show a price page or an offer for a free analysis.

manual extensions

How to Set Up Ad Extensions in Google Ads

Here’s the step-by-step process for how to set up ad extensions in Google Ads (which used to be called Google AdWords.)

  1. Log into your Google Ads account.
  2. Go to the “Extensions” page on your account and click the Add Extensions button.
  3. Select which ad extension you want to utilize.

Manage App Extensions in a Campaign or Ad Group

According to Google, campaigns and ad groups inherit all account-level ad extensions by default. You can set up a campaign or ad group to display only specific ad extensions, display ad extensions that aren’t set up as account-level extensions, or not display an ad extensions.

How to Remove Automatic Extensions in Google Ads

If you want to disable automatic extensions in Google Ads, you can click Ads & Extensions in the page menu, then click Extensions. Next, Click “Automated Extensions” at the bottom of the page. Click the three-dot menu on the right, then choose “Advanced” options. Finally, choose “Turn Off specific automated extensions,” and you can choose which extension(s) to disable.

What About Lead Form Extensions?

Google Ads lead form extensions are lead generation ads designed to help businesses obtain leads from the mobile search results page.

Affiliate Location Extensions

Affiliate location assets help people find nearby stores that sell your products.

Manual vs. Automatic Extensions

Now you know everything there is to know about both manual and automatic extensions in Google Ads. The best idea is to use all the extensions relevant to your business goals. For helping creating a successful Google Ads campaign for your business, contact the digital advertising experts at SEO Design Chicago today! We are a Google Partner and can help you determine the best extensions you need for your specific business.


  • What is an ad extension?
  • What is an automatic extension?
  • How do I set up ad extensions in Google Ads?
  • What is a manual extension?
  • How do I turn off automatic extensions in Google Ads?

Contact Us Today!

Call Now