4 Tips for Analyzing Structured Snippet Performance

You may recall that Google introduced dynamic Structured Snippets about a year ago, and after some months of advertiser success and requests to be able to customize the information, they rolled out structured snippet extensions in August 2015. If you’re unfamiliar with Structured Snippets, here’s an overview with a nice comparison of the differences and similarities between Callouts and Structured Snippets.

As with any new feature, many folks were excited to test these new customizable Snippets (us included). Below is a rundown of what we found. Enjoy!

The Data

I began testing these in one of our accounts a few months ago. For this client, the ‘Types’ header made the most sense so I set up the snippets as Types at the campaign level. Here are the before and after overall campaign results:

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As you can see, six of the eight campaigns saw significant increases in CTR, which we would expect and hope for. Unfortunately, four campaigns had increases in CPA and four had decreases in conversion rates. (Note: conversion optimizer was added to Campaign 4 during the above data set, so I would focus more on the CTR impact when analyzing before and after performance data.)

Another data comparison I wanted to make was overall campaign performance since adding Structured Snippets vs. performance metrics of just ads showing with Snippets:

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The ratios are the same as the before and after metrics, where six out of the eight campaigns have higher CTRs when structured snippets are shown, four of the eight have lower CPAs and four have higher conversion rates.

The Takeaways

Based on this data, my overall takeaway is that Structured Snippets are indeed successful at helping to boost CTR, in most cases, which in turn will help Quality Scores over time. However, testing alternative values is needed especially in instances where CPA has increased and/or conversion rate has decreased. Ultimately, if one of the Header options is appropriate for your account verticals then test the snippets! Additional information about the product or service will be helpful, and the boost in CTR as well as the additional SERP real estate for your ad copy are added bonuses.

Here are some of my key recommendations when testing Structured Snippets:

1. Look at Both Data Sets

Analyzing both the before and after overall campaign metric changes and the more granular metrics will help you identify which campaigns may need some alternative Structured Snippet values to test. For example, Campaign 6 is showing positive changes across the board since adding Structured Snippets (first table), with a 45% increase in CTR, a 28% decrease in CPA and a 26% increase in conversion rate. However, when looking at performance of just ads with Structure Snippets vs. overall campaign metrics for the same time period (second table) we see a different story – although there’s a slight increase of 2.83% in CTR, there’s a 16% increase in CPA. In this case you should try testing alternative values for your Structured Snippet fields.

2. Test Alternative Values

I can’t stress this enough. A few of my clients’ conversion metric results were pretty bad when I first launched Structured Snippets, but after switching out some of the values with other high search volume product types I saw significant decreases in CPAs and significant increases in conversion rates. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t currently allow us to see metrics per Structured Snippet (that’s definitely on my wish list), but this makes testing alternative values all the more important. My general strategy has been to test the next highest-traffic product types and so far I have seen good results. However, if you have seen negative changes in conversion metrics you could also test values for your highest conversion rate terms (in this case product types).

3. Weigh the Results

Although I would say that Structured Snippets are more directly responsible for CTR impact and more indirectly responsible for CPA and conversion rate, it’s important to weigh the results against account goals. For example, although Campaign 3 had a 22% increase in CTR with Structured Snippets, it also had a 19% increase in CPA and a 15% decrease in conversion rate. If the CTR bump is worth it then you’ll want to consider other campaign changes you could make to help improve the conversion metrics, such as getting more aggressive with SQR reviews and adding negatives or setting up some landing page tests to try to boost conversion rate.

4. Give It Time

As with all account tests, it’s crucial to give your tests enough time. As I mentioned above, some of the initial performance metric changes were not good until I tested alternative values and gave those new values plenty of time to accrue enough data to make informed decisions.

Have you tested Structured Snippets in your accounts? Let us know the results you’ve seen or strategies you’ve found useful in the comments below!