Sitelink Extensions For Social Media, A 4-Step Guide

Sitelink extensions are a great way for nonprofits to direct traffic to social channels. It can be an effective workaround to the one domain policy in Google’s Ad Grants (their Adwords product for nonprofits). In practice, this means that content you publish through social media, like your Facebook page, can be discovered through search engine marketing (SEM). All to say that sitelink extensions are your content marketing and social media director’s new best friend.

After managing over $2M in Ad Grants, I’m happy to share a 4-step primer for how to set up and effectively use social media sitelink extensions for an AdGrants account.

Step 1: Prepare your sitelink URLs

Before setting up the sitelink extension, make sure you have your social media’s profile URL on hand. It can be a Facebook page, or Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn profile. It cannot be more than 2048 characters long and should not initiate a download. Make sure that your profiles are ready for more traffic – have your best content pinned to the top, all your information updated, and make sure to use your best visuals.

sitelink extensions

Step 2: Add your profiles as sitelink extensions

Once you choose a social media profile to promote on Google AdGrants, go to the Ad extension tab on the dashboard and add it to your sitelink extensions list.

sitelink extensions

Step 3: Add a little information

Set up the details of the sitelink extension. Since Google is very strict about trademarks, be sure not to use ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’, etc. in your ad copy. Instead, use abbreviations and/or make it about the type of content you post: updates from field work (“wildlife conservation updates from our photographers in Kenya”), guides for healthy living (“meal plans for fighting obesity”), etc. You can also ask for an exception to use a trademarked social media channel’s name by submitting a request to Google here.
sitelink extensions

Step 4: Monitor performance

After you’ve successfully added your social media channel to your Google ads, don’t forget to review the performance metrics. You can segment out total clicks by ‘click type’ to see how many users reached your Facebook page from the search ads. This is especially helpful to differentiate Ad Grants vs. social media ads for follower growth. Typical click types for a sitelink extension are ‘headline’ and ‘sitelink’. For the above setup, take a look at the clicks for ‘sitelink’ as that refers to the actual clicks on your Facebook link.


Allocate a decent budget – at least $1,000 – and do 2-3 variations to see what performs the best for clicks.



Are you wondering how promoting social media URLs in search ads fits into your overall strategy? Do you want to optimize your AdGrants account, but don’t know where to start? Or are you trying to execute a larger strategy across multiple digital channels? Media Cause can help.


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