Because designing successful search campaigns shouldn’t be rocket science, Google Canada developed The Beautiful Basics. Now agency partners and their clients can build campaigns with confidence, using these five high-impact best practices.

Written by
Chiel Hendriks
May 2015

In early 2014, Google Canada realized more could be done to help agencies ensure that search teams consistently implement best practices for their clients' campaigns. In order to help agencies drive excellence, Google Canada worked with key partners to develop a program called The Beautiful Basics.

What are The Beautiful Basics?

The Beautiful Basics provide high-level and detailed monthly reporting on key metrics that advanced search marketers agree are proven best practices. The five key metrics include:

Sitelink extensions
Mobile preferred creatives
Callout ad extensions
3 or more active ads per ad group
Ad rotation for clicks or conversions

Let's take a look at why each of these is so important to a healthy search campaign, and why following them can make surprisingly powerful improvement in the efficiency and cost of digital campaigns.

Sitelink extensions
Sitelink extensions increase click-through rate (CTR) by 20–30%; they provide users with the option to click through to a more specific landing page, bringing them closer to the desired action they are looking to complete.1


Mobile preferred creatives
Mobile preferred creatives drive an increase of 30% CTR when ads show on mobile devices. Advanced marketers ensure that those ads, which are eligible to show on mobile devices, have been specifically optimized to provide the best user experience.2 These ads could include app download extensions, location extensions, and specific language tailored to the mobile user (for example, "visit our mobile site"), all of which help users make the most of their mobile search experience.


Callout ad extensions
Callout ad extensions drive an increase of 10% CTR compared to ads without this feature.3 The callout ad extension allows you to include additional text with your search ads. This lets you provide detailed information about your business, including products and services that you offer. Callouts appear in ads at the top and bottom of Google search results.


3 or more active ads per ad group
Three or more active ads per ad group increases CTR by 9%.4 If AdWords has a few different ads from which to choose, the system does a better job of optimizing the right ad for the right keyword, at the right time. Having multiple (three or more) ads available in the auction has shown to drive the best performance.

Ad rotation for clicks or conversions
Optimizing for clicks or conversions increases CTR by 7% and conversions by 5% when compared to rotating ads indefinitely or evenly.5 When AdWords identifies the best performing Ad Creative, the system prioritizes the ad to show more often, leading to more clicks and more conversions.

The positive impact of the The Beautiful Basics: The Reprise story

Google recently partnered with several agencies to help implement The Beautiful Basics program and the results are compelling, benefiting the agencies and their customers in turn. One agency, Reprise Media Canada, stood out for its commitment to using the Beautiful Basics as the foundation of its customer campaign development and management programs. Over nine months, Reprise Media Canada and Google partnered to ensure that each and every one of its clients was as close to 100% Beautiful Basics compliant as it could be. Reprise Media Canada and their clients were so impressed with the program's impact that Reprise built The Beautiful Basics into its company growth program, allowing it to focus more time on the most advanced tactics. In addition to simplifying strategy, it is expected that the commitment will help Reprise anchor its place as one of Google's top North American digital agency partners.

"Reprise is a proactive agency that jumped on The Beautiful Basics program and has become one of the most compliant, high-performing and efficient agency partners," says Chiel Hendriks, Head of Performance Agency, Google Canada.

What impact did the new program have on Reprise client performance? Here is a quick look at some of the impressive improvements.

Callout extensions
Reprise was able to increase callout extensions adoption to more than 90% of client campaigns and increase the overall CTR for its accounts by 17%.6

Sitelink extensions
Reprise increased sitelink extensions adoption to 99% of client accounts and improved CTR by 50%, while reducing cost-per-click (CPC). Clearly, sitelink extensions have driven significant improvements across the board.7

Mobile preferred creatives
Reprise added mobile preferred creatives to 94% of its clients' accounts, and was able to drive 42% more ad impressions, while improving the ads' average position by 6%.8

"We completely understand the value that comes from being best practice compliant. Working with Google, we are able to lead in more categories than any other agency. By nailing best practices across the board, we can focus our time on implementing the most advanced strategies in our marketplace," says Joseph McConellogue, Managing Director, Reprise Media Canada.

Using The Beautiful Basics to develop a successful AdWords strategy for clients doesn't have to be complicated. Implementing these proven best practices will simplify the steps to build better campaigns and even an agency’s own growth strategy. Start with these five principles and see how easy it is to improve results, while making it look like rocket science.

1 - 5 Google internal data, 2015.
6 - 8 Reprise Media internal data, 2015.