Image Extensions on Google & Microsoft & How They’re Used Differently

Image Extensions are a valuable tool to implement within your advertising campaigns. This extension is available for Google Ads and Microsoft Ads platforms and can help drive performance and improve the quality of your clicks by including images alongside your text ads. These images are beneficial because they help enhance the message of your ads and can provide real examples of your products and services for customers.

For both Google and Microsoft Image Extensions, you can use custom photos for your company, or if you have no applicable photos, there is a Stock Image option available. You can use the Stock Images tool to search for photos in line with your products (any watermarks will not show when actually displayed on the platform).

Whether you use your own images or stock images, you can crop them to landscape or square images as needed. You can also associate the Image Extensions at the Campaign level or Ad Group level for the best relevance and performance.

Although both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads utilize this extension, they are not identical in how you create them and how they function. 

Google Image Extensions

With Google Image Extensions, only an image is required; these images appear on the Google search results page with your Headlines, Descriptions, and URL from your existing active text ads. The best practice is to take advantage of using the maximum available images, which is 20 images per Campaign or Ad Group. You will want to use diverse, high-quality images that are relevant to your keywords, with the recommended image resolution for landscape images being 1200×628 and 1200×1200 for square images. Below is an example of how these images might display on the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Microsoft Image Extensions

For Microsoft Image Extensions, you can associate up to 25 images to each Campaign or Ad Group. However, the best practice is to have at least four Image Extensions associated with each Campaign. Microsoft Image Extensions vary from Google Image Extensions in that each image points to a specific URL and will have Image Text, similar to a Headline. Below are examples of how you create the Image Extensions in Microsoft with those assets and how the image will display on the Microsoft SERP.

Another difference is that Microsoft uses a Single Image Layout and a Multi-Image Layout for their Image Extensions. A Single Image Layout would be used if you only want to use one image, and Microsoft will rotate the images one at a time during ad delivery. You will be able to crop the image according to display size; images on desktop will appear as a rectangle in various aspect ratios, and images on mobile will appear as a 1:1 square image. Multi-Image Layout, however, is used when you want to show multiple images with an ad. According to Microsoft, “for this extension to serve, a minimum of five images must be chosen and you must select at least four image extensions to enable multi-image extensions. 

And the biggest difference in Image Extensions in Microsoft is that they are also used to show your ads on the Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN) when opted into Audiences for your Search campaigns (the Convenience option).

Taking advantage of the Image Extensions in Google and Microsoft is important because images draw attention, increase brand recognition, and will help your company get more relevant traffic. It’s a tool in your arsenal that will help you enhance your account performance and drive measurable results. 

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