Learning Hub | Paid Search Advertising

Google Ads Lead Form Extensions: What Are They & Are They Effective?

October 19, 2021 | Jon Teodoro

Earlier this year, Google rolled out lead form extensions, and digital marketers around the world rejoiced. They’d been in beta since late 2019, slowly rolling out to select users. Digital marketers are well aware of how difficult it can be to get people to navigate over to a lead generation page, and lead form extensions make it a little simpler.

What are lead form extensions?

When a user clicks on the headline of an ad, it’ll typically take them to a landing page, where there may or may not be a lead generation form, depending on the page. When lead form extensions are enabled, though, clicking on an ad headline will take users directly to the advertiser’s lead form, rather than requiring them to click through to the advertiser’s page. The form is already populated with their Google account data and a call-to-action, totally minimizing the work a user has to do to submit a lead form.

Currently, lead form extensions are available in Search, Discovery, and Display campaigns. They’re currently in beta for Video campaigns. They’re designed for mobile navigation, which is handy considering 60% of online searches are done from a mobile device, with some industries, like food and beverage hitting 72%.

Why give ‘em a try?

In addition to being convenient for potential leads, lead form extensions are also easy for digital marketers. They can be integrated with your CRM or email software so they can start receiving your emails right away. 

Google cites three main reasons why digital marketers and advertisers should give these new lead extension forms a shot:

  • They’ll generate leads to drive sales.
  • They’ll drive leads into your marketing funnel to help you get more conversions.
  • They’ll find and engage people interested in your business, product or service.

Of course, how effective these lead form extensions would be for your business is completely dependent on your industry and how far down the sales funnel the customers you’re targeting are. If the people coming across your ads are just in the awareness stage, it’ll be a hard sell to get them to enter their contact information.

Lead form extension drawbacks

Lead forms don’t automatically pop up for each user, even if you’ve included them in your ads, users have to opt in. The thing is, most people outside of the digital marketing space don’t even know to opt in.

They’re also not available to everyone who uses Google Ads to advertise. The requirements to use lead form extensions are:

  • A good history of Google Ad policy compliance.
  • An account in an eligible vertical or sub-vertical. Adult, gambling, alcohol, political, healthcare and medicine-related content are unable to use lead form extensions. 
  • A valid privacy policy. This is linked in the lead form itself.
  • More than a $50,000 total spend in Google Ads. 

Lead form extensions are also unable to ask for personal information such as credit card numbers, tax IDs, health statuses and social security numbers.

While the convenience factor might be all it takes to convince you that lead form extensions are the right move for your advertising efforts, keep in mind that they are keeping potential customers from landing on your own page. This prevents you from really introducing previously unfamiliar leads to your brand. You also don’t get the insights about how a potential customer behaves on your website if they don’t make it there to begin with.