Google Ads Lead Form Extensions: Complete Guide

The traditional strategy of Lead Generation, consisting of sending people to a landing page, a Landing Page, where they fill out several form fields before submitting their contact information, may not be the best way from a conversion rate and cost-per-lead perspective: Smaller screen, loading times often worse than desktop and forms often not optimized are just some of the dynamics that lead to conversion rates on mobile tending to be worse than on other devices such as desktops, in a context where 60% of Google navigation (and not only) takes place from mobile.

If a classic pattern of many purchasing processes is to start from mobile to have the first touchpoints with the product or service, the conversion phase is often done, especially if complex, from desktop. If this is particularly true for theecommerce, this phenomenon can also occur in lead generation, where filling out a form can be more complex on mobile than on desktop, despite the fact that it is an initiative that can be considered simpler than a checkout (in this regard, take a look at how optimize a form and track its performance with the form analytics).

Facebook, LinkedIn. and Google, aware of these dynamics, have therefore launched solutions such as native lead generation ads specifically designed for mobile browsing, which allow users to leave their contact details in a couple of clicks thanks to fields pre-filled with the user's personal information, and users can submit a form directly on the platform where the ad is shown.

In order to cope with this phenomenon, the main online advertising tools have gradually been equipped with features that facilitate contact acquisition from mobile devices: in addition to the Lead Ads by Facebook Advertisingeven the lesser-known Lead Gen Forms by LinkedIn Ads (which you can learn to use in the LinkedIn Ads Video Course) allow to acquire the contact data of the potential customer directly on the platform and with a pre-filled form, with 2 obvious advantages:

  • The loss of friction from the transition from social to website;
  • a facilitation in the user experience who does not have to fill in a form but finds the data already pre-filled, based on the data held by the platform itself.

Like Facebook and LinkedIn, Google in 2019 has also developed its own native lead generation ads, namely Google Lead Form Extensions and YouTube TrueView for Action Form Ads, aimed at acquiring the contact without leaving the SERPs. Let's see how they work together.

What are Google Ads lead form extensions?

The lead module extensions of Google Ads are displayed below your ad in the Search Network on mobile and tablet devices and allow the user to provide their contact information directly through your ad on the SERP, rather than visiting a landing page such as the website or a Landing Page.

The form is already pre-filled with your contact information and you can convert immediately with one click.

What are Google Ads lead form extensions
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How to create a Google Ads lead form extension

Lead module extensions can be created from the choice of a "Lead" campaign objective or integrated from the extensions section of the left menu.

How to create a Google Ads lead form extension
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How do you create form extensions for Google leads?

Creating form extensions for leads is simple. First, access a campaign in the search network within Google Ads, set Lead as the goal and Search as the campaign type.

Then visit the "Ads and Extensions" tab on the left, and click on the "Extensions" tab in the top bar. Clicking on the blue "+" symbol will show you a menu, with a note "Extension lead form":

There are a few different steps to follow to create the ad.

Create your own form extension for leads

First, you'll be asked to design how your lead form extension will be displayed below your ad.

You'll need to select a call to action and write a short message to display along with the lead form extension.

Create your own form extension for leads
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Call to action: you'll be able to select one of these eight calls to action for your lead form extension:

  • Request a quote
  • Join now
  • Sign up
  • Contact us
  • Subscribe
  • Download
  • Book now
  • Get an offer

Extension text: this short message (30 characters) will appear below the call to action with the lead form extension on the SERP. Provide a compelling offer to complement your call to action.

Create your lead form

Next, you'll need to create the form that users will see after clicking on the lead form extension.

You can also choose what information you want to collect through this form.

Create your lead form
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Company Name (30 characters): will be displayed at the top of the form.

Title (30 characters): immediately below the name of your business, use the title to act as a call to action in the form

Description (200 characters): will make up the body of the form content. Provide additional context and detail your offer to users in the description.

Questions: You can choose up to ten fields on your form to fill out, asking for contact information and job information.

Privacy Policy: To be Google compliant, you'll also need to provide a link to your company's privacy policy.

Background Image (Optional): in addition, you will have the option to include a background image to display behind the lead form. The recommended image size is 1200 x 628, which corresponds to a ratio of 1.91:1.

Create your own form submission message

After completing the lead form, you will create the form submission message for the lead form extension. This is what users will see after submitting their contact information.

Title (30 characters): will appear at the top of the submission message as a simple "Thank you" or "Form submitted".

Description (200 characters): will make up the content of this page. Be sure to thank your new contacts and set the correct expectations for what to expect next. If you include a call to action, be sure to ask users to continue on your site.

Call-to-action (Optional): you can choose to include a link to visit your site or to download something from your site.

Lead Delivery Options

As users interact with your lead form extension, you will collect their contact information. We recommend following up with these new leads as soon as possible. Google gives you two options for reaching out to these customers who submit via lead form extensions.

1. Download your leads as CSV: Below the lead form extension in Google Ads, you'll notice a blue link to "download leads". This will allow you to download contact information from each lead form extension. You'll need to download these leads often because Google will only store leads for 30 days.

Lead Delivery Options
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2. Set up a webhook integration for the Google leads module extension: to insert these new leads directly into a CRM, you'll need to add a webhook URL and a key to the lead module extension. Once integrated, you'll be able to submit test data to view test statuses and results. Confirm within your CRM that you have received the test data in the correct format.

Some important limitations of Google lead form extensions

Lead form extensions have some limitations, which we list below:

  • Form extensions for leads will only show up in campaigns on the search network.
  • Form extensions for leads will only display on mobile and tablet devices.
  • You cannot create lead form extensions at the account or ad group level. Each lead form extension can only be applied at the campaign level.
  • Some sensitive industries, such as healthcare, will not be able to collect personal information. For a complete list of restrictions for lead form extensions, I recommend visiting the guidelines page for these extensions.
  • Use of personal information collected with form extensions for leads must comply with your company's privacy policy, Google's data collection policies, and your users' local legal requirements.

Lead form optimization

Now that your lead form has been created, you have the ability to optimize for the following options:

  • Lead volume.
  • Lead Qualification.

How do you know which option to choose? This decision should be made solely based on your business goals and campaign intent.

If the goal is to acquire as many leads as possible (top of the funnel, TOFU), lead volume optimization would be the best option.

But as is the case with Lead Ads, this option may get you less qualified leads.

If your goal is to get the most qualified leads, you should choose the lead qualification option, which will give you better quality but at a potentially higher cost per lead (CPL) and fewer overall leads.

Creating a Webhook Integration

Webhook integration allows you to import data into your CRM without having to manually download it.

This option, while more valuable and efficient in the long run, will take time for integration to set up. If your team has the capacity and staff (or agency) resources to create the Webhook, you can generate a Webhook and a key to pass the data.

The basic process looks like this:

Creating a Webhook Integration

Google also allows you to use a third-party integration, Zapier, to help integrate leads.

Finally, once the webhooks are set up, it's time to verify the data to ensure your automated solutions are working.

Creating a Webhook Integration

Webhooks: different types of states and responses

You may receive error states, which depend on your actions after adding the webhook integration.

Here are the different states:

  • Error state A, when users save the form, but do not submit the test data correctly.
  • Error state B, when a piece of data has not been sent.
  • Error state C, when the data was sent, but Google did not receive a response.
  • Error state D, when the data is sent, but Google receives an incorrect response (HTTP 200).
  • Success state, when the data is sent and Google receives a correct answer.

Advantages and disadvantages of lead form extensions

Google gives you two options for contacting prospects who have submitted their information:

  • Download leads as CSV: The "download leads" link allows you to get contact information from each lead form extension. However, Google will only store leads for 30 days, so you'll have to download leads periodically.
  • Set up a Webhook integration: allows you to send data to a CRM.

Although extension has the advantages mentioned above, it has a number of disadvantages:

  • Only available on mobile devices: lead form extensions are only suitable for mobile search campaigns.
  • Extensions can only be applied at the campaign level: You cannot create form extensions for leads at the account or ad group level.
  • Your industry may not be eligible for extension: Some sensitive industries (such as healthcare) will not be able to collect personal information with lead form extensions. For a full list of restrictions for extensions, please visit this page.
  • Google has strict rules on data collection: The personal information you collect with lead form extensions must comply with your company's privacy policy, Google's data collection policies, and your users' local legal requirements.
  • Limited form field optionsUnlike the post-click page form where you decide what information you want to collect, Google currently allows a limited amount of customization with form fields such as user name, email, phone number, and zip code.
  • You're missing out on a personalized introduction: convincing prospects to click the CTA button on a pre-filled form is easier than filling out a form, but it doesn't have the same "persuasive" effect as a landing page, which can provide relevant details of the offer, which helps them make an informed decision and pre-qualify.
  • You don't have access to useful user data: When prospects don't land on your post-click page, you can't see how your visitors would have interacted with the page, causing you to miss out on useful analytics data.

Want to use the Lead Form extension in your Google Ads campaigns? Contact me for a Google Ads consulting or a Google Ads course.

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