Google has announced that from 25th September 2017 they will be updating the ad rotation tool in AdWords. For those who don’t currently use this for their AdWords accounts and campaigns, it is a tool which determines how AdWords delivers your adverts for each auction.
The current ad rotation options are Optimize For Clicks, Optimise For Conversions, Rotate Evenly For 90 Days Then Optimise, and Rotate Indefinitely. As marketing professionals, we use each of these options on a daily basis depending on the requirements of our clients so when we heard that there was going to be an update which will change the available options we were a bit apprehensive! Fear not though, because after our initial ‘the world is coming to an end’ panic, we looked into the changes that are being introduced and they weren’t as bad as we had first thought.
So, what is actually going to be changed? Google is making three updates to the ad rotation functionality which they say is to simplify and improve the process. These updates are as follows…
Google has decided to downsize and simplify the number of options available within the ad rotation settings, taking it from four optimisation options to just two, and these are very similar to the ones that we all currently use.
The first is Optimise, which will use Google’s machine learning technology to deliver ads that are expected to perform better than the other adverts in the same ad group. This works by using the same principles as the Optimise For Clicks and Optimise For Conversions options that are currently in use but seems to offer less control to the account manager as they will have to optimise for both clicks and conversions at once as opposed to separately depending on the client. We are not sure if this update is an improvement as it seems to be more simple and user-friendly as opposed to being more in-depth although having said that, the assumption is that if the data is available, conversion optimisation will always be the priority.
The second option is Rotate Indefinitely, where the adverts will be delivered evenly for an indefinite amount of time. This option was available before so we assume that most of you will understand how it works, however, we can’t help but wonder why Google would remove the Rotate Evenly For 90s Days Then Optimise option and only offer this one. The main advantage of only having this option is that there is now no time limit for you to test your ad copy evenly but this comes with the drawback that an account manager will have to remember the duration of the test and manually change it to Optimise when satisfied.
Smart Bidding Change
Smart bidding is an automated bidding option that many AdWords account managers will use across their accounts to help improve their chances of meeting targets by using one of the four automated strategies on offer. These are not the most flexible of tools as you’re relying on and trusting Google to actively increase/decrease your bids using its advanced machine learning algorithms, and this flexibility is going to be reduced even further with the latest update, in which Google will set all campaigns using Smart Bidding to the Optimise setting regardless of the ad rotation setting that’s in place. It could prove to be beneficial for AdWords novices, but as things stand you could be left scratching your head if you want to use smart bidding for new adverts that you want to rotate evenly as a test? For the more experienced AdWords account managers amongst us, this should be a non-issue as manual bidding is often the preferred approach.
Ad Group Level Ad Rotation
So far, the new updates have left us feeling uncertain in terms of their usefulness, but we are happy to say that this part of the update is obvious and simple yet brilliant! Say goodbye to the days where advert rotation settings could only be applied at the campaign level, and let’s all rejoice in the glory that is ad group level ad rotation! The ability to change the ad rotation settings at ad group level will give account managers another level of control when it comes to testing new adverts. It’s a small and simple tweak which we think everyone will enjoy using to their advantage and we know that we will be using this in our Google AdWords accounts from the day it goes live!
So there you have it, the good, the bad and the not so ugly updates that are coming soon to an AdWords account near you. Time will tell if these updates are for the best but we’re welcoming them with open arms and getting ready to give them a whirl! Bring on the 25th September 2017 and let’s all embrace the change!
Ciao for now…