Ad Rotation Update in AdWords (And What This Means at Acquisio)

Google changed the options available to PPC marketers using the ad rotation settings in AdWords starting on September 25th and rolling out from there. Now instead of 4 options for ad rotation, they are down to just ‘Optimize’ or ‘Rotate Indefinitely’.

ad rotation settings in adwords

Reason being, having only two options helps marketers more easily determine the best ad rotation settings.  Let’s look at the impact this update will have for AdWords and Acquisio clients alike.

Optimize Versus Rotate Indefinitely

With now only two options for ad rotation settings in AdWords, it’s important to understand the difference between each. The Optimize ad rotation setting puts Google in the driver seat, to determine which ad should perform best in each ad group. Therefore Google needs more than one version of the ad or ad copy per ad group, in order for the Optimize setting to operate as intended. Google optimizes ads for clicks under the Optimize setting by analyzing keywords, search terms, device type, location and more. However anyone using Google’s Smart Bidding can still optimize for conversions, as Google still uses the Optimize ad rotation setting for their Smart Bidding feature, showing ads that are more likely to convert than others.

The Rotate Indefinitely ad rotation setting is less complicated. As its name suggests, this setting simply rotates the different versions of the same ad evenly, giving equal preference to each, regardless of one ad’s likeliness to get clicks or convert over another’s.

Impact of the Ad Rotation Update in AdWords

Many PPC experts won’t even blink an eye with the recent update and will continue to just rotate indefinitely because this is what they know and a strategy they trust, says PPC Hero. However search engine marketers should consider testing the Optimize setting because it can improve campaign results if used correctly. As mentioned above, marketers should include multiple versions of their ad copy per ad for the Optimize settings to work.

The ad rotation settings are available at the ad group level. Having ad rotation settings available at the ad group level means marketers can use more than one ad setting in the same campaign. This is one of the biggest impacts of the update.

For example a pet store could create campaigns for different products in their store. One of the campaigns they could launch is for cat scratchers. Since they have different brands and types of cat scratchers that they sell, the pet store would include multiple ad groups for the same cat scratcher campaign. At the campaign level the pet store would determine the budget and geolocation. At the ad group level, the pet store can now choose their ad rotation setting. So they may have one cat scratcher ad group for Brand A on Optimize ad rotation settings and Brand B ad group on Rotate Indefinitely settings, in the same campaign. The pet store could also test the same ad in the same campaign by creating two identical ad groups using different rotation settings.

Having ad rotation settings at the ad group level allows PPC marketers to perform A/B tests easier. Creating identical ad groups under the same campaign and putting one on Optimize and the other on Rotate Indefinitely allows marketers to clearly understand which rotation setting will yield the greatest results at the ad group level.

Previously marketers could only make changes at the campaign level, so they’d end up with massive campaign lists, one for each aspect they were trying to test. Ad groups didn’t have much functionality before the recent update. With the simplified rotation settings, optimizing is more efficient. We suspect simplifying these settings enables easier machine learning on Google’s side as well.

Campaign managers can now combine manual control and machine learning in the same campaign, using both approaches to uncover the most effective strategy for them.

Impact of Ad Rotation Update for Acquisio Clients

The latest AdWords update will not impact Acquisio clients in a major way. However, eventually our UI will show clients only the supported ad settings available in AdWords.

On our platform, the current settings “Optimize for conversions” and “Rotate evenly” will be retired. Campaigns currently using “Optimize for clicks,” “Optimize for conversions,” and “Rotate evenly” will automatically be switched to the “Optimize” setting. Speak to your account manager today for more information on AdWords updates inside Acquisio.

While advertisers generally notice improved performance in their accounts after making the change from “Rotate Evenly” or “Optimize for conversions” to the “Optimize” rotation setting, it’s always safer to keep an eye on the affected campaign after this kind of change. And if you’re still not comfortable making the switch, A/B test ad rotation settings in the same ad group until you have the data you need to make an informed decision. 

Image Credits

Feature Image: Unsplash/Daniel Monteiro

Screenshot by Chandal Nolasco da Silva. Taken from AdWords.

Chandal Nolasco Da Silva

Chandal Nolasco Da Silva

With nearly a decade of digital marketing experience, Chandal has created content strategies for both the biggest and sometimes the most unexpected markets, while developing strategic relationships with editors and publishers. Chandal contributes to some of the highest authority industry publications, has been featured in industry events and is thrilled to be Acquisio’s Content Director.

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