The ROI Revolution Blog

Google's Recommendation to Optimize Ads, and Why It's (Potentially) Not a Great Idea

January 19, 2009

chalkboard.jpegOccasionally, Google will show alerts in our AdWords accounts introducing new products or tools, or notifying us of maxed out budgets or disapproved ads. These are usually very helpful to us. Lately, many account managers in our PPC management agency have noticed the following message in their clients' Google AdWords accounts suggesting that the Ad Serving setting be changed from "Rotate Ad Serving" to "Optimize Ad Serving" in order to 'increase traffic by showing your best ad most often'.


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At ROI Revolution, we recommend always setting our campaigns' ads to "Rotate" as part of what we call "AdWords 101" or the most basic and well-known practices for an AdWords account. There are two main reasons why we do this:

More Clicks Does Not Equal More Conversions

Google optimizes your ad serving based on Click-Through-Rate. This works out great for Google, because showing the ad that gets the most clicks more often means more Google revenue. However, optimizing ads based on Click-Through-Rate is not always the best practice for advertisers, because conversion rate is never factored in to the equation. While increasing clicks is a wonderful way to get more visits to your site, conversion rate is equally as important, if not more important, to most advertisers. With the exception of brand awareness, there is not much of a payoff in getting someone to click on your ad and then leave your site without buying anything or submitting any of their information.

Test, Test, Test

It is best practice to run at least two ads in a paid search ad group. If you're not continually testing ad text, headlines, landing pages, basically everything, then you're missing out on new opportunities that could bring in more money for you. If those ads are not rotated evenly, there is no way to tell which one generates the most profitable traffic for your business. Rotating ads evenly will ensure that the data you're seeing in your reports is a fair representation of how they actually perform when given an equal chance.

The moral of this story is DON'T choose this setting if you want to maximize your results through testing and conversions. Leaving your ads set to "Optimize" is a common mistake, but one that you can and should avoid. In order to make the best decision for your AdWords account, it is essential to outline goals, prioritize them, and optimize your ads based on those goals.

For more insider tricks and tips that we use to help our clients in multiple industries, you can register for our 3-part Google AdWords Beginner Online Training course taking place later this month.

Take the next step. Ecommerce retailers spending at least $500/mo. in AdWords qualify for a free 20-minute Google AdWords account review.

Comments

PJ Conley said:

Thanks for this Erin!

While I started out with a few ads in even rotation, at some point when I opted in for the Conversion Optimization feature, I made the change for ad optimization too.

Your post makes it very clear why I need to engage again in tweaking ads and words. Google's focus on PPC traffic is not necessarily helping me with conversion ratios.

Thanks,

-pjc

January 21, 2009 1:05 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@PJ: I'm glad the post was able to help you out, and it's great that you're testing ads again. Thanks for reading!

January 21, 2009 1:43 PM

PJ Conley said:

Thanks for this Erin!

While I started out with a few ads in even rotation, at some point when I opted in for the Conversion Optimization feature, I made the change for ad optimization too.

Your post makes it very clear why I need to engage again in tweaking ads and words. Google's focus on PPC traffic is not necessarily helping me with conversion ratios.

Thanks,

-pjc

January 21, 2009 1:05 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@PJ: I'm glad the post was able to help you out, and it's great that you're testing ads again. Thanks for reading!

January 21, 2009 1:43 PM

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