Google is rolling out a new feature named, “Ad Variations” on February 16, 2018. With this product, advertisers will begin seeing alerts in their AdWords account to suggest new ads. After 14 days, the suggested ads will automatically be added to an account, unless a user has decided to remove them.
This upcoming feature release raises several points from the minds at Chacka, such as Google’s reasoning behind the change, pros/cons and steps that we can take on behalf of our client partners to ensure a successful adoption of the Ad Variations feature. In the following POV, we will outline these points and explain why we believe this is a positive feature release.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF AD VARIATIONS
Currently, Google is doing a gradual rollout of Ad Variations to accounts. Chacka’s Google Agency team has notified our team of the advertisers that are currently eligible, and we are in touch with our contacts to start the process.
There are no restrictions as to what type of client vertical (i.e.: retail vs. lead generation), and all AdWords accounts will eventually have the functionality added within the UI. The allotted time-period that advertisers must review the ads will be fourteen days from when the suggested ads are in the review phase. At the end of the fourteen days, those ads will automatically be applied but can be edited, paused or removed entirely, just like a standard ad.
It is important to note these new ads are not entirely new ad copy creations; all copy is pulled from existing, active ads, such as headlines and information on the ad’s landing page. This should ease concern on both the part of brands and agencies that the control element of ad creation is not completely removed. We will address further considerations on this topic in our Chacka’s formal review process later in the POV.
Ad Variation ads will not be added across an entire account; this will only be applicable for ad groups that Google determines could see their performance improved by adding additional ads. Campaigns must be set to “optimized rotation” in order to be eligible to receive alerts. At most, these ads will surface every seven days and because it is a new rollout, users will not yet see a vast amount of suggestions on a regular cadence.
AN INCREASED SHIFT TOWARDS AI
We speculate this is simply another logical move that tech-giants and search engines are taking towards artificial intelligence enhancement capabilities. In 2017, Google released AdWords Smart Bidding, a real-time bidding tool that used subsets to optimize toward conversions or conversion value at each auction. Smart Bidding garnered positive feedback, but still requires human oversight to ensure the AI is put in the best position to be successful. This not to say that we should go into Ad Variations with a blind-eye, but the fact that copy is being pulled from existing details, we anticipate accounts that are opted-in will see success.
ADAPTING TO AD VARIATIONS
According to Google, when ad groups are set to an optimized rotation, with three or more versions of ads, they receive up to 15% more clicks or conversions compared to ad groups with only one or two ads. This is also the standard to meet the optimal level of Google’s Health Score Index. With more clicks and impressions, along with high quality ad variation being pulled from the existing bank, we believe that accounts will achieve more qualified clicks.
CONSIDERATIONS AND REVIEW PROCESS
While it is understandable to be wary about the lack of control over ad copy, we are cautiously optimistic about this feature. The Chacka team will take the appropriate action for individual accounts. If this does not make sense for an account to opt-in, they will be opted-out. The most important consideration is to make sure that new ads have appropriate tracking parameters in place for third party tracking and analytics.
Chacka is eager to test Google’s Ad Variations product and compile research that will provide our client partners with the best solutions to benefit their programs. We anticipate a smooth transition and welcome further AI enhancements to take your brand to the next level.
• FINDING THE AD SUGGESTIONS NOTIFICATIONS & APPLYING
In the AdWords UI, navigate to the upper-right corner to the notifications tab. After clicking in this icon, a drop down will display. Select “type” and expand “opportunities & ad suggestions,” and click “apply.”
• OPT-IN & OUT
Accounts that are opted-in have the option to opt-out and vice-versa at any time.