Interesting guest post by Emily Reiffer

Even a single tweak to a headline can translate to more clicks and conversions. But you wouldn’t know unless you test it and look at the actual data. This is why ad testing in Google AdWords is so important.

Simply running a single ad could be limiting your campaign’s potential. Including multiple ads in each ad group lets you see which ads perform better and which ones are falling short. That kind of data is incredibly valuable and can mean the difference between a high performing campaign or one that barely generates conversions.


Google makes it easy for advertisers to test multiple ads. However, starting from September 25 there will be new changes rolling out to its ad rotation settings.


Here we’ll look at what ad rotation is and provide an overview of what changes advertisers can expect.


What is Ad Rotation?

Ad rotation is a setting in AdWords that automatically rotates ads on the Search and Display Networks. If one ad performs poorly, it doesn’t make sense to continue running it. Likewise, if an ad performs well you can allocate more resources towards optimising it.


The default setting gives preference to ads that are expected to generate more clicks to your campaign. Google will automatically display ads that have been shown to deliver more clicks based on historical account data. With this option though you’re essentially letting AdWords decide which ads to display.


Another option is to let your ads rotate evenly. This setting is exactly what it sounds like—ads in your ad groups are displayed equally regardless of previous data. Then you compare the data after letting the ads run for a sufficient period of time, leaving you with the final decision on which ads to keep and which ones to drop.

Ad rotation settings can be found in the settings tab from your campaigns:

The reason you would enable ad rotations option is simple—having more data allows you to make informed business decisions and drive even better results with your PPC campaign on AdWords.

New Ad Rotation Changes

To simplify the process and ensure more advertisers get the most out of their campaigns, Google is rolling out the following three new changes for ad rotations:

  1. AdWord will only support two ad rotation settings:
  • Optimise: Machine learning technology is used to to deliver ads it deems are expected to outperform other ads in your ad group. This option consolidates “Optimise for Clicks”, “Optimise for Conversions”, and “Rotate Evenly” together.
  • Rotate indefinitely: Selecting this option means that your ads are rotated evenly for an indefinite period of time. You’ll be able to look at the data and make the final decision on which ads to continue running.
  1. Campaigns that use Smart Bidding strategies (e.g. Enhanced CPC, target CPA, etc.) will automatically be set to “Optimise” regardless of their ad rotation settings.
  2. New ad rotation settings can be managed at both the campaign and ad group level, giving advertisers even more ways to optimise their campaigns.

If any of your ad groups are set to “Optimise for Clicks”, “Optimise for Conversions”, or “Rotate Evenly, they will switch to either “Optimise” or “Rotate Indefinitely” depending on your previous settings.

Ad rotation is a powerful feature that can ultimately contribute more to your bottom line. According to data from WordStream, changing the “Rotate Evenly” settings to “Optimise” resulted in a 8% increase in click through rates on average.

If any of your campaigns are set to “Rotate Evenly”, conclude any current ad tests and begin migrating over to the “Optimise” setting to take advantage of the new feature. If you are using the “Optimise for Conversion” setting, consider adopting a Smart Bidding strategy to optimise your bids in real time.

Using the ad rotation setting is completely optional. If you prefer to manually manage your own ad tests without any input from Google, you can switch to “Do Not Optimise”. As previously noted, the new changes will automatically roll out on September 25. Advertisers affected by the changes should see a positive impact but it’s still strongly recommended to keep a close eye on your accounts.

Emily Reiffer is general manager at Digital Monopoly, parent company of Paid Traffic, an Australian based PPC advertising agency. She is a marketing fanatic and entrepreneur with a passion for everything search engine related. You can reach out to her on LinkedIn –

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