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Are Your Ads Getting The Right Rotation?

Today, let’s check in on your campaign’s ad rotation setting. Proper ad rotation is crucial to getting a valid split test from multiple ads in Google AdWords and the default value may not be in your best interest. If one of your ads is not getting a fair rotation in the test, it will not be clear how much it can contribute to your success. This is where the picking the right rotation setting becomes important.

From the Campaigns tab in your AdWords Account with a campaign selected:

Make sure that your campaign is set to All features (shown below):

AdWords Campaign Settings

Scroll down and find Advanced settings for Ad Delivery, Ad Rotation, and Frequency Capping:

Adwords Ad Rotation Settings

In most cases, our recommendation on this setting is the “Rotate indefinitely” setting but the other settings have their value as well, so we will discuss them all.

Optimize for clicks is the default that Google recommends and that makes perfect sense for Google or for the advertiser who does not want to spend the time to do the testing properly. For Google, this improves the click through rate and that optimizes Google’s revenue. For the advertiser that wants to save time, it does the test and moves on quickly. However, Google is very quick to move on this optimization and many, including us, believe that they move too quickly.

Optimize for conversions is a setting we are often fans of but only under certain conditions. You need to have enough conversions that the system can do this optimization and typically this is about 30 in a month. At the Ad Group level, few businesses have the volume required for this setting.

Rotate evenly is a lazy person setting that runs the test for 90 days and then optimizes the ads. This allows you to set up a test and it will automatically conclude and set the winner. While we are not huge fans of this, it is useful if AdWords is not something you work on all the time. By using this setting, if you fail to get back to the test after data is collected it will go to the optimized ad at 90 days.

Rotate indefinitely is our go to recommendation and clearly Google disagrees with us. Google’s recommendation on this setting is clear “Not recommended for most advertisers”. They never qualify why they do not recommend this setting but at one point they removed the option from the system. This action resulted in a huge protest from smart advertisers that resulted in Google bringing the feature back. We recommend this because it forces the test to run until we call a winner, not Google. In many small businesses, the data never reaches a valid level and this setting indefinitely gives us multiple ad delivery. We think that Google’s is thinking with their wallet not yours and clearly this is best for their revenue.

In closing, this is not an area that you need to visit frequently but it is a setting that all advertisers should understand.

Author: Ryan