3Q’s Proprietary AdQ Process: Revolutionize Your Ad Copy Performance
Published: December 3, 2018
Author: Brad Banyai
3Qers Tom Leonard and Tom Bodenheimer contributed to this post.
You have tightly segmented campaigns, comprehensive keyword coverage, and compelling ad copy that highlights your value proposition – but have you considered whether your Paid Search campaigns are set up to maximize visibility and conversions?
3Q’s AdQ methodology utilizes Google Ad’s updated ad rotation capabilities to drive as many impressions (and ultimately, conversions) to your search campaigns as possible. In fact, our internal case studies have shown that adhering to our “AdQ” best practices can boost overall conversion volume by up to 20%.
The first step in the AdQ process is ensuring you have at least three meaningfully different ad copy variations (not iterations of the same ad). This step is vital’ to enter as many auctions as possible within your keyword set, you’ll need messaging that aligns with all potential search queries that are triggering your ads. Three distinctly unique variations is a baseline to get started, but depending on your vertical, you may want to add more.
Secondly (and arguably, most importantly), make sure to select the “Optimize” ad rotation setting. This setting allows Google’s machine learning to use historical ad performance combined with dozens of real-time signals on an auction-by-auction basis to dynamically select an ad that is most likely to result in a conversion. Using the “Do Not Optimize” setting is not recommended. While it can be difficult to break from what’s comfortable, we have found that forcing a particular ad into the auction in a random (read: even) manner can never outperform the machine.
Once you have a core set of ad copy variations and have selected the “Optimize” ad rotation setting, you’ll want to start testing new messaging to ensure the copy you’re using is fresh and compelling. Ideally, you’ll have started with at least 3 unique copy variations and can add 4-5 additional variations to test. Using several unique text ads enables Google to dynamically select the ideal ad for each individual auction. Google’s optimization process typically takes about 2-3 weeks to learn, so early results can be murky. (Remember that this is normal.)
Once each ad group contains a minimum of 7 unique ad copy variations, and you’re utilizing the “Optimize” setting, you’ve reached AdQ compliance. However, maintaining ad copy excellence is an ongoing process. New copy variations should be tested (using the process outlined above) every 3-6 months. These test variations should be introduced within the applicable ad groups alongside all existing ads. Contrary to historical best practices, you should refrain from pausing ads with low CTR/CVR or high CPA. Although those ads may appear to be underperforming compared to other ads in the account, keep in mind that any ad that continues to see impression volume is being intentionally selected by Google’s algorithm and is still the best ad for a portion of relevant search queries or audiences. An ad should only be paused once its impression volume drops to zero and Google is no longer entering it into auctions.
So, if you should no longer pause ads based on performance indicators, how should you conduct ad copy testing? That depends on what you’re looking to test. Overall process testing (such as the AdQ methodology itself) should be done using Campaign Experiments. Testing very specific ad elements (e.g. a specific Headline or CTA) should be tested using Ad Variations. Learnings from Ad Variation testing can be used in other search engines or channels where AdQ won’t apply. At the end of the day, the goal is to maximize conversions or clicks, not test ad copy for the sake of testing ad copy.
Here’s a handy flow chart to help you follow the steps of AdQ:
-The AdQ methodology is a proven set of best practices that enables advertisers to maximize conversions through a wide array of ad copy variations and Google Machine Learning.
– By adding a group of distinct ad copy variations and opting in to the “Optimize” ad rotation setting, you’re allowing Google to dynamically select the ideal ad for each auction you enter.
– Any process testing should be done via Campaign Experiments, and specific ad copy elements should be tested using Ad Variations.
– Although individual ads may appear to be underperforming compared to other ads in the ad group, you should not pause ads based on KPIs like CTR or CPA. As long as these ads are being entered into auctions, Google views them as the best ads for certain search queries, and they should be kept active.
– Following these best practices can ensure that your ad groups and campaigns are set up to drive as many impressions and conversions as possible at maximum efficiency.