Several months ago, just weeks before Black Friday (2017), Google announced the “ad variations” feature and it was welcomed with open virtual arms by those that manage large scale performance advertising campaigns via AdWords.
Let’s take a closer look.
For the unfamiliar, the feature allows advertisers to test ad variations across multiple campaigns or an entire account (essentially, this is ad testing at scale).
What this means is that advertisers can quickly and easily test changes (to a broad set of listings in their account) to headlines, descriptions or display paths and Google will share the results once the data is statistically significant, enables businesses to execute on those adjustments immediately.
Here’s how it works:
+ To create an ad variation, advertisers must first select a scope (e.g. the entire account, specific campaigns, or even something custom).
+ A “variation” must then be created. For example, a plumbing company might replace “Local Plumbers” with “Nearby Plumbers” in their title.
+ Set the other variation details including the end date for the variation test and define what percent of traffic to show the modified ads.
+ Advertisers will ultimately be able view the overall ad variation results and drill down to see how the modified ads are performing compared to the original assets.
+ From there, advertisers can then choose to apply the modified ads to their campaign; i.e. they can opt to replace the existing ads or create new ads with the variations.
Google did indicate that the new ad variation capabilities are best used when there’s a need to test one change across multiple campaigns while campaign drafts and experiments are still the preferred choice for making multiple simultaneous changes on a smaller scale.