Google Ad Conversion Optimization - Is it reliable / wise?

3 replies
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I typially rotate my ads evenly to test different ad performance. I'm not testing variations as often anymore so I only have two variations per ad group. However some of these ads are brand new. I am considering turning on the ad display optimization for conversions but I am concerned some of the new ads might not get a "fair chance" to perform.

I would assumg Google is smart enough to set an intelligent minimum level of conversion data before actually employing the optimization. Does anyone have an educated guess on what the minimum number of clicks and/or conversions an ad must first get before the rotations starts being optimized and does the optimization effect become stronger over time as long as conversion rate does not decline on the ad receiving preference?

I would guess the "strength" of preference is dependent on the difference in the conversion rate between the ads being rotated. I'm just basically wondering, once you fee you've experimented enough on ad variations, is this a reliable "set it and forget it" feature or is it still wiser to rotate envenly and run reports to determine which ads to pause.

An interesting take on this is that some ad variations show pricing. Depending on the keyword their may be competitors advertising lower pricing in their ads. For those keywords we would want the ads to focus on other differentiating factors. Competitor ad positions can change and come and go. So it seems to me, one major benefit of automatic ad display optimization based on conversion rate is that as the competetive landscape changes the system could adjust the ad rotation to that. If the advertisers with the lower price drops out, the ad with the price in it may start gaining ground. But I would expect in a low-volume situation it could take a LONG time for the system to recognize the change - but so would be the case if you were manually comparing the conversion stats. In either case you need a statistically significant amount of data to base the decision on.
#conversion #google #optimization #reliable #wise
  • Profile picture of the author JC Web
    I don't know if it's listed anywhere how many minimum clicks or conversions it takes for G to start optimizing ad display for conversions. I know for the conversion optimizer (for bids) they say you need a minimum of 15 conversions in the last 30 days. But I don't know if they wait for 15 conversions for the display optimization.

    I personally don't use that option and rotate evenly then manually optimize. I don't know if you are aware, but even with the rotate evenly option, they do some optimizing (just not as much as if you choose one of the optimize options) and they choose which ad to show based on more than just CTR. They determine ad quality, relevance, and take into account the landing page as well.

    Once you've been running a campaign with your own optimizing for awhile and have some data, you could try to let them optimize and compare results and see how it works for you. I've never been able to get myself to give up control of that myself so far but that doesn't mean it couldn't be more profitable under the right circumstances. Maybe try it on a less vital campaign first and at a time when you can keep a close eye on the results.
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Hi consultant1027,

      The best choice will vary from one person to the next, as well as one campaign to the next.

      If you are a very hands on campaign manager that likes to review ad performance daily and micro-manage the campaigns then set it to rotate evenly, and pick winning ads as they reach statistical significance. Never set and forget, as you will be wasting opportunities for optimization.

      If you are more into rule based automation, rather than micro-management, then you might be better off choosing automatic optimization. I often set new campaigns to "optimize for clicks" during the first few weeks until there is enough conversion data to make the choice to "optimize for conversions" a reliable option.

      Another consideration is the expected search traffic for your campaigns. If the search traffic is expected to be relatively low then automatic optimization will not work as reliably. If it expected to be relatively high search volume and ample impressions, the automation will usually work well.
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  • As JC said, you need a minimum of 15 conversions in the last 30 days. Frankly, I don't use that feature. This number is really low and I don't see what the system can infer from this number. My view, like JC's, is keep as much control as you can and not let an algorithm make too many decisions. This means rotate ads evenly and test a lot.

    As for the number of clicks needed, based on past experience, the system doesn't take too long to decide which ad it thinks is best. It seems too fast and my guess and observations is that by 30 clicks, it will already have made up its mind. This is also a feature I don't typically use because I'm always testing new ads and I want more control.

    A key as you pointed out, you need a statistically significant amount of data to base the decision on. 15 conversions in 30 days spread among two ads (or more as some do) is not enough. If you had 15 conversions per day (for one ad group, not the whole campaign), then maybe. Apply the same logic for clicks.
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