Earlier this year, Google released their responsive ad options, providing a new way for businesses to provide variable ad options that can function across several platforms. While it seemed interesting, many businesses felt that the lack of reports made it difficult to develop effective strategies for their ad campaigns.
To help users make better use of these ads, Google has recently released new reporting features, including ad strength metrics. This and the new reporting metrics are steps forward that can help businesses take advantage of Google responsive ads to get more mileage for their advertising campaigns.
What Are Google Responsive Ads?
Google’s AdWords resources allow for two types of ads: the Search Network and the Display Network. While the Search Network focuses on text ads in search engine results, the Google Display Network provides visual banner ads that appear across various sites in Google’s ad networks.
Responsive Ads are one of the newest additions to the Google Display Network. Many of the previously available options include text ads. In previous campaigns, Google could provide a richer text ad by pulling an image from the client’s website, but such images didn’t always create an accurate or effective ad.
Google Responsive Ads now allow businesses to remedy this problem by providing available images, logos, and text to create a much more customizable and effective branding experience. These ads also have much more room for content, all of which are excellent features for advertising campaigns.
To create a responsive ad, you integrate headline, description, advertiser name, and image and logo options. Google then takes these options and displays the appropriate combination to fit the website and device it displays on. With these options, one responsive ad can have a much farther reach and effective display than previous text ad options.
Newly Released Responsive Ad Features
While Google Responsive Ads has the potential to create a powerful advertising campaign, it is still in beta form, meaning that it likely doesn’t have all of the features that Google intends – or that businesses need. One complaint that many have voiced is the lack of ways to determine the success of an ad and its combinations, important pieces of data for anyone trying to optimize their marketing campaigns.
Ad Strength Metrics
One of the newest features of Google Responsive Ads is the ad strength indicator. As a newer ad format, understanding the potency of the ads you’re building, before they even launch, can be an important indicator of potential success. The new ad strength indicator works to provide an easy visual of how well an ad follows Google’s recommended practices. Some of the highlighted elements are:
- Number of headlines
- Variety of headlines
- Uniqueness of descriptions
Instead of focusing on small variations such as changes in words, the new Ad Strength Indicator looks to provide feedback on broader changes in headlines and descriptions to better reach potential audiences. The indicator then creates a combined score of the ad settings that ranges between “Poor” and “Excellent” to give businesses an idea of how the current version of the ad stacks up.
In addition, the indicator goes on to provide actionable feedback, such as “make your headlines more unique.” It also provides an option to “view ideas,” helping ad developers of any level of experience to start making changes to improve their ads.
There will also be best practice pop-up notes to help advertisers include the relevant details when building their ads. One such note is making sure search ad groups contain three or more ads as well as use the optimize ad rotation settings.
The Ad Strength Indicator should appear as a column in Google Ads and as a feature in the responsive ads creation view. Both these changes should take place sometime in September, according to Google’s announcement.
Responsive Search Ads Reporting
One of the powerful aspects of responsive ad development is that it allows for combinations of various display options to help businesses create the most effective ad campaigns. However, without any in-depth reportable data on these ads, it becomes difficult to understand just how well ad efforts are doing. The new reporting features for responsive ads help to alleviate this issue.
When filtering ad type in the Ads and Extensions menu, it’s now possible to view stats for different aspects of ads, such as headlines and description lines. While these sets of data allow for important insights, one of the arguably best elements of the new features is the stats for certain element combinations.
What may not be an effective headline or description on its own can be more successful when paired with the right image or logo. The new responsive ads data allows you to see which combinations of elements are the most effective over a given period, as well as which combinations don’t work at all. With this in place, businesses can then choose which combinations to display and which ones to keep out of the rotation.
For many, these reporting features will offer an alternative to some A/B testing procedures. While having more detailed control over which combinations of ad elements don’t work as well with responsive ads optimization options, it does still provide a great way for businesses to build a baseline for their PPC campaigns and start to pull in more data – especially as Google continues to update and develop the beta into a full advertising feature.
Previewing Ad Combinations
Another recent addition to the responsive ad builder is the preview feature. This will allow advertisers to see what the potential combinations of headlines, taglines, logos, and images will look like. Seeing these different stages can allow for adjustments of any element of the ad if it doesn’t display well with combinations, such as poor image and text combinations.
As more Google Responsive Ads features come into use, businesses will have more tools to work with and make effective campaigns. This ad option should become a powerful element of effective marketing and PPC campaigns as advertisers have more ways to analyze and develop their ad experiences.