What You Need to Know About AdWords’ New Ad Suggestion Beta

AdWords is introducing a new beta called ad suggestions designed to “improve performance” by adding new ads to your ad groups for you. I added the quotes to “improve performance” myself as AdWords tends to focus on generating more clicks, A.K.A. spending more money, when it talks about improving performance. Although I do have hesitations toward anything that gives Google more control over my account, I’m always interested in giving new features a try.

For right now, ad suggestions are in beta and only open to a small group of advertisers. If you were selected for the beta, you received an email from AdWords notifying you.

Let’s take a look at exactly what ad suggestions are and how they will work in your account.

What Are Ad Suggestions?

Ad suggestions are variations of your existing text ads that AdWords recommends to boost the performance of your Search Network campaigns. These ads will be created based on information you’ve provided in your existing ads, such as your headlines, descriptions, ad extensions and relevant information found on your landing pages. Google also uses additional signals such as keywords and targeting to optimize the ad copy. The ads will be created with a combination of human review and machine learning.

How Ad Suggestions Work

Starting after September 24, 2017, you’ll see an alert in AdWords and receive a corresponding email every time new ads are suggested. When you click on the notification, it will show you the date when the ad suggestions are set to apply automatically.

You can review ad suggestions from within the Opportunities tab. You’ll have the option to apply them now or dismiss them. If you don’t do anything, the ad suggestions will be applied automatically after 14 days. This is incredibly important to note, especially if you aren’t in your account on a regular basis.

Any ads that are auto-applied after the 14 days will be labeled “auto-applied ad suggestion” on the ads & extensions page. If you apply the ads manually through the Opportunities tab, they will not receive this label and will appear just like any other text ad.

Once ad suggestions have been applied, you can edit, remove or pause them that same as any other ad. You cannot edit the ad suggestions in the Opportunity tab before applying them.

Ad suggestions will appear in your account once every 7 days at most. Any search ad group that is set to optimize for clicks or conversions will be eligible for ad suggestions.

Opting Out of Ad Suggestions

If you are working for a client where control over the ad copy is very important, whether for branding guidelines, legal compliance, or personal preference, I would recommend opting out of this feature.

If you received the email invite to the beta, you can opt out of automatically applying these ads by filling out this form.

You can also opt out any time after the release by going to your account settings and choosing “don’t automatically apply ad suggestions.” You will still be eligible to receive ad suggestions when you opt out, but they won’t be applied automatically.

My Initial Thoughts and Questions

I like the concept of ad suggestions, but I’m not a fan of anything that is auto-applied by AdWords. I don’t know about you, but I find the majority of the recommendations within Opportunities do not make sense strategy-wise for my accounts. I will likely be opting out of automated application for all my client accounts.

I’m very interested to see what the actual ad copy will look like. Depending on how much is created by machine vs man, will it make sense? I also tend to put the keywords in my ad group in Headline 1. Will AdWords make different recommendations?

In the same vein, how will landing pages be chosen? If there is currently only one being used in the ad group, will that be the one selected? What happens if there are multiple landing pages in an ad group? Also, I have some clients where we are using manual tagging and not just tracking templates. Will I have to go in and append any tagging or will it pull from what’s on other ad URLs?

Finally, I’m interested in understanding more about what is being optimized toward with these ad suggestions. The help page has a lot of phrases like “improve performance” and “optimize ads” but never states what they are using as a metric. Will it be clicks, conversions, or return if you’re tracking conversion value? Can you choose a metric or will AdWords look at a combination of metrics? My initial thoughts are that it will be based on your ad rotation settings.

There is still much to learn about ad suggestions, so I’ll be following up with another post once the beta officially launches and I’ve had some time to play around with it.

What do you think about this new feature? Let us know in the comments below!