Adwords - Disabling Advert Optimisation
Author: Tom O'Brien
Disable the automatic advert optimisation feature (set in your campaign settings) to avoid giving away valuable IP to your competitors.
This can be seen here: http://www.pdqprospects.com/images/CampaignOptimisation.gif
Why would you want to do this?
Ok - Let's say you are diligently testing 2 adverts side by side within an ad-group (as you should always be btw).
With optimisation turned on, eventually 1 advert will be deemed the leader and shown more.
For arguments sake - we will take the keyword 'marketing'. Your competitor has 2 split tested Google Adwords adverts which will show (in a round robin manner) whenever this keyword is searched for.
You can find out useful information regarding which of the adverts is performing better by searching for the keyword marketing, noting the ad results and refreshing the search results.
Because you get to know the best copy
Suppose you do this 4 times (by reloading your webpage) - and 3 times advert 1 is shown, but advert 2 is shown once - you now know which of these adverts is the best.
Knowing what adverts are working for your competitors allows you to start to understand the mindset of your potential prospects (what's working and what's not to encourage click-throughs).
This of course is very valuable intelligence to have for you to construct your own adverts - which means you can ultimately have higher click through rates and as a direct result pay less.
Because ads in Adwords are in the public domain, your marketing efforts can be gleaned by your competitors and vice versa if you use the automatic optimisation feature.
You have the choice to set and forget letting Adwords do it's job but if you want total control and are in a market that is highly competitive, you may want to manage your campaigns in a more hands-on fashion.
There is a trade-off for sure but it's up to you as a business owner to make that decision based on your own risk management criteria.
In marketing there is only one genius - your customer.
You can always hire someone to create great ads but you have no guarantees they will produce a winner straight off the bat.
Only putting the ad into the wild will you determine results.
You may peak in terms of achieving as high a CTR as you can for a particular advert and this could mean you get lazy and only show the winner all the time. To help keep your competitors guessing you should continually try new ads intermittently though.
Indeed therein lies some very valuable self help tips when it comes to keeping the competitors guessing:
Believe it or not you may want to put a 'worse' advert up to reduce your CTR thus dropping you down the adwords advert list to help improve your ROI!
You are best using ad optimisation for most of your terms - set it, forget it. Some may need to be broken out into their own campaigns to give you the granularity you require. It's a question of finding out which keywords warrant the extra effort.
About the author
Tom O'Brien is the Director of PDQProspects.com
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