- The Search Agents - http://www.thesearchagents.com -

AdWords Update: Optimize for Conversions

Google has announced [1] a new ad rotation setting in AdWords that enables advertisers to better optimize their campaigns for conversions, rather than clicks.

When testing multiple versions of an ad creative, Google previously allowed users to either rotate the ads evenly, or favor the versions with higher click-through rates (CTR).  With this new “optimize for conversions” feature, users have the additional option of showing ads with the highest conversion rate more often.


According to their blog post, Google added “optimize for conversions” based on the feedback of their AdWords users.  As Mike Jarvinen, Vice President, Marketing Strategy at The Search Agency explains, this new feature could help advertisers with a broad conversion footprint, but may be problematic for small advertisers or new ad groups:  “I was initially excited about this feature but have some concerns about the fact that if there isn’t enough conversion data, AdWords initially optimizes to clicks instead of rotation before moving to optimizing to conversions. As a best practice, we put Google campaign settings for ads to rotate evenly (for clean ad testing) instead of the default ‘optimize to clicks’.  We find that focusing ad-testing on CTR is often in misalignment with client goals of CPA, ROI, or conversions per 1,000 impressions.  Though an interesting feature for marketers looking to leave ads on ‘auto pilot’, it may not provide a better solution for managed advertisers in competitive verticals.”

What are your initial impressions of Google’s “optimize for conversions” feature?  Should this be the default setting on most accounts?

About Alec Green

Alec serves as Mother Hen of The Search Agents, making sure contributors mind their P's and Q's and never write the seven words you can't say on television. He's been called a "social media hater" who longs for the days of door-to-door selling and advertising in the phone book.