Sep 6 2018 Lynn Langmade Blog Search Strategy Leveraging Google’s New Ad Strength Tool to Maximize Your Campaign Performance The old production adage has held true for many generations. Faster, better or cheaper: you can only choose two. However, Google’s introduction of their new Ad Strength tool is helping marketers and advertisers around the world achieve all three by reducing poor-performing advertisements on Google. In an age when consumers are demanding a more personalized experience in less time than ever before, Google’s new Ad Strength tool provides you with the means to deliver quality advertising with less risk using Google’s algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) assets. Here’s a quick look at this new tool and how you can put it to use to improve your campaign performance. What is Ad Strength? With an estimated 91% of consumers purchasing something they saw on a mobile device in an advertisement they felt was relevant, producing an advertisement that really speaks to your target audience is important to succeeding in your digital advertising efforts. But with the number of differences between people, the expectation that an ad be relevant is a huge challenge. A large number of different ads must be produced, then tested for effectiveness. If done in a traditional fashion, this can be an extremely expensive proposition. Enter Ad Strength. Ad Strength is a tool developed by Google Ads that leverages the power of AI to evaluate potential ads. The tool’s AI evaluates each ad and determines which one will be the best fit for your target audience, providing you with real-time feedback on your ad design while allowing you to more quickly add the advertisement to your online portfolio of options. Experienced marketers who have studied the tool expect a boost in the number of clicks by up to 15%, a significant uptick in activity and profitability potential for most businesses. Automated A/B Testing Opportunities in Ad Strength One of the typical ways to handle testing different ad types is through A/B testing, which provides a viewer with one of two different ad types. You can then study the results of the testing to decide which ad is more effective, allowing you to focus your investment where it will do the most good. The problem is, that process can take time – time that your company may not have in today’s fast-paced, competitive world. Ad Strength automates that process by using machine learning and AI to study multiple forms of the advertisement, then recommend which one is the strongest. It will even deliver additional feedback on how to improve upon the best ad design that was provided. This can include adding more headlines to evaluate or making the headlines or descriptions more unique to better reach your specific demographic. Ad Strength Components Ad Strength uses a number of different factors to determine a numerical value metric to rate a Ranked from 1-100, with 100 being the best, it looks at three primary factors at this time. Headline quality. How close is your headline to describing your specific audience? Take the time to find not just a few descriptive words, but the right words. By focusing on the accuracy of what you’re trying to say in a concise fashion, you’ll be able to create a set of headlines that will best speak to your target demographic and allow the tool to find the most likely match for your situation. Headline uniqueness. What makes your headline stand out from the crowd? If you’re selling comfortable women’s high heels, “Women’s Shoes” will probably rank significantly lower than “Professional Women’s All-Day Heels”, which appeals to a specific demographic and target audience. Plan on coming up with at least five different headlines for the AI to analyze. If you’re looking at setting up a display ad, there are some other areas to consider as well due to the graphic nature of the advertisement. Description uniqueness. In today’s market, it’s not what you sell, it’s how you sell it. Don’t be afraid to add a little attitude into your descriptions to help grab the attention of your target demographic. When you add that flavor into your advertisements, you’ll tend to pick up on different wording than may be expected, making your description stand out from the crowd. You’ll want five descriptions to select from at up to 90 characters each. Images. Our world has become much more multi-sensory and multi-media focused, which means that the images you select will make a big difference in how your advertisement is received by your target audience. Don’t be tempted to provide 15 different shots of the same scene, but look for different colors, textures, and subjects to give the AI everything it needs to get the job done. Logos. Will a horizontal or vertical logo work best on your ad? What about black or white lettering? Logos fit differently depending on your background, the headline size, the amount of text you have to push and similar aspects. Provide at least 5 different logos so that the AI can determine which one will deliver the most impact on your advertisement. How to Leverage Ad Strength The Google Ads update also includes a few other tools that may be helpful for marketers. It provides the option to preview the completed ad as you work on it, allowing you to make quick tweaks to the design as you go. Take the time to learn how to reach and use the reports that are generated by the entire process, allowing you to more carefully hone the next set of ads before you get into the process. The tool also requires options to be able to process which combination works best. Though there is a minimum, the more that you can provide will help you to determine the best possible combination for your business’ situation, your demographic and your position in the industry and market. For that reason, you’ll want to stick to the minimums above to ensure that you get fabulous results. Additional Ad Strength Recommendations from Google The tool will be available to advertisers and marketers in column format in early September, but in the meantime, what does Google itself have to say about its new tool and how to get the most out of it? It recommends coming up with at least three, possibly five, and as many as ten different headline combinations so that it can choose the best possible one out of the lot for a responsive search ad. If you’re looking at display ads, it requests 15 images, and five each of your logos, headlines, and descriptions for each ad you want to create. It will then use the onboard AI to study each aspect and determine the best possible combination of features to create the best overall ad. When Apartments.com stuck to these recommendations in a test, it saw a 10% uptick in the number of clicks their ads received. ForRent.com used a similar array of techniques and saw a 16% upswing in the number of clicks it received. Both sites inserted their ads at particular points in the search process to maximize their results, and both saw excellent improvements in their returns due to the changes that they decided to make. This change makes sense given that a recent Adobe study found that 42% of viewers became annoyed when ads weren’t personalized or relevant. By using Google’s AI resources to improve your campaign ads, you can increase performance and boost your company’s bottom line, without having to invest in these sometimes expensive assets yourself.