Rotate For Success: Leverage Your Best Converting Ads in AdWords

The smart paid search advertiser is consistently testing their ads, seeking the most effective language that can turn clicks into the desired action – conversion. However, the smarter advertiser knows that there are different ways to define what makes a ‘winning’ ad. The click is not the endgame for most advertisers, action taken after that click is often the most important.

In the past, AdWords has been limited to either rotating ads based on click through rates (where the ad with the most clicks leads to more visibility for that ad) or splitting traffic evenly on each ad. The issue with the click-based rotation route is that it’s not uncommon to find ads with less clicks converting much more frequently than the more popular ad. For a long time, advertisers have been vocal about this less-than-accurate definition that ‘high click through’ equals a ‘successful’ ad.

The advertisers have spoken, and Google has answered the call by introducing a new type of ad rotation.


Instead of optimizing towards clicks, or rotating evenly, you can now opt to have your ads rotate based on which brings in more total conversions. This feature requires that you have conversion tracking enabled in your AdWords account for it to show up in the interface.

It is important to note that optimizing for “more conversions” does not necessarily mean it will optimize for the ad with the highest conversion rate. If an ad with a slightly lower conversion rate has a much higher click through rate, it will indeed provide more total conversions. The metric actually being optimized for is “conversions per impression”. This KPI continues to be central in our own internal ad testing tools.

How do I enable conversion-based ad rotation?
First, select the campaign you wish to use this with, then click over to the ‘Settings’ tab, scroll down to ‘Advanced settings’, and follow the steps below.

You’re done! You’re now on your way to testing ads for the best performer in terms of conversions, whether that is defined as leads generated, sales completed, or anything that best fits your business goals.

We, here at ROI, are often motivated to rotate ads evenly since we’re involved in improving ad copy on a consistent basis. However, for many advertisers with less spare time to invest, and for some special instances where many ads are being tested, this feature can easily help leverage the most successful ads, where success is defined as conversions rather than clicks.

You can learn more about this setting at the Google AdWords Help Center.