Google recently rolled out new best practice recommendations for optimizing search Ads within Ad Groups.  The new recommendations move away from traditional A/B Ad testing and instead focus on Google’s algorithm to determine which ad copy performs the best.  Google now recommends a minimum of 5 Ads per Ad Group to give the algorithm enough data to properly determine a winner.

While moving away from the tried and true method of A/B ad testing can be scary, it is important to test new technologies that rethink the traditional methods.  To help on your technological path forward, here are several creative ad ideas to test while bringing your Ad Groups up to Google’s best practices of 5 ads per ad group:

Multiple billboard ads

Dynamic Keyword Insertion Ads

Dynamic Keyword Insertion Ads or DKIs incorporate the keyword being searched directly into the ad text.  The extreme relevance and targeted messaging of DKIs have be shown to increase Impression Share, while lowering overall Cost-per-clicks in accounts at Hanapin.  Other benefits include greater ad relevancy and high Click-Through-Rates.

The keyword insertion code can be added into the Headline, Description, or URL fields making dynamic keyword insertion ads extremely customizable.  The keyword code {keyword:default text} should be added to the desired field with a default text included for keywords that don’t fit parameters.  Even keyword capitalization can be adjusted within the keyword insertion code.

In addition to proven performance and customization benefits, it is important to consider how much time dynamic keyword ads can save when creating ads across several ad groups.  Once the parameters are set, the same ad text can be applied across multiple ad group with relevant, keyword based ads showing everywhere.

If Function Ads

If Function Ads use conditions to dynamically update your Ad Copy.  Your Ad will feature specific messaging if the condition is met, and default messaging if the condition is not met.  The IF Function Ad conditions are set based on device or audience and can be applied to any field within the ad except for the Final URL.

Implementation is simple with only a formula and parameters to be set.  You will need to write specific ad copy to show when the condition is met and default ad copy to show when the condition is not met.  There is no data feed or other technical complexities to manage with If Function Ads.

For mobile devices, the formula looks like this: {=IF(device=mobile, text to insert):default text.

Here is Google’s example of IF Function Ads in action:

IF Function Ad example

If function ads offer another layer of dynamic ad messaging to better target your audience.  These ads, especially using device conditions, should not be ignored as the percentage of search traffic from mobile devices continues to grow.

Ad Customizers

Ad Customizers are ads that show product specific information based on parameters set by set within the Ad.  The parameters pull data from a product spreadsheet uploaded into AdWords. The dynamic product details in Ad Customizers offer specific customer targeted ad copy.  The  with the ability for one ad to have hundreds of variations also helps with easy scalability.  Ad Customizers allow for custom ad copy based on location, product sales, or even the category of product.

Setting up Ad Customizers requires default ad copy in case your ad copy has more characters than are allowed in a specific field.  The customizer can be used in any field except for the Final URL.

Here is an example of Ad Customizers in action:

Ad customizers example

Benefit Oriented Ads

Focusing on core benefits of a product is a great starting point if you are looking for more traditional, non-dynamic ad copy solutions. Every company know the benefits that their customers care about the most.  Aligning your Ad Copy with the benefits outlines by your client or organization provides hard hitting and highly relevant messaging.

Researching the product website is often the best place to start looking for product benefits.  These are qualities most companies call out for their customers.  Examples include fast shipping, free returns, or product specific details.  If you are working in an agency, it would be productive to have a conversation with your client about what their customers value the most about their product.  If you working in house, customer feedback is the best method for identifying the most valuable benefits.

Brand Persona Ads

Using an existing brand persona to generate ad copy is a great way to leverage an existing brand.  Many organizations spend large marketing budgets to build a persona based on the customers they want to attract.  These situations provide a great opportunity to align search ad efforts with broader branding efforts.

Creating Brand Persona Ads is less of an exact science than simply identifying benefits of a product or service.  Using the messaging the organization uses on their website to describe their brand or product is the best place to start.  Brand Persona Ads will be the most effective and relevant if they present the product in the same way the overall brand is presented.


Keeping up with Google’s latest recommendations can be hard, but testing ad copy should be an ongoing initiative within your account.  These methods will ensure a strong variety of Ads to test within your account, whether or not you are going to follow through with 5 Ads per Ad Group.