Google Ads can be overwhelming in its scope.

It's a versatile and competitive medium, and the abundance of tools can create two situations:

  • It feels too much to learn so avoid new things.
  • The tools are not easy to spot.

As the platform evolves, so too will the tools provided by Google!

Some save you time, others give you faster insights, and others can help grow your Google Ads efforts in ways that are automated or data-aided.

Here are five tools in the Google Ads platform that you can at least give you a try if you don't.

Some are newer, some are oldies, but goodies and all are worth a try.

1. Ad variations

As most PPCers will tell you, ad testing is one of the most important best practices to get the best performance possible.

Testing ads was once a more frustrating experience. While you could create multiple versions of a text ad, many buyers felt that Google was picking a winner too quickly.

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It was also labor intensive building multiple versions, getting reports at large scale, and generally getting insights quickly.

The ad theme types in search have evolved since then, as have the tools used to create them.

The original text ad format has been changed to expanded text ads so there is more room to test the copy.

Google has also launched Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) to quickly test combinations of copies automatically, and new tools for testing ads have been released.

One of these tools is the Ad Variations tool. This feature in the Designs and Experiments area allows brands to create variations of their ads faster.

Brands can run ad variations for the entire account, specific campaigns, or even a custom area. Then enter the part of the display for which the variant is to be carried out:

5 Amazing Google Ads Tools You Must Use

Users can then specify the kind of variation they want to do, including finding and replacing text, swapping heading order, or updating text altogether.

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After starting the experiment, the results are displayed and monitored in the "Display Variations" area.

2. Audience observation

For a long time, Google usually lost to Facebook when advertisers thought of reaching users based on their population size.

Do you need to reach women runners in their forties? While they certainly search Google, there was no easy way to segment them or see if their searches were more valuable.

This made it difficult for advertisers to understand if certain types of audiences were doing better, even when searching for the same terms as another demographic group.

It also restricted what advertisers could learn about other potential audiences they could target.

The ability to watch the audience helps fill in those gaps!

Advertisers can add a variety of Google-defined audiences to their efforts to observe their performance in relation to one another:

5 Amazing Google Ads Tools You Must Use

Based on this data, bids can be placed specifically for the demographic group.

Google automatically suggests target groups in the "Ideas" section.

This is a great way to speed up the process. Advertisers can also search by affinity audience, buyers in the market, or other demographics:

5 Amazing Google Ads Tools You Must Use

3. Responsive Search Ads

Responsive search ads (commonly known as RSAs) are another time saver when testing ads.

Unlike traditional text ads, where the advertiser creates separate, distinct versions of ads, RSAs use a mix-and-match philosophy.

The ad copy is treated as several separate items that Google then brings together to create a cohesive ad.

5 Amazing Google Ads Tools You Must Use

Once RSAs are active, clicking the View Asset Details link that appears just below the ad copy will display the results.

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5 Amazing Google Ads Tools You Must Use

Users can view the individual asset statistics and the results by combining text.

This quick and easy test setup provides insights into the reaction of vocabulary users and allows advertisers to test combinations faster than manually creating each required version.

One thing to look out for is the input that an advertiser puts in.

All copy lines need to mix and match without making them look awkward or strange when you put them together.

Keep that in mind and check your copy options before doing them.

4. Discovery campaigns

Unlike search, discovery campaigns are visually rich ad units that are displayed based on user activity.

They are a departure in both format and orientation.

They are display-like as they are rendered to the user by combining images and a heading.

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Like the display, they are primarily used as a funnel to grab a user's attention and generate interest in a product.

Discovery ads appear in the Google Discover feed (shown on the Google app home page or on the Google.com home page on mobile devices), the YouTube home feed, and also in Gmail.

5 Amazing Google Ads Tools You Must Use

Targeting uses the familiar interfaces and options to set audiences in their other campaign types:

5 Amazing Google Ads Tools You Must Use

Discovery campaigns are largely automated by Google.

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Advertisers cannot make the customizations they are used to when looking for device customizations, ad rotation, or frequency caps.

There are still options for exclusions to improve brand safety, e.g. B. to keep advertising content away from things like violence or profanity.

5. Explanation function

It's the bane of a PPC manager's existence: sudden, unexpected changes in performance.

Diagnosing these cases can lead to a lot of digging, pivot tables, and sweating!

The explanation function will help you.

Currently in beta, it provides insights into search campaigns and why their performance may have changed.

Data can be analyzed for impressions, clicks, costs and conversions for a period of up to 90 days.

The Declarations feature compares the results of one date range with those of another.

When you do this you will usually see a percentage change between the two dates.

When an explanation is available, that difference turns blue like a hyperlink.

5 Amazing Google Ads Tools You Must Use

Clicking the link will open a small window with the option to skip to a larger explanation.

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The main driver of the change and the contributing parts are noted.

In this example the impression volume has been increased.

The details show that search volume has increased, and Google outlines the terms that specifically saw the increase:

5 Amazing Google Ads Tools You Must Use

This is a far cry from looking up search history, manually searching through search terms, sorting and processing data.

More resources:

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All screenshots by the author, July 2020

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