Beginners guide to Ad Templates for eCommerce
Search Ads 360 is a Google product, part of the Google marketing Platform. Put simply, this platform helps advertisers, digital marketers and businesses manage massive search marketing campaigns with relative ease, regardless of which engine or channel they’re operating on. It's not a free Google offering but is worth the money when you play your cards right.
It also helps to manage several advertisers under one single account, while allowing marketers to generate reports on individual engine accounts and advertisers. However, managing ad campaigns for all advertisers and maintaining a format could be quite the uphill task. Search Ads 360 has an ad template feature that aids in generating and managing upgraded inventory campaigns.
An ad template is what its name says it is- a template for ads coming from one ad group or group of products and services. An ad template produces one ad for each value or value combination selected by the ad group from the inventory data. This value or combination is specified by the advertiser and is called an ‘ad multiplier’.
If you want each ad template to produce only one ad per group, you can specify the values in the ad multiplier. Else, you can leave it unspecified. However, it is always best to make sure that your template can handle different value possibilities. This is because not all ad groups have the same (or a single) product- they may have multiple with varying results for values specified.
Is it possible to create an ad template in Google Ads?
Yes, it is. Ad templates are a part of the features offered by inventory management in Search Ads 360, by which data from an inventory feed is used to automatically generate campaigns, text ads, ad groups, and keywords. It considers updates, too, so all newly-added data is also used to create the above as and when they come.
Inventory campaigns are beneficial when it comes to advertising products whose prices, stock numbers and other details change frequently. Ad templates also help; once you create a layout for an ad group, the values update automatically no matter how many times they change. Therein lies its most significant benefit.
Why do you need to create ad templates in Google Ads?
With four or five products, an advertiser can afford to change bids, values, and other details manually. However, most businesses have more than 5 products- way more, in the thousands. In cases like this, it’s crucial that products be segmented into product groups and ad groups. However, individual ads can’t be created for these products manually, nor can values be adjusted or updated every time there’s a change, which might even be daily. This is where ad templates shave a considerable amount of time off ad creation.
Here are the benefits of an ads template:
Benefit # 01: Set up one ad for an ad group.
Instead of going through every product and individually setting values, you can create an ad template with placeholders for values, which Google will then pull from your inventory and fill in per item.
Benefit # 02: Auto-update values.
Items with changing values like pricing, weight, stock number or others can be advertised using an ad template. With every update to an inventory, the template changes itself for that product and shows an up-to-date ad complete with the right details. This way, there’s no manual intervention or stale ads.
Benefit # 03: Track changes to templates.
There’s a handy feature called ‘Change History’ that allows you to look back on changes to campaign settings, ad groups, and templates over a certain period of time. The history list tracks the item changes were made to, what changes were made, and the type of change if applicable.
Benefit # 04: Reuse templates.
You can also use single ad templates as an ad group template. This is beneficial when you have similar products in one or more ad group where you can recycle a part or the whole of the ad copy. You just have to make sure that the data needed to make the ad copy more personal is available.
Benefit # 05: Change ad text using text parameters.
Once you’ve identified which ad template to reuse, the text parameters feature can dynamically change ad text for the new set of products. It does this by matching the ad group keyword with a user search query. Note that this ad format does not support an image file, so your text message must be compelling.
Benefit # 06: Choose types of search ads.
Before building an ad template, an advertiser needs to choose between standard, expanded and responsive text ads. Expanded text ads are a format that shows more information and details about the product than standard text ads. Responsive text ads use your provided ad copy, combined with machine learning, to pick the highest-performing versions that are then shown to your audience.
How to create the perfect ad template in Google Ads
Creating an ad template can be a tad complicated but its worth a shot if you have multiple products with varying values.
Method # 01: The default way:
These are the default steps laid out by Google to create the perfect ad template:
Step 1: Indicate the ad multiplier and add optional filters to generate ads for only specific items with one commonality.
Step 2: Key in your ad copy and destination URL to the landing page. These ad settings are the same as that of a manual campaign and include functions and formula columns.
Step 3: Enter text parameters if you want dynamically changing the text.
Step 4: Preview your settings to make sure the settings, targeted campaigns, display URL and values are correct.
Step 5: Once saved, your ad template will be paused.
Step 6: To activate it, change the status to ‘active’. This is when Google begins to display ads.
Method # 02: The AdNabu way:
To have an expert team of professionals create the ad templates for your products and ad groups, sign up for free on AdNabu. With years of expertise in creating and managing successful Google Shopping campaigns, the AdNabu team can help to craft the perfect ad template that is not only ideal for products in one ad group but is re-usable across ad groups. You can see a 30% and more increase in conversions from Google Shopping and search ads with killer ad copy.
What’s more, changing catalogs, sale seasons and discounts can change values of a product; AdNabu can help successfully manage these and generate ads for them automatically. The need of the hour in a-commerce is building ad campaigns that can adapt to changes; one such feature is the ad template, which AdNabu can help you generate.
Best practices in creating ad templates
Best Practice # 01: Preview ads.
After you’ve created your ad templates, Search Ads 360 displays a list of the first 50 campaigns with a preview of the ads. Use this time to carefully peruse each ad and ad group for issues in values, formulae or ad copy. This way, when you change the status to ‘active’, you will know your campaign is working fine.
Best Practice # 02: Harmonize with keyword templates.
Your ad template and multiplier need to match with the keyword you will generate for each ad group. If your ad group has different products but with one universal value, then your keyword should ideally be that value.
Best Practice # 03: Reuse templates.
Instead of creating single ad templates for ad groups, consider creating a handful of templates that you could use across groups. This reduces labor, efforts and time taken but also allows you to customize (with the help of text parameters) values for each product in different ad groups.
Best Practice # 04: Specify alternative headlines.
Sometimes, the automatic headlines generated may be too long or too clunky, in which case it will be considered invalid. To prevent this from skewing data, provide an alternative headline or template as a fallback in such scenarios. Keep it below 30 characters to play things safe. Similarly, for ad copy, specify some static descriptions to use if data is missing for some products. Your call to action must be strong.
Things to consider while creating template ads for Google Ads
Consideration # 01: Using text parameters.
Text parameters are used to change ad copy in an ad template dynamically. This must always be used in line with a keyword template or, at the very least, the keyword that applies to the ad group. Parameter values need to be added to a keyword template first, then to ad template settings as a part of the headline or description copy.
Consideration # 02: Maintain status settings.
When a new ad template is created, its default setting is ‘paused’ which needs to be changed to ‘active’ for the templates to start working. However, an ad based on a template is removed when all inventory items don’t appear on the feed anymore. You cannot re-activate a removed ad; instead, if an item from the inventory returns, a new ad is created with none of the old ad’s performance data.
Successfully creating, managing and updating an ad template is not a herculean task but it does take a lot of Google Ads knowledge and previous marketing experience.
For businesses without the resources or technical know-how, it’s always best to get in touch with an expert company who can help navigate the confusing steps or even sort it all out for you in the back end. With this setup, you can get regular reports on how your Google Ads performance and consultations on results if you’re not sure what they mean. It goes without saying, finally, that template ads for ecommerce are a boon.