How Many Ads Are Recommended to Have Running at Any One Time on Adwords?

Google Adwords can show one or more ads per Ad-Group.

Ads that share an Adgroup are called Ad Variations. They may be a combination of text, image, and video ads.

When Split-Testing, it is a good idea to create onlyTWO ad variations that are very close and change one variable at a time.

For example, you could test the difference between asking a question in the headline or making a statement:

  1. Ad#1: “Sick of Being Fat?”
  2. or Ad#2:”Get Rid of Fat”
Using Ad Variations for split-testing, is only a small use of an otherwise very powerful Adwords feature.

There are cases when you may like to have as many as 10 ad variationsin a single ad-group!

Allow me to explain…

Google chooses from the ads you provide, and shows each ad to an audience that may find it relevant. Let’s take an example.

Suppose you have an adgroup containing the keyword: "weight loss"

This keyword could apply to a wide variety of audiences researching all kinds of things. So we identify that people searching for “weight loss” may be dealing with several different problem areas:

  • thigh-fat
  • belly-fat
  • arm jiggle
Also, they might be looking for different types of solutions:

  • weight loss supplements
  • diet plans
  • exercises and exercise equipment
Once you’ve identified the problems and solutions, you need to write appropriate ads for each. The ads will be displayed in the best context based on previous session searches by the user, and on other preferences and intel Google has about them.

Let’s try to write ads for the first three scenarios:

Burn Thigh Fat

5 Simple Ways to Zap

The Fat From Your Thighs.

Flatten Belly Fat

5 Simple Ways to Zap

Your Belly Flat!

Arm Jiggle?

5 Simple Ways to Make

Your Arms Firm Again!

You’ll notice the ads are not too similar. They each address a different concern but ultimately lead to the same solution.

Since Google displays these on the network whenever the context is correct, we leave that up to them. Our job is to make sure there is an ad present for every problem-solution that motivates the search.

In addition to variations on text ads, you may need to include banner ads of different sizes, video ads, and any other medium available to make sure you can be seen everywhere your target audience exist.

So there is no limit on how many ads you “should” have at one time in Adwords. Put as many as you need, and let the engine determine when to show which ads.


Jim Yaghi is an Advertising Consultant and Traffic Expert, with a background in Artificial Intelligence.

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