Choose an ad delivery method

Ad delivery determines how often your ads show throughout the day. After you set your campaign's budget, you have the option to choose one of two ad delivery methods:

  • Standard delivery (the default option) distributes your budget throughout the day to avoid reaching your budget early on. This option is recommended if you want to reach your audience evenly throughout the day, rather than just in the morning.
  • Accelerated delivery displays your ads more quickly until you run out of budget. So, if your campaign is limited by budget, your ad might stop running earlier in the day.

There are more ad delivery options in "Advanced settings." Ad rotation determines how often we deliver your active ads in relation to one another within an ad group. You can choose to optimize either for clicks or conversions, or to rotate your ads more evenly. If you're running ads on the Display Network, you can set a limit on the number of times your ad appears to a unique visitor using frequency capping.

Understanding ad delivery and your budget

For most advertisers, budget is used whenever a potential customer clicks your ad. The more often your ad shows, the faster you'll use up your daily budget. Your ad will stop showing as soon as your daily allocated budget is spent. So your choice of delivery method determines how often and over how much time your ad shows, and how long your budget lasts.

Standard delivery (default method):

  • How it works: We'll try to evenly distribute your ad delivery across the entire day (12 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.).    
  • Who it's best for: This method is best if you want to reach customers at different times throughout the day. If you have a small budget, this method can also help you avoid spending your entire budget in the morning. For instance, if you run a gourmet food delivery business, you'd want to make sure you reach customers at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • What to expect: Since your ad delivery occurs throughout the day, you might not see your ad appear every time you look for it. (Remember, to see your ad in context, it's better to use the ad preview tool than to do a search on Google.)

Accelerated delivery:

  • How it works: As soon as each day starts (12 a.m.), your ad appears more quickly until you hit your budget limit.
  • Who it's best for: This method is best if it's important to you that your ads show starting in the morning and more quickly thereafter until your budget is reached, even if that means they might not show all day.
  • What to expect: Remember that your ads will stop showing once you've reached your budget allocated for that day (see below for more details). So, if you reach your budget limit early in the morning, your ad won't run again until the next day.
Selecting a standard or accelerated delivery method

Here's how to set your delivery method:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab at the top.
  3. Under All online campaigns, click the name of the campaign to be delivered.
  4. Click the Settings tab.
  5. In the "Bidding and budget" section, click Delivery method (advanced). Note that the availability of certain settings, like this one, may depend on the campaign type you choose. Compare campaign types in detail and learn how you can change yours.
  6. Next to "Delivery method," click Edit.
  7. Select Standard (the default) or Accelerated. Select delivery method
  8. Click Save.
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Choosing an ad rotation setting for your campaign

Ad rotation is the way we deliver your ads on both the Search Network and the Display Network. If you have multiple ads within an ad group, your ads will rotate, because no more than one ad from your account can show at a time. If you'd like to specify how often you'd like the ads in your ad group to be served relative to one another, you have four options:

  • Optimize for clicks (default): Ads expected to provide more clicks are delivered more often into the ad auction than other ads in the ad group. These higher-quality ads gain more impressions than other ads in the ad group, resulting in higher ad-served percentages. By using this option, your ad group will likely receive more impressions and clicks overall, since higher-quality ads attain better positions and attract more user attention.

    How it works
    The Optimized algorithm sends ads into auctions based on principles of statistical analysis. As data is accumulated, ad serving will become weighted more heavily in favor of the ads that appear statistically likely to perform better. It's possible for ad serving to remain relatively even within this setting, if ads in an ad group have similar performance or if the ad group does not receive a substantial amount of impressions and clicks for some period of time.
  • Optimize for conversions: Ads expected to provide more conversions are delivered more often into the ad auction than other ads in the ad group. This option optimizes for conversions, so it takes both clickthrough rate (CTR) and conversion rate into consideration. If there isn't enough conversion data to determine which ad will provide the most conversions, ads will rotate using "Optimize for clicks" data. Although this option may result in your ad group receiving fewer clicks than the previous option, it will likely receive more conversions, which can result in an improved return on investment.
  • Rotate evenly: Delivers your ads more evenly into the ad auction. If ads in an ad group are unchanged for 90 days, the campaign will automatically begin to optimize for clicks or conversions. If the campaign is using Conversion Optimizer or Enhanced CPC, it will optimize for conversions, otherwise it will optimize for clicks.

    Even though this setting is at the campaign level, the even rotation period is tracked separately for each ad group. It starts (and resets) for an ad group whenever the ads in that ad group change: specifically, when a new ad gets added, when an existing ad is changed, or when a paused/deleted ad is enabled. When the even rotation period ends and we optimize for clicks, the campaign setting will continue to say "Rotate evenly." Note that for campaigns using the CPM bidding option, ads will continue to rotate more evenly beyond the 90 days.

  • Rotate indefinitely: Similar to the "Rotate evenly" setting, this option delivers your ads more evenly into the ad auction, but does so for an indefinite amount of time and does not optimize. This option is not recommended for most advertisers.

In general, rotating evenly allows ads with lower clickthrough rates and conversion rates to show more often, so this option could result in a lower average position or fewer clicks and conversions.

Also, with the "Rotate evenly" and "Rotate indefinitely" options, the percentages of ads served in the ad group will be more even than the other ad rotation options. However, they may not be exactly even because AdWords considers an ad's Quality Score when ranking on a search result page and an ad with a high quality score may appear on the first page of search results where it accrues an impression every time it's served vs an ad with a low Quality Score that appears on subsequent pages that only accrue impressions if the user clicks through to that page. 

Setting the ad rotation for your campaign

Here's how to set your ad rotation:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab at the top.
  3. Under All online campaigns, click the name of the campaign to be delivered.
  4. Click the Settings tab.
  5. In the "Advanced settings" section, click Ad delivery: Ad rotation, frequency capping. Note that the availability of certain settings, like this, may depend on the campaign type you choose. Compare campaign types in detail and learn how you can change yours.
  6. Next to "Ad rotation," click Edit to select a method for showing your ads. Ad rotation
  7. Click Save.
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Setting a frequency cap on impressions for Display Network ads

Frequency capping limits the number of times your ads appear to the same unique user on the Google Display Network. It doesn't apply to the Search Network.

If you turn on frequency capping for a campaign, you specify a limit for the number of impressions you'll allow per day, per week, or per month for an individual user. You also choose whether the cap applies to each ad, ad group, or campaign. If you're advertising on websites that see a lot of repeat visitors (like The New York Times), this helps you avoid showing your ad too much to the same folks.

How to set a frequency cap

Here's how to set a frequency cap:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab at the top.
  3. Under All online campaigns, click the name of the campaign to be delivered.
  4. Click the Settings tab.
  5. In the "Advanced settings" section, click Ad delivery: Ad rotation, frequency capping. Note that the availability of certain settings, like this, may depend on the campaign type you choose. Compare campaign types in detail and learn how you can change yours.
  6. Click Edit next to "Frequency capping."
  7. Enter the number of impressions. The value must be a whole number (such as 100, not 100.5). Frequency capping
  8. Select a time interval (per day, per week, or per month) and a level (per ad group, per ad, or for this campaign).
  9. Click Save.
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Tip

If you want more control over when your ad appears, and if you've done some research about what times and days your customers click your ads the most, you can create a custom ad schedule to select these times and days to show your ad.

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