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Set up an ad variation

This article only applies to the new AdWords experience. Determine which AdWords experience you’re using.

Ad variations makes it easy for you to test multiple versions of your ads by changing up the headline or description text, testing out different promotions, or highlighting the benefits of your products and services in various ways. Variations cannot be applied to final URLs. 

This article explains how to set up an ad variation. If you would like to learn about the benefits of ad variations and when to use them, go to About ad variations.


  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. from the page menu on the left, click Drafts & experiments.
  3. Click Ad variations.
  4. Select the campaign you wish to run ad variations for. You won’t be able to create multiple ad variations for the same campaign in the same date range.
  5. To create a new ad variation, click the plus button .
  6. You can establish rules in the Filter ads section:
    • Filter text ads by the headlines, description, and path fields.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. In the "Create variation" section, choose which type of variation you wish to apply to your ads. Keep in mind that variations are case sensitive. Select an option from the list.
    • Find and replace. Finds text within the ad and replaces it with another. For example, you may want to test a variation of your ad by replacing “Book now” with “Call now.”
    • Update text. Modifies existing text in the ads.
    • Swap headlines. Swaps headlines 1 and 2.
  9. Click Continue.
  10. In the "Set variation details" section, give your ad variation a name.
  11. Set the Start date and End date of when you would like to run the ad variations. Your ad variation will automatically start running on the date you select. If that date is today it will start running soon. 
  12. In Experiment split, enter the percentage of your campaign’s budget you wish to allocate for the ad variations. 
  13. Click Create variation.

Apply the ad variation

Once your ad variation has finished running, you’ll want to check how it performed compared to your original ad. If you’re happy with the results, you can apply your ad variation and create new ads.

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account
  2. Click Drafts & experiments from the page menu on the left.
  3. Click Ad variations, which lists the ad variations you’ve created, along with information about each variation.
  4. In the “Actions” column, click Apply.
  5. Select one of the following options:
    • Pause original ads and create new ads with this variation.
    • Remove original ads and create new ads with this variation.
    • Keep original ads and create new ads with this variation.
  6. Click Apply. This will create new ads and your ad variation will stop running.

Things to note about ad variations

  • It may take some time for the modified ads to complete the review process and to start running, depending on the size of your original campaign. 
  • As the variations of your ads run, you can monitor their performance.
  • If you’re happy with the results of your ad variation you can apply it and create new ads.
  • When you apply an ad variation, the performance data you see only applies to the modified ads. Your variation may not apply to other ads in the same campaign.
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