If you are using Google Ads to promote your business online, you may have noticed that sometimes your ad campaign says it is “learning”. What does this mean and how does it affect your ad performance?

In this article, we will explain what the learning phase of Google Ads is, why it happens, and how you can optimize your ad campaign during and after this phase.

What Is the Learning Phase of Google Ads?

The learning phase of Google Ads is a period of time when your ad campaign is in its early stages and the system is gathering data and optimizing its performance. During this phase, Google’s machine learning algorithms are analyzing the performance of your ad in real-time and adjusting various parameters to improve its effectiveness.

Some of the parameters that Google adjusts during the learning phase include:

  • Bid amounts: How much you pay for each click or conversion
  • Targeting options: Who sees your ad based on their location, demographics, interests, etc.
  • Ad placements: Where your ad appears on Google’s network of websites and apps
  • Ad creative elements: What your ad looks like, including the headline, description, image, etc.

The learning phase can vary in duration depending on factors such as the amount of data available, the size of the audience, and the campaign’s objectives. It typically takes a few days to a couple of weeks for the system to gather sufficient data and make significant adjustments1.

Why Does the Learning Phase Happen?

The learning phase happens because Google wants to deliver the best results for your ad campaign based on your goals and budget. By collecting and analyzing data from your ad performance, Google can learn what works and what doesn’t for your specific campaign and optimize it accordingly.

The learning phase also happens when you make significant changes to your existing ad campaign, such as changing your bid strategy, budget, targeting options, or ad creative elements. These changes can affect how your ad performs and may require a new period of learning and optimization.

How Can You Optimize Your Ad Campaign During the Learning Phase?

During the learning phase, it’s important to allow the campaign to run without making significant changes to its settings. Making frequent changes or pausing the campaign prematurely can hinder the learning process and prevent the system from optimizing effectively.

Here are some tips on how to optimize your ad campaign during the learning phase:

  • Set realistic and measurable goals for your campaign, such as clicks, conversions, or return on ad spend (ROAS)
  • Choose an appropriate bid strategy for your campaign goals, such as maximize clicks, maximize conversions, target ROAS, etc.
  • Use relevant keywords and negative keywords to target your ideal audience and avoid irrelevant traffic
  • Create compelling and clear ad copy that matches your landing page and offers value to your potential customers
  • Test different ad variations to see which ones perform better and use responsive search ads to automatically optimize your ad creative elements
  • Monitor your campaign performance metrics and identify any issues or opportunities for improvement

How Can You Optimize Your Ad Campaign After the Learning Phase?

After the learning phase, your ad campaign may transition to a more stable phase where the system has gathered enough data and can continue optimizing based on the insights gained. At this stage, you can review the performance metrics and make data-driven decisions to further refine and optimize your ad campaign.

Here are some tips on how to optimize your ad campaign after the learning phase:

  • Analyze your search terms report and see what keywords are driving traffic and conversions to your website
  • Adjust your bids based on the performance of different keywords, devices, locations, times of day, etc.
  • Expand or narrow your targeting options based on the demographics, interests, behaviors, etc. of your most profitable customers
  • Experiment with different ad extensions to enhance your ad with additional information or features
  • Optimize your landing page to improve user experience and conversion rate
  • Test new ideas and strategies to keep improving your ad performance over time

Remember, the learning phase is an essential part of the ad campaign’s optimization process, and it allows Google’s algorithms to adapt and improve the ad’s performance over time. By following these tips, you can make the most of this phase and achieve better results for your business online.