I’ve spent €64,901 to see if the Promotion asset increases my CTR

google ads promotion asset

Assets or extensions, as they used to be called, help increase your ads’ CTR (click-through rate). At least, that’s what Google says. Being a marketer, you have to be skeptical about basically anything, especially when an advertising platform claims something.


So, I decided to test if the Google Ads Promotion asset actually increases CTR. Or does anything at all?


The test was run in 3 countries: Romania, France and Poland. Three culturally different countries. Why these exact countries? No reason. I’m running the tests all the time and during that period those were the countries that I could run a test without interfering with other tests.

If you think, well I don’t have ads in these countries, so why should I care. That would be a good question. But the purpose of the test is to show you that one feature can perform differently in different countries, and even in different states.


What is Promotion asset?


Assets are a small pieces of content or information in your ad. It’s a part of the whole asset group. You have:

  • image
  • business name
  • business logo
  • sitelink
  • callout
  • structured snippet
  • call
  • lead form
  • location
  • price
  • app
  • promotion


Best practice is clear on the asset front – use all of them if you can. Next week I’m planning to write a post about all assets, how to create and use them. So bare with me if you’re not that familiar with all the assets.


Getting back to a Promotion asset. It’s a feature that allows you to add a promotion to your ad. You can find them by selecting your campaign, then clicking on Ads&Assets > Assets.



You can select the occasion from the drop down and it will be visible in your ad. Then you specify the amount and the discount type. You can specify the amount, like above or percentage. Then add your product and that’s it.


As you can see this assets appears bellow your headlines and descriptions. I would say it’s fairly visible, so people should notice it and since it’s a discount (we know how much we love getting stuff cheaper), it should attract more clicks. And hopefully more sales. That’s what we’re going to test.


As per Google, any extension is there to make your add unique and increase CTR. And most of them do. That’s why it’s a best practice to have assets with your ads. Look here:



Easy to see that the ad without any assets (the bottom one) doesn’t look as noticeable as others. This is how a Promotion asset looks like in the ad:




It says deal because there were. no occasions selected. And in this case Brevo offers 10% off of all annual plans.




The test setup


As I mentioned before the test was performed in three countries: Romania, France, Poland.

Hypothesis: by adding a promotion assets with a discount, it should increase CTR, clicks and have an impact on conversions.


Higher CTR, means more clicks and if I get more clicks, those clicks should convert because they have a discount. Also, I haven’t changed anything else, so I should be getting the same users only more of them. So I should see some impact on conversions.


My offer was an Autumn sale with a 10% discount for the product. I added a coupon code in the ad.



Basically, it says Autumn sale, 10% off the product, code fall10. Users have to enter that at checkout.




The results


The test ran for 35 days, total spend €64 901. During that time I received 122 445 clicks and 2 999 conversions. Now let’s break it down by country.



The spend in France was €23,639 with 1264 conversions for both variations. The result?



Clicks decrease, and as you can see it’s statistically significant. Conversions also decrease, along with the clicks. Now let’s look at detailed comparison:



In general the differences are small. We see that CTR, which we thought should increase, did not. With 0.22%, difference, we can say it hasn’t changed. Looking at other metrics I would say there wasn’t any changes at all.


Verdict: I will not be using a discount for this market as I don’t see the point. I might loose 10% on some orders, but I don’t see any extra coming in. I also don’t see CTR increasing, which maybe would have reduced my CPC in the long run due to higher ad rank.



In Romania I spent €8330 with 491 conversions for both variations.



Here we see conversions decreasing a lot more than clicks. Which means that a conversion rate decreased a well.



Looking at other metrics we see that CTR increased slightly. Not enough to be statistically significant. In fact no metric that is important to me has statistical significance. That means that Promotion assets has no impact on those metrics and the differences are just random.


Verdict: same as for France. Promotion asset is useless here.



In Poland the spend was €32 932 and got me 2 508 conversions for both variations.


This is the only country that is showing statistical significance in clicks. Conversions also increased, but only by 1%. And that might be due to randomness.



Detailed comparison shows that cost per conversion increased and that it is also a statistically significant result. Which is not good for me. I don’t want to pay more for conversions.

But the CTR did not change. Even though it should based on what Google says and common sense. The ad with promotion assets looks more unique. It did get me more clicks, but not because of higher CTR. I’ve spend more and got more clicks. But the cost per conversion was higher because the conversion rate dropped. It seems I got more expensive clicks from the users that were not ready to buy even with a discount.

It’s hard to say why, but the test split is performed by Google. So maybe my Promotion asset ad was shown to a slightly different user based on some signals from Google.


Verdict: even though I got more clicks, my price per conversion increased and I got just 14 extra conversions. At this point it is also not worth it. But a possible retest might happen in the near future.




We wanted to know if the Google Ads Promotion asset increases CTR. Which results in more clicks and maybe more conversions. That did not happen. But there are a few things I want to mention.


Promotion asset, same as other assets and not shown all the time. This is what Google says:

Even if it’s approved, adding an asset won’t guarantee that it will show with your ad all the time. Assets show with your ad when:

  • The asset (or combination of assets) is predicted to improve your performance.
  • Your ad’s position and Ad Rank is high enough for assets to show.

It’s hard to test things that you don’t control. You’re not sure when they appear.


Another thing, is the application of the discount. In my test, the discount code was specified in the ad. Not many people might notice that, and they won’t find it on the page.

Sometimes, depending on how your website was built, you can include the discount in the link. So it is applied as soon as you land on the page. And even add additional notification that “You have just received an extra 10% off”. This might increase sales.


Last thing, the location. You saw that in 2 out of 3 countries it did not work. In Poland the results also were suboptimal, but it gives me some ideas for a retest. It happens a lot, one test might not be enough to state that your changes work or they don’t.