Google Ads Campaign Experiments (ACE) are an excellent yet underutilized tool for any PPC advertiser. With the help of ads experiments, advertisers can test their campaigns, make certain changes, and then see how it works. Google ACE lets you explore and experiment with new strategies or ideas without jeopardizing your original ad campaign’s performance. Consider these experiments as dipping your toe in the water to check its temperature instead of diving into it straight away, hoping you don’t freeze up. Google Ads Campaign Experiments are far more accurate as compared to the standard A/B testing since they function just like a real scientific experiment. First, you build a theory, then decide the variable you want to experiment and, at last, compare your results with a control group.
So, now it all comes down to how exactly does Google Ads Campaign Experiments work? In this blog, we will discuss six steps for successfully utilizing this incredible tool.
When it comes to preparing your Google Ads Campaign Experiments, first of all, you need to build a campaign draft. Basically, your campaign draft is the replica of your original campaign. Follow these steps to make your campaign draft:
However, you must bear in mind that you can only build drafts and experiments for search and display campaigns as of now. So if you were planning on running an experiment for discovery, video, shopping, or app campaigns, it isn’t possible at the moment.
Once you have finished building your campaign draft, it’s time to update your testing variable. Making changes in your campaign draft is just the same as making changes in your existing campaign using Google Ads Editor. Like any changes that you make will not be live until you “apply” them to the original campaign; similarly, you need to convert the campaign draft into an experiment to make the changes live.
With Google ACE, you can test almost everything and anything. Commonly advertisers like to test out low impact variables such as ad copy (including titles and descriptions), ad extensions, or landing pages. These variables will most probably impact metrics like conversion rates, CTR rates, bounce rates, ad rank, and average session duration.
Likewise, Google Ads Campaign Experiments can also be used to test something bigger such as a new bidding strategy like maximum conversions or target ROAS (return on ad spend). These variables can have a more significant effect on your campaign. Whatever testing variable you choose, just go one at a time. This will help you understand the results better and know which variable was responsible for which impact.
As soon as you are done making changes to your campaign draft, proceed to create your experiment. Follow these steps to do so:
Once you have selected your campaign draft, your experiment is almost prepared to run. Remember, you can build as many campaign drafts as you want, but you cannot run multiple campaign experiments simultaneously.
To make sure your campaign experiment runs successfully, you need first to provide its details correctly.
Start by assigning a name to your experiment and crafting its description. If you are looking forward to making campaign experiments a part of your Google Ads strategy, you might want to be very precise and give a great deal of information. This will help avoid any confusion in the future. For example, you can incorporate dates in your experiment name and description.
You must decide how long you would like your campaign experiment to run before you finally analyze the results. As both your original as well as experiment campaigns will be running simultaneously, this wipes out any variations in their performances because of factors such as seasonality.
According to Google, you should allow your campaign experiments to run for a minimum of a two-week period, in order that the machine learning is able to optimize itself. However, unless your campaign has a very high volume, you might want to let it run for at least a four-week period. And even then, if your campaign does not get plenty of volumes, you might need to increase this duration up to 6-8 weeks.
You can turn off your experiments whenever you want, and they don’t need an end date, although we do recommend providing one. Once your experiment has ended, you cannot turn it on again. If you reach the end of your campaign experiment’s duration but still want to let it run because the conclusions were vague or unsatisfactory, you can increase its duration by adding extra time. However, you must do it before the experiment is over.
Next, you need to determine the amount of your original campaign budget you would like to allot to the campaign experiment. How frequently an ad from your original or experiment campaign is displayed to a prospect will depend on the way you have divided your budget between the two.
To keep your experiment brief and running with a single variable, a fifty-fifty budget split is highly recommended. Since both the campaigns will be receiving equal proportions of the budget, your experiment will be able to take place in a budget vacuum. Although if you are testing out something bigger such as an automated bid strategy and you are concerned about the budget deficit, it would be best to start with a 75:25 budget split.
Lastly, you need to select if you want to run a cookie-based or a search-based experiment. A cookie-based experiment will make sure that a user only sees a single version of your campaign regardless of the number of times they search until and unless they delete their cookies. (Note: You must have a list long enough to be able to select this option.)
On the other hand, a search-based experiment will casually appoint a version of your campaign every time an individual searches. If you decide to go with the search-based option, the same person might see multiple campaign versions.
After you have successfully followed all these steps – created a draft, assigned name, duration, budget, and split option – now your campaign is all set to be launched. On the top of your screen, you will find the “Apply” option; click it. On clicking it, a menu will be displayed. Choose “Run an Experiment” and hit the “Apply” button. And there you go; your campaign experiment is successfully launched!
Once your campaign experiment is working correctly, you must be sure to return repeatedly at regular intervals to review its performance. To do that, you need to login to your Google Ads account and go to “Campaign Experiments.” There you will find a data table using which you can evaluate the results easily. Moreover, this section will also show you statistical possibilities and confidence intervals that play a crucial role in ensuring that you evaluate the results correctly.
You must give complete testing time to your experiment. Don’t kick everything you have done so far just because your results seem too good or too bad. There have been plenty of campaign experiments that were absolutely biased in some such way during the initial phase but took a U-turn completely over time.
Once you have wrapped up your experiment, if you are satisfied with the results, then you can safely go ahead and make the same changes to your original campaign that you applied to your campaign draft. However, if you feel that the results are not up to the mark, you have your data without even putting your original campaign in jeopardy. Although if you find the conclusions to be unconvincing even before your experiment has ended, you can always choose to keep it running for a little longer.
Keeping in mind the kind of hurricane this year has been for all of us, being efficient and cost-effective has become all the more vital. Although you should always try out new strategies and ideas to tweak and optimize your campaigns for better results, Google ACE lets us test the water temperature first instead of taking a dive directly and hoping we don’t drown.
Hariom Balhara is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles for Tireless IT Services. Tireless IT Services is a digital marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC, and web development company that comes with massive experiences. We specialize in digital marketing, web designing and development, graphic design, and a lot more.