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Test with Confidence in AdWords: Google Best Practices

Official guide to drafts and experiments in AdWords.

Testing in AdWords lets you understand whether proposed changes to your account will help you reach your business goals. Campaign drafts and experiments are a particularly powerful way to test. This guide outlines the steps to successful testing in AdWords.

1. Decide how and what to test

  • Use AdWords’ campaign drafts and experiments.

Why: This organized approach to testing creates experiment and control groups that you can use to quickly monitor results and implement changes.

  • Focus experiments on high-value levers, such as bid strategies or ad extensions.

Why: You can only test so much. Avoid wasting your resources finding low-value outcomes.

  • Use other methods to test things that campaign drafts and experiments don’t cover.

Why: Drafts and experiments aren't an option for everything that’s worth testing, such as non-last click attribution and certain automated strategies.

Read more about testing in AdWords

2. Create experiments that produce clear results

  • Focus your tests on one variable at a time.

Why: It’s impossible to isolate the effect of any single change if an experiment updates multiple elements.

  • Design tests to reach statistical significance as quickly as possible.

Why: The faster your tests reach significance, the faster you can make updates to your campaigns to achieve improved performance.

  • Pick one metric to gauge the success of your tests.

Why: Balancing multiple metrics makes it difficult to pick a winner.

  • Avoid changing campaigns while experiments are running.

Why: Mid-experiment changes can skew your results.

Read more about creating experiments that produce clear results

3. Analyze results and choose experiment winners

  • Wait for enough data to be confident in your results.

Why: You can expect your campaign to perform similarly in the future if you are confident in an experiment’s outcome.

  • Check for outliers within your top-level experiment outcomes.

Why: High-volume ad groups or keywords can skew results for an entire campaign.

  • Implement what you’ve learned in your future campaigns.

Why: The most critical step of any experiment is updating your tactics based on what you’ve learned.

  • Keep records of your experiments.

Why: Well-documented results allow you to return for insights long after any experiments have ended.

Read more about choosing experiment winners from AdWords testing
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