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Welcome to the help center for DoubleClick Search, a platform for managing search marketing campaigns.  While the help center is available to the public, access to the DoubleClick Search product is available only to subscribing customers who are signed in. To subscribe or find out more, contact our sales team.

Test landing pages

Introduction to landing page tests

When a consumer searches and clicks one of your ads, which page on your site should the consumer land on? A promotional page? A product details page? Premium vs. budget product pages?

A DoubleClick Search (DS) landing page test helps answer this question by randomly splitting ad traffic among multiple landing pages on your site. The test uses data that's collected after a customer clicks your ad (data collected by DS, Floodlight activities, and Google Analytics, but not engine metrics) to give insight into which pages produce the best return on investment. You can then make changes to keyword landing pages based on this insight. After that, use DS reports to calculate the exact impact your landing page optimizations have made, even months after the tests have been run.

Supported engines

You can run a DS landing page test from the following types of engine accounts:

  • AdWords
  • Bing Ads
  • Baidu
  • Yahoo! Gemini

Overview of the testing process

Here's an overview of how to run a DS landing page test (detailed steps are provided later in this guide):

  1. Prepare for the test:
    1. Identify a landing page to act as the test's baseline (control). The performance of the other pages in the test will be compared against the control page.
      Usually this is a landing page that you’ve been using for awhile. For example, if you want to test variations to a specific page on your site, you'll probably want to use the page that's currently on your site as the control page. 
       
    2. Create one or more alternate pages on your site. If you want the test to track conversions in addition to DS visits, be sure to add Floodlight tags or Google Analytics tags to your alternate pages.
       
    3. Identify keywords for the tests. You can limit the test to just a few specific keywords, or include all keywords in an ad group, campaign, or engine account.

      To keep track of which keywords are in a test, create a label and apply it to the keywords

    4. Make sure the keyword landing page URLs are compatible with DS landing page tests and make any changes that may be necessary to the landing page URLs.
       
  2. Set up the test:
    1. Select the keywords you identified earlier.
       
    2. Specify whether you want the test to run on all devices, only on mobile devices, or only on non-mobile devices. 
       
    3. Enter the URLs for the pages you want to test.
       
    4. Specify how much traffic each page in the test should receive. You can send equal amounts of traffic to all landing pages, or specify the percentage of traffic that each page in the test should receive. 
       
    5. Start the test.
      Note that once you start a test, you can't make changes to the test itself or to any of the keywords in the test. Changing a test mid-run would skew data drastically and produce inaccurate results. For the same reason, you should limit making changes to your site if a change might affect the landing page test. Each change you introduce makes it more difficult to assess the validity of your test results.
  3. During the test:
    Periodically review reports to see how each page performs.
     
  4. When you have enough data to make a decision, stop the test.
    You can either keep the current landing page URLs or, if one of the alternate pages performed better than the current page, you can replace the landing page URLs for all of the keywords in the test with a URL from the test. 

DS keeps a history of all tests that have been completed, so you can review the testing history at any time.

Original, control, and experiment URLs

Before you get started with landing page tests, it's helpful to establish a few terms that are used to identify the URLs in the test:

  • The original URL that you specified when you created a keyword. This URL will not be used while the test is in progress. When you stop a test, you can keep the original URL or replace it with a URL from the test. 

  • The control URL that you specify when you create the test. Usually, this URL points to a landing page that you’ve been using for awhile (you may even point to the same landing page as the original URL). DS will redirect to this URL instead of the keyword’s original URL for a percentage of the clicks that a keyword generates.

  • One or more experiment URLs that you specify when you create the test. DS will redirect to these URLs instead of the keyword’s original URL for a percentage of the clicks that a keyword generates.

Ad extensions and landing page tests

Ad extensions that are supported by DoubleClick Search are not included in landing page tests. DS assumes that you don't want ad extension links to be included in landing page tests, since these links are typically intended to match a very specific customer intent.

However, if an engine serves an ad with ad extensions that are not supported by DS, a click on the unsupported extension will be directed to one of the URLs in the landing page test. In this case, DS cannot differentiate between a click on the ad headline and a click on an unsupported extension, so the click is included in the landing page test.

For example, DS supports sitelink extensions in AdWords and Bing Ads accounts. If a customer search matches a keyword that's in a landing page test and an ad is served with a sitelink:

  • A click on the ad headline will be directed to one of the URLs in the landing page test.
  • A click on a sitelink will be directed to the sitelink's landing page URL.

However, DS does not support price extensions in AdWords. If a customer search matches a keyword that's in a landing page test and an ad is served with a price extension, a click on the ad headline or a price extension will be directed to one of the URLs in the landing page test.

Ready to get started?

After you create alternate pages on your site:

  1. Identify and label keywords for the tests.
  2. Make sure the keyword landing page URLs are compatible with DS landing page tests.
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