Google Ads experiments can help you continuously improve the performance of your campaigns. When you test different campaign settings, you reach more customers and drive better results quickly and efficiently for your business.
On this page
- Set up an ad variation
- Set up a custom experiment for Search and Display
- Create a video experiment
- Set up a Performance Max experiment
How it works
You can create and run an experiment on your campaign to test the impact of your proposed changes. If you split the budget equally between the original campaign and experiment, you can easily compare the results over a specified time period. If your experiment produces better results at the end of that time period, you can apply the experiment to the original campaign or replace the original campaign. To set up an experiment, click Experiments in the left page menu of your Google Ads account.
- Manage your experiment statuses and options
- Select a specific experiment type (ad variations, custom experiments, or video experiments)
- View your experiments across channel and experiment types (App, Search, Display, and Video)
With ad variations, you can review the performance of your variations and apply the modified ads to your account. Ad variations are typically used to test text ads, responsive search ads, or a single change across multiple campaigns. Ad variations are available for Search campaigns.
After you’ve set up an ad variation you can view the results and compare how the modified ads perform against your original ads. When you are happy with the ad variation experiment results, you can apply the modified ads to your campaign.
Custom experiments for Search and Display
Custom experiments are typically used to test Smart Bidding, keyword match types, landing pages, audiences, and ad groups. Custom experiments are available for App campaigns and Search and Display campaigns.
You can also create an experiment without a draft. This makes it easier to compare the performance of your base campaign and trial campaign.
After you’ve selected a base campaign to run an experiment with, you’ll set up the experiment and update the settings you’d like to test. Google's system will create a new trial campaign for you with the new settings. After you've run the experiment and evaluated its performance, you can choose to apply the new settings back to the base campaign or run the experiment as a new independent campaign.
Video experiments are used to determine which of your video ads is more effective on YouTube. Video experiments are available for Video and Discovery campaigns.
- Set up 2–4 different groups (known as experiment arms).
- Choose the campaigns to include in the experiment (with a different video ad in each campaign).
- Select a success metric (“Brand lift” or “Conversions”) to measure and compare the performance of the campaigns.
After you set up a video experiment, you can monitor its performance in Google Ads and find the best video ads in the experiment arms. When you understand which ad performed better in the experiment, you can make an informed decision on which campaign to continue and to allocate higher budgets to.
Performance Max experiments
Performance Max experiments are tools in Google Ads that help you to A/B test different features, settings, and campaigns to improve results for your business. You can use experiments to help you measure the incremental uplift of using Performance Max campaigns.
- Set up Uplift experiments for Performance Max
- Set up shopping campaign vs. Performance Max experiments
After you set up a Performance Max experiment, you can monitor its performance in Google Ads and find the best Performance Max ads in the experiment arms. When you understand which ad performed better in the experiment, you can make an informed decision on which campaign to continue and to allocate higher budgets to.
Apply your experiment changes if results are favorable
This opt-in experiment feature applies the experiment changes to the base campaign if it has favorable results, once the experiment ends. This allows you to benefit from the performance improvements of your experiments with little effort.
Note: This feature may be disabled or enabled at any time during your experiment.
You can create an experiment using recommendation cards on the Experiments page. During creation, you can choose to enable this feature. After creating an experiment, a tooltip will be shown on the experiment summary card with the feature status. From this tooltip, you’ll also be able to turn this feature on or off, which will be reflected through your tooltip status.
Additionally, the status column on your Experiments page will have one of the following states showing which experiments have been applied:
- Complete (Not applied)
- Complete (Applying…)
- Complete (Applied)
When your experiment is complete, its tooltip state will update to let you know whether or not your changes were applied.
1. How will I know if an experiment is favorable and will be directly applied?
- If you’re using Max conversions with target cost per action (CPA) bidding, your experiment will be directly applied if conversions in your treatment arm are higher than your control arm, with CPA being lower.
- If you’re using Max conversion value with target return on ad spend (ROAS) bidding, your experiment will be directly applied if the conversion value in your treatment arm is higher than your control arm, with ROAS being higher.
- If you’re using Max conversions or Max conversion value bidding, your experiment will be directly applied if either the conversions or conversion value in your treatment arm are higher than your control arm.
2. When will my experiment changes be applied?
- After your experiment reaches the end date, we’ll identify whether your experiment results were favorable, using the definition above. If we determine that it was favorable, we’ll apply the experiment changes to the control campaign.
3. Will my experiment be applied if I end it manually?
- No, we will not apply any experiments which were ended manually. We only apply experiments which end on the end date that you define.