Digital marketing is always evolving. It’s crucial to evolve your approach as well to better reach your consumers. This ongoing process of optimization should be built upon a solid framework of testing and experimentation.
Using all of the tools available to you, including campaign drafts and experiments in Google Ads, lets you understand whether proposed changes to your campaigns will help you improve performance. This guide outlines the steps that you should follow to ensure that your tests are impactful.
You can make data-driven decisions through logical Google Ads testing. By establishing a robust framework for testing, you can prove or disprove your theories by seeing if they work in the real world. If you’re unsure whether a change will be for the better, make a confident decision through rigorous experimentation.
Use Google Ads’ campaign drafts and experiments.
Campaign drafts and experiments help you test changes to your campaigns, easily measure results, and apply the changes that are working well for your business. This organized approach to testing creates experiment and control groups that you can use to quickly monitor results and implement changes.
Drafts let you prepare multiple changes to a campaign without impacting its performance. When you create a draft, you’re mirroring your campaign’s setup. Then, after you’ve drafted any changes, you can create an experiment to test how those changes perform against your original campaign.
Focus experiments on high-value levers, such as bid strategies or ad extensions.
You have bigger impact when you test bigger things. Google Ads testing is a wonderful thing, but it’s important to test the right things. You can only test so much. Avoid wasting your resources finding low-value outcomes.
Some of the most impactful tests that we see involve trying out a new Smart Bidding strategy. Testing new or different ad extensions have also proven to be insightful.
Because campaign drafts allow you to test so many things, you’ll have to prioritize things that matter over things that might interest you. Every campaign is different, and what’s valuable to one may be meaningless to another. Before setting up a test, create a hypothesis about what type of performance difference you could possibly see in your campaign. Then, run the tests that have the best chance at making a difference.
The more that you test, the better you’ll get at identifying which tests have the most potential.
Use other methods to test things that campaign drafts and experiments don’t cover.
Campaign drafts and experiments cover most options available within Google Ads. Plan to use that for the vast majority of your tests.
However, certain tests will require a different approach. Here are a couple of different strategies for testing popular features outside of drafts and experiments.
- A pre/post test can be particularly effective for something like attribution. Google Ads Attribution is based on your conversion tracking, which is set at the account level. As such, you’ll have to see how your entire account responds to a shift.
- If you’re attempting to evaluate the effectiveness of an entire channel (like Search or Display), geo tests can be instructive.
- If you’re trying to understand the effect YouTube ads are having on perceptions and behaviors throughout the consumer journey, brand lift can help.