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07/06/23

The Importance Of Testing: How To Set Up Google A/B Testing

Google Ads is a powerful platform that can help you reach your target audience and drive traffic to your website. However, in order to get the most out of your campaigns, it’s important to test different elements of your campaigns to see what works best – from match types, ad copy varieties, call to action, landing pages, ad extensions, ad scheduling and so much more.

So, if your KPIs have started to dip and your performance has become stagnant, you can look at testing different aspects of your ads to see what resonates with your target audience and improve your results.

What are the different A/B tests you can do within Google Ads?

  • Ad copy: This is your headlines & descriptions
  • Ad extensions: Includes site links, callouts, and structured snippets.
  • Ad variations: Change your bidding strategy, targeted keywords, and keyword match types.
  • Landing pages: Test the efficiency of different landing pages and see which one may be more effective for the campaign/keywords
  • Negative keywords: Test to see if certain search terms are affecting your performance or if current negative keywords are damaging performance rather than helping
  • Ad scheduling: Certain days or hours may generate better performance than others
  • Location targeting: Target locations as specific as a postcode with different geographical targeting zones to see which areas give you the best performance.
  • Device bids: Different devices may serve different purposes ie. Mobile may be a researching device and laptops are for the transactions/conversions and place modifiers where suited

What are the benefits of Google A/B Testing

Click-through-rate: Testing different ad copy can improve your CTR as different calls to action or headlines may increase the chances of users clicking on your ads – using more enticing descriptions or including prices and offers will get users to choose your ad/business over other competitors bidding on the same search terms.

Conversion rate: Changing your landing pages may improve user experience, therefore, increasing the chances of users converting on your site. There may be a better page that users may resonate with more, leading them to convert. Ensuring the pages you are sending traffic to are conversion worthy and relevant will help conversion figures as well as the ad’s quality score.

CPC: Different bidding strategies can help Google understand your campaigns and conversion actions meaning that you are rewarded with lower CPCs. Optimising and testing your bidding strategies will help your campaign flourish depending on your optimum goal. For example, your brand campaign may perform better on target impression share rather than maximise conversions as it means your campaign is at the forefront for your branded terms and may work better than your original strategy.

How to set up an A/B Test in Google Ads?

Today we will be creating a broad match experiment for one of our campaigns.

On the left-hand side of the navigation bar, scroll to the bottom and select “experiments” This is where you will see all previous experiments and where you can view all your experiments as well as their start and end date.

 Press the “+” button for a new experiment and select the type of experiment you would like to try.

 

Select “custom experiment”. Here you can select “display” or “search” and select search.

Create an experiment name and a description if you need to, you can place the date and the goal behind this experiment however it is optional so you can leave it blank if needed.

Select your base campaign – this is the campaign you are wanting to do an experiment for, you are only able to do one campaign at a time here. (you are unable to use experiments on campaigns with shared budgets)

Input the suffix for the trial campaign – we tend to place the objective for the test at the end. In this case “exact match” would be the suffix here.

 

Now you have done the setup – now it’s time to make the changes to the trial campaign that you want to test.

Here you can edit the keywords, match types, bidding strategies, ad copy, landing pages and the other options we have mentioned above.

Once you have made the necessary changes, click “schedule”, and select the metrics that you are looking to experiment with.

 

  • Clicks
  • Impressions
  • Cost
  • Cost per conversion
  • Conversion value per cost
  • Conversions
  • Conversion value

Choose your budget split – this experiment will use the budget from the existing campaign, we recommend 50 – 50 split for fair results.

 

 

Choose the start and end dates, or you can choose a certain amount of days to run the experiment.

>> We recommend two weeks or more to have a fair data set to compare with.

 

Enable sync means any edits made to the original campaign will be edited within the trial campaign.

>> We recommend turning this off purely for the fact that any edits made to a campaign will enter the campaign into a type of learning phase that will affect the results. Ideally, no edits should be made to either campaign to ensure a fair and trustworthy experiment.

Now you can create your experiment and it will be now live!

 

What happens after the experiment finishes?

Once the experiment finishes, you are able to see the results and the performance driven by both campaigns (base and trial) and you can determine which version of the ad performed better depending on your business and experiment goals.

 

Was the purpose for more traffic?

Wanting more conversions?

Wanting to reduce overall cost or CPC?

 

Here you are able to see very easily which campaign did better, and if that is the experiment – you are then able to apply the changes and continue with your campaign as normal with those beneficial amendments.

 

Testing is an essential part of any successful Google Ads campaign. By testing different elements of your campaigns, you can learn what resonates with your target audience and improve your results. If you’re not already testing your Google Ads campaigns, I encourage you to start today. You may be surprised at how much you can improve your results.

Here are some additional tips for setting up and running a successful A/B test in Google Ads:

  • Choose the right elements to test. Not all elements of your Google Ads campaigns are created equal. Some elements, such as your ad copy and landing page, are more likely to have a significant impact on your results than others. When choosing elements to test, focus on the ones that are most likely to have a big impact on your bottom line.

 

  • Set a clear goal. Before you start testing, it’s important to set a clear goal for your test. What do you want to achieve with your test? Do you want to improve your CTR, conversion rate, or CPC? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can design your test accordingly.

 

  • Run your test for long enough. It’s important to run your test for long enough to collect enough data to draw meaningful conclusions. A good rule of thumb is to run your test for at least 2 weeks, but you may need to run it for longer depending on your goals.

 

  • Analyse your results. Once your test is complete, it’s time to analyse your results. Look at the data and see which version of your ad, landing page, or bidding strategy performed the best. Then, make the necessary changes to your campaign based on your findings.

By following these tips, you can set up and run successful A/B tests in Google Ads that will help you improve your results.