Paid Search (PPC)

Optimising a Google AdWords campaign can involve large amounts of data analysis, time spent, and an element of trial and error. But the campaign drafts and experiments tools within Google AdWords helps advertisers test changes to campaigns, easily measure results, and apply any changes that have been identified as working well.

Campaign Drafts In Google AdWords

Campaign drafts allow advertisers to create and review changes to a campaign before they are implemented. This can incorporate any change that you wish to make to a campaign but wish to do so before it is made live within the account.

To understand how this might work, Google gives the following example: It’s now possible for an advertiser to test an increase in mobile bids for ad groups with good mobile conversion rates. Changes can now be made without impacting the overall campaign. Then, once you’re happy with the changes in the draft, they can be applied directly to the original campaign.

Drafts can now be created within ad groups by clicking on the “drafts” tab:

Creating Drafts In AdWords

Once in draft mode advertisers will be able to make as many changes to a campaign as needed before it is pushed live. This gives advertisers the ability to make changes to the campaign in a way that was previously carried out using the Google Adwords editor. Once the changes have been completed, click apply for the ads to go live. Advertisers will then be given the opportunity to “run an experiment”.

Experiments For Google AdWords

Experiments allow advertisers to see how the changes made within the draft will impact the campaign within a relatively controlled environment. Going back to Google’s example of editing the ad group to test mobile bid adjustments, it is now possible to experiment these changes on a small proportion of your bids and traffic.

Experiments allow you to test a number of element changes within your campaign. Some of the more obvious things that can be tested include:

  • Adding additional keywords
  • Raising keyword bids
  • Implementing new ads
  • Experimenting with new ad placements
  • Adding bid modifiers

Benefits Of Using Campaign Experiments In AdWords

Campaign experiments allow advertisers to expand on the currently available testing capabilities. Some of the main benefits include:

  • The advertiser can choose the proportion of the budget (or clicks) that is split into the experiment campaign.
  • Advertisers can choose the length of the experiment. I would recommend that the volume of traffic generated through the campaign will influence the length of time the experiment should be active to ensure there is enough data to make it significant.
  • It is possible to end an experiment early if your advertising or business objectives change significantly.

Campaign Experiments and Quality Score

An interesting element of the ability to carry out campaign experiments is that the performance does impact your quality score, but only for the keywords within the experiment. If the experiment does not perform as well as the original campaign, running an experiment can initially have a negative impact on your quality score..

That being said, if campaign experiments are used effectively, over time it should inevitably lead to a long term increase in keyword quality scores. This can be achieved through experimenting with new ads to find ads that are both interesting and engaging. It will also enable you to add new negative keywords to your campaigns.

Measuring The Results

As with any marketing activity it is essential to understand how the experiments have impacted your results. With campaign drafts and experiments it is possible to view results in two ways:

  • The performance scorecard – The performance scorecard makes it very easy to compare the experiment campaign in comparison to the original. A good feature of the performance scorecard is that it will also outline whether the results should be considered significant.

AdWords Campaign Experiments Performance Scorecard

  • Evaluate ad group performance – While the performance scorecard is useful for top level statistics, sometimes it is necessary to review individual ad groups within the campaign to determine how the performance of the ad group impacts the campaign overall. Monitoring ad group metrics will give you another level of insight into the impact experiments have had on the campaign.

Once you are happy with the experiment results, it is possible to quickly apply the changes from the experiment onto your existing campaign. If necessary, you can also convert the experiment campaign into a brand new campaign.

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