Dos and Don’ts of A/B Testing in Google Ads

August 29, 2023

As business owners, if you run an e-commerce shop or do any kind of selling online, it’s essential to have a strategy in place for marketing your products and services. Using Google Ads properly can be incredibly beneficial for your business. It helps get new eyes on your products, and it helps target an already hot audience who may need another nudge to make a purchase.

When you’re running ads, it’s also important to test your campaigns to see which ones are performing best. A/B testing is a great way to optimize your ads. Let’s dive deeper into what A/B testing is and the best practices for utilizing it in Google Ads.

What exactly is A/B testing?

A/B testing, or split testing, is a way to test two different versions of your ad campaign against each other. Your audience will be split into two segments with the first group—your control group—seeing one specific ad campaign. The second segment of your audience—your experimental group—will see the same campaign apart from one element, such as ad copy, graphics, keywords, call-to-action buttons, or the landing page.

It’s crucial to test just one variable of your ad at a time so that you can get an accurate idea of performance. Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns can be costly. When you analyze your results and find which version of each element works best, you’ll be able to get the most out of your ad campaign and help ensure a positive return on investment.

How to test in Google Ads

In Google Ads, you can make a copy of your existing ad to create a campaign experiment. This allows you to change one variable at a time within your ad without needing to recreate the entire thing. In addition to letting you isolate one element at a time, running a campaign experiment in Google Ads ensures both your control and experimental campaigns run simultaneously.

Best practices of A/B testing

Have a measurable goal in mind

When you start with a specific and measurable goal, you can make more informed decisions on which elements to test and how to alter them. You’ll also be able to clearly see which version of your ad is performing better based on that original goal.

In addition to an overall goal, consider what key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to measure the success of your ad. You might use click-through rates, conversions, or qualified leads. Take these into account when you’re comparing the performance of your control campaign to that of your experimental campaign.

Run your control campaign and experimental campaign simultaneously

Timing can play a big role in the success of ads. Some holiday weekends may work extremely well for sales, while others may be less than ideal—think Memorial Day Weekend vs. Christmas Day. Additionally, the beginning of the financial year may be a better time for people to make purchases, while they may be holding back on spending money toward the end of the year.

Be patient

Don’t rush the process. Gaining enough information with A/B testing can take time. You’ll need to make sure you’ve had enough conversions within each group to have a complete understanding of which campaign has had the best results and why.

Keep in mind that seasons also impact sales, so you’ll want to run your test long enough for that to not be a factor.

Take action on your results

When your ads have run long enough for you to clearly see what’s performing best, make changes accordingly. Consider the KPIs you determined to use as well as your specific goal for the campaign. Using the information you learned from your A/B test to make the necessary shifts in your campaign will help you get the most out of your ad.

A final note

If you’re looking for support with PPC services and running A/B tests in Google Ads, reach out to an experienced digital marketing team for help. When done properly, A/B testing can help ensure your ad campaigns are perfectly suited to your audience, performing optimally, and ultimately playing a large role in increasing your revenue.

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