Google AdWords Drafts & Experiments: The Lowdown

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There has been a lot of noise recently in the media regarding AdWords. First there was the removal of side ads (GULP!), then there was the announcement of the interface redesign (GASP!), and alongside this, they have added draft campaign and experiments within Google AdWords.

What?

In short, draft campaigns and experiments do exactly what they say on the tin. Drafts allow advertisers to prepare and review various changes to an existing campaign before actually implementing the change. The experiment part allows users to test the changes against the current campaign, dictating how much traffic and budget should be allocated to the original and experiment campaigns, as well as how long the experiment should run for.

The experiments are random-auction, so when a user searches on Google or a partner site, Google will randomly decide whether the original or experiment campaign shows, depending on the percentage split in the settings.

AdWords Experiments Digital Clarity

Once the experiment is over, users are able to see a scorecard style report, displaying the metrics for both the original and experiments campaign. If the experiment has gone to plan and achieved results hoped for, the changes can be applied to the original campaign, or the experiment can replace the original campaign.

adwords experiments scorecard

Why?

As Google rightly put it – ‘it’s like putting spicy sauce on part of your meal; it gives you a taste of the results, so you can decide if you want to pour on the heat’. There are various reasons why you might decide to run campaign experiments, such as increasing goals, increasing traffic, improving ROI, etc.

In order to test out these options, advertisers could test things such as:

  • Mobile bid adjustments
  • Negative keywords (ad group level)
  • New keywords or different match types
  • CPC increases
  • Different ad copy
  • Keyword insertion
  • ++

What can’t I test?

Campaign settings that are chosen for the campaign whilst running an experiment apply to the entire campaign, not just the experiment. This means the following can’t be tested:

  • Daily budget
  • Ad extensions
  • Ad scheduling
  • Frequency capping
  • Negative keywords (campaign level)

 Success Stories

Google also recently shared a couple of success stories, including one from a company called BizChair.com, who increased their conversion rate by 50% whilst decreasing their cost-per-conversion by 50%, all through running campaign experiments that varied ad creative.

Campaign drafts and experiments are currently available for Search and Search Network with Display Select campaigns within AdWords. For more information or to learn how to better your PPC strategy with drafts and experiments like BizChair, contact us today.

Sophie Burrows
As a Senior Digital Strategist, Sophie's role is focused around working with clients to achieve their business objectives, through a mixture of digital marketing channels. Having worked closely with clients in a variety of disciplines over the last five years, Sophie has gained an invaluable insight into what makes for a successful campaign. Applying a strategic process along with deep analytics insight has made Sophie an in-demand digital strategist.