Those of you who are familiar with Google Website Optimizer (GWO) know the importance of testing your online marketing efforts. Testing really is the best way to know whether or not proposed changes to your website are going to have a positive or negative impact on your bottom line. If you haven’t tried a GWO experiment, I would highly recommend it. For more info on conducting an experiment, you should read the blog post 6 Critical Steps for Starting you Google Website Optimizer Experiments.
The world of website testing is continuing to develop, which is great. All online marketers should be testing their online marketing initiatives, whether it is elements on their website or keywords within their campaigns. Google AdWords has followed Google Website Optimizer’s lead and is now offering another way to conduct tests; this time with your AdWords campaigns. This new program, called AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE), will enable you to test changes to your bids, keywords, and ad groups before applying those changes to all auctions for which your ad could appear.
For example, if you want to measure the impact of increasing a keyword’s bid, you can easily accomplish that without having to test all auctions. With ACE, you have the ability to select the control / experiment split for your changes. You can choose 50% control / 50% experiment, 60% control / 40% experiment, and so on. Similar to GWO experiments, ACE runs the experiment or test seamlessly with the existing campaign set up.
This tool can be found within the settings tab for your campaigns, and since you can set the experiment splits and the start and stop dates, you lower the risk of testing new ideas. If you want to test increasing a keyword’s bid without ACE, the new bid would be applied to all auctions. The problem is that even if the results were good, it is difficult to be 100% positive that the results were not due to other contributing factors.
So, next time you are thinking about making changes to your campaigns and would like to test the results first, look into using ACE. It may help you to determine whether or not this change would be beneficial.