Noob Guide to AdWords Campaign Experiments

Mitch Mizerak
June 26, 2017

Google AdWords Campaign Experiments Explained


If you are currently running a Google Paid Advertising with us, you may notice the little green symbol next to some of your keywords. This symbol in any paid ads campaign is the Campaign Experiment symbol and notifies you that an experiment is taking place.

AdWords Campaign Experiment, otherwise know as ACE, is a tool in AdWords that allows you to split test performance in AdWords. Have you ever wondered how some people seem to get incredible CTR rates and high keywords positions that bring in consistent conversions? The answer is they test and analyse their data by using statistical significance proof and you can too. The tool is free in AdWords and in this post I’ll walk you through some of the things you will need to know to get started.

Before starting your experiment, you need first to consider what to test. A good place to start is to list all the areas of your campaign that would increase performance. Remember, using AdWords Campaign Experiment is only half the battle, the real secret is knowing what to test with and being creative with your tests.

How to set up an experiment

There are multiple tests you can conduct with AdWords Campaign Experiment. This is just one example to give you an idea on how it can be done.

  1. Navigate to the campaign you would like to test and then click on settings
  2. Click on Experiments
  3. Name your AdWords Campaign Experiment
  4. Set the percentage of impressions you're willing to test (start with just 10% to minimise risk)
  5. Click save without selecting a start date or duration
  6. Now we need to set up some experiments. In this case, we will test different keyword match types
  7. Navigate to the Adgroup you would like to test
  8. Go to the keywords tab and leave all of the existing keywords set to control
  9. Make a new list of keywords with the modified match type
  10. Set all the new keywords to be experiment only
  11. Now to active this experiment you will need to return to the settings tab
  12. Click on Experiments
  13. Choose the start date of your experiment
  14. Select the durations of the test
  15. Now Google will dedicate the percentage impression you want towards your clicks
  16. You're done! You can now start to analyse your data

Things you can test using AdWords Campaign Experiment

Keyword match type - Changing the match type may increase or decrease clicks, impressions or conversions.

Ad Group Structure - Try testing with different ad text and different keyword combos. Track these elements for improved CTR and conversions.

Keyword Expansion and Reduction - Test with new keywords and see what happens when you reduce low impact keywords.

Keyword Bids - Split test your keyword bids and find the ones that convert at the best CPA.

The things you can’t test and other limitations

  • You can only use one AdWords Campaign Experiment per campaign.
  • You can't test things like CPC versus CPA or some other advanced settings like Geo-targeting.
  • There is no support using ACE through Google API. You can only use this tool in Google AdWords.

How to measure your results

You can analyse your data by selecting a segment in the top menu bar and break down the results. To take a closer look, you might want to segment your data then run a report. This data can be imported into Excel to analyse the data further.

But how do I know when statistical significance has been achieved? Well, that's easy, Google tells you by turning the segment arrow blue. They do this when they determine the test to be of statistical significance. If the test proves to be successful, you can integrate this into your original campaign.

Some additional recommended resources

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Mitch Mizerak

I am extremely focused and have worked in large and small agencies where I have been influenced by some amazing marketers. I am passionate about Users Experience, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and learning new online marketing techniques and strategies.