AB Testing Google Ads: the complete guide
AB testing is a testing method that allows companies and websites to improve their online performance. The general idea of AB testing is to test two different versions of the same web page to determine which one works best. It can be found at all levels: we can AB test elements to see how they affect the conversion of a page, or the engagement of Internet users, we can AB test button colors to check if they encourage more or less clicks ... But it can also be used in the field of advertising, including SEA and SMA. We create several iterations of the same campaign, modifying only one element at a time, to observe the behavior of Internet users and verify which are the most effective.
AB testing on Google Ads or any other ad network is a particularly effective tool when it is mastered. At GrowthYouNeed, we use AB Testing in all of our clients' campaigns to ensure that we get the best performance possible. Here's how we do it.
What are the advantages of AB Testing for Google Ads?
Increase traffic and reach
The first benefit of AB Testing is to increase the traffic that your ads bring to your site. By changing elements like your headlines, descriptions, ad extensions or - if you use Google Shopping - images, you can check which compositions attract visitors the most. Sometimes a simple change (for example, by highlighting a relevant marketing point, such as a discount) can significantly increase your click-through rate.
Similarly, by AB testing the keywords you buy on Google Ads, you can select those that are most relevant and bring in qualified traffic.
Improve your ROI and reduce your costs
We all know that online advertising, whether it's SEA on Google or social ads, is expensive. By using AB Tests on your marketing campaigns, you seek to measure their impact accurately and improve them. The ultimate goal is to improve your ROI, either by increasing your generated revenue (or the number of leads you receive), or by reducing the costs needed to reach your goals.
An AB Test phase allows you to set up efficient campaigns, to maximize the use of your budgets and bids.
Reaching your goals
More generally, AB Tests on Google Ads are a way to reach (or exceed!) the goals you have set. They allow you to improve the performance of your campaigns and ads on several levels. It is up to you to identify what you want to improve and to understand which parameters of your campaigns can influence the improvement of this parameter.
How to perform AB Testing on Google Ads
To set up an AB Test on Google, you will have to go through three steps. The first is to define your objectives: why are you setting up an AB Test? There are a multitude of valid reasons and discerning yours will help you put in place an effective and viable strategy. Your test objectives could include improving CTR (click-through rate), optimizing CPC (cost-per-click) and increasing total conversions. It all depends on what you are looking to optimize.
The second step follows from the first one: now that you know what you want to test, how will you do it? On Google Ads, AB Tests can be done on a multitude of parameters: on the ads themselves of course, but also on the targeting, the purchased keywords, the ad extensions, the general structure of your account... Depending on the objective you are trying to reach, it will be more or less relevant to play with one or another of these parameters.
Finally, the last step is to run the tests, measure the results and draw the right conclusions. When using AB Testing, it is important to keep one thing in mind: you should always test one parameter at a time. If in one of your Google Ads you change both the title of your ad and its description, and you observe an increase in click-through rate, how do you determine which of the changes is the cause? Having clear, well-segmented and well-organized tests allows you to better understand the impact of each change on your performance.
Thanks to the tools offered by Google, setting up AB tests is very simple and can be done in a few clicks: it would be wrong to deprive oneself of it and not to use it.
Some AB Testing tools for Google Ads
And yes: Google Ads allows you to directly perform AB Tests on your ads and campaigns, within the tool itself. Choose the parameters to be modified, the dates during which to carry out the tests, the budgets to be allocated and then you will just have to check the results obtained. In the platform, they are called "Custom Tests". Based on the users' cookies, it identifies which users should see which version of the campaign: a user will not receive both versions, so that the results are as accurate as possible.
Google Optimize is the tool created by Google to perform AB Testing on your website. It exists in a free version, very practical if you want to familiarize yourself with AB Testing and can act on a multitude of parameters.
The tool allows you to manage your AB Tests in time: you can set start and end dates.
Google Optimize will allow you to act on the conversion rate of your ads, by making changes to your landing pages.
AB Test on Google Ads: the key to success for your campaigns
You will have understood: AB Testing on Google Ads is a formidable weapon when used properly. Many biases have to be avoided to get relevant results, but if they are avoided (and the AB Testing tools developed by Google help you to avoid them), then you have in your hands the key to improve your performance at all levels.
At GrowthYouNeed, we manage advertising campaigns for many clients. For all of them, we perform AB Tests on their Google Ads campaigns to maximize results. Each client and each industry is different: what worked for one may not work for another. It is therefore essential to test as soon as the campaigns are set up, to ensure that we are working in the right direction.
You want to set up AB Tests on your advertising campaigns, whether on Google Ads or on any other network? You are at the right place: contact us here to discuss it and see what can be done!