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Transcript – How to Test Google Ads Bidding Strategies
On the channel, we talk a lot about bidding strategy on Google Ads and understanding which bidding strategy is the best for your business. We’ve covered pretty much every bidding strategy out there, and I’ve also covered how to decide which bidding strategy to use. Once you know which strategy you’d like to test, how do you set up an experiment?
Well, in this video, I’m going to show you how to set up an experiment to A/B test two different Google Ads bidding strategy, so you can understand which one is the best for your business, while reducing the risk if plans don’t go well, and if plans are going well with the bidding strategy, then you can accelerate and set the campaign live on the new tested strategy. You’re going to learn all of that and more coming up.
Hey guys, Darren Taylor of thebigmarketer.com here and my job is to make you a better marketer. Now, if you’re new to the channel, I’m Darren Taylor, a digital marketing trainer and consultant. I have a really strong focus on search engine marketing, so PPC, and SEO, and everything in between. If that sounds up your street, you should consider subscribing to the channel today. In this video, we are exploring how to A/B test two different Google Ads bidding strategies.
Now, if you’re not sure what I mean by a bidding strategy, head back to the videos I’ve left in the description below, which covers pretty much every single bidding strategy out there on Google Ads. Essentially, a lot of the people I speak to across the channel really wants to know how they can transition from one bidding strategy to another while reducing their risk of everything going wrong. Because of course, we know what can happen sometimes with Google. If you’re comfortable getting results with one strategy, just because Google say you should move to another isn’t always necessarily true, but it’s actually true that you should be testing a smart bidding strategy, especially if you’re on manual CPC.
How do you go about testing a bidding strategy against your existing one? Say, for example, you are running a campaign right now with a manual CPC, maybe even an ECPC strategy, and you want to do what Google says is best for your campaigns, and transition to a more smart bidding strategy, like Target CPA or target return on advertising spend or ROAS. Now, if you want to transition from one of those to the other, you might think it could be risky for your campaigns, because you’re not sure what results you’re going to get. This is where Google Ads experiments come in.
If you’re not sure what an experiment is, all it is, is where you’re telling Google, you want to test something in your campaigns. You’re going to send a split of traffic to one test compared to your original campaign. Say you’ve got a campaign running right now, what you would do is create a draft campaign, turn that draft into an experiment and then run the experiment alongside your original campaign. The experiment will have the change you want to make and test within it so therefore, you can see which one is the best for your campaigns overall.
Now, if you’re sounding really, really confused, and not sure exactly what I mean, don’t worry. I’m about to show you exactly how to set up an experiment to test two different bidding strategies on Google Ads with a 50/50 split. Before I do that, if you’re liking what you’re hearing so far, hit the like button below and don’t forget to subscribe, and leave me a comment below as well, because I reply to pretty much every single comment I get on the channel. I’d be really interested to know if you’re ready to set up an experiment to test your bidding strategies. Hit the like button? Perfect. Let’s carry on I’m going to show you right now.
In order for us to test two different bidding strategies against your audience, we first need to create an experiment. In order to do that, we first need to create a draft of our campaign. You’ll see here I’m in Google Ads. Here is my campaign, this is, of course, a test account. I’m just demonstrating how to do this. The first thing you need to do is create a draft from your existing campaign in order to test.
The first thing I’m going to do is head over to drafts and experiments. Now, what you want to do is create a new draft. You select the campaign you’d like to make a copy of, so essentially, when you’re creating a draft, you’re duplicating an existing campaign, but creating it in draft format, which we’ll go on to in a moment.
Here’s my test campaign, I’m going to give it a name. For this instance, I’m going to test two different bidding strategies. I’m going to give this one the name, Bid Strategy Test. You can give it a description as well, but in this instance, I won’t give it a description, so you will hit save and there you have your draft is created. These two things are identical. You have the campaign which is live and you’ve created a draft based on exactly the same settings and information put into your original campaign apart from this one is a draft.
Now, all you need to do in order for you to run a test to the bidding strategies is change the settings of the draft or the options of the draft, different to your original campaign that you’d like to test. In this instance, we’re going to test bidding strategies, so let’s head straight over to settings, and that will allow you to go to your bids. We go to bidding, you’ll see here the original campaign was on manual CPC. A lot of people want to test the smart bidding strategy, so in this instance, we’re going to change the strategy.
At the moment, it’s on manual CPC, let’s test something like maximize clicks. Again, it’s a smart bidding strategy, one that some people might want to use for brand campaigns or whatever it might be. We’re going to run a maximize clicks bidding strategy on this draft, as opposed to the manual CPC strategy currently running on the live campaign. Hit Save when you’ve done that, and that will save your options.
Now, this campaign, the actual running campaign is on manual CPC. This campaign is now running on a– it’s not a campaign, it’s a draft, but this draft is now on a maximize clicks bidding strategy. Now, you’re in the draft, you’ll see these options at the top here. Now, all you need to do is click Apply. Now, you’ve got two options when you click Apply. You can either apply changes to the original campaigns straight away, or you can run an experiment. What we’re going to do is run an experiment and then hit Apply.
We’ll call this one Bid Strategy Test. Again, you can put a description in and we’ll leave it blank this time as it is optional. You can set a period of time for your experiment to run. At the moment, currently, February 18th, is the next day so the first option will be the next day from when you create the actual test itself, and you can either do no ends date where you can end the test whenever you like, or you can set a target end date. Usually it defaults to one month ahead, gives you 30 days of data and that’s actually a pretty good time period to run a test.
Now, the next thing you need to do is look at the split difference you want to do between your draft and your main campaign. Of course, a 50/50 split makes a lot of sense. It’s the best thing to do in order to evenly and fairly test your traffic. Now, if you go down here, there are some advanced options. You’ve got two options to split the audience, Search-based or Cookie-based.
Now, Search-based means for every single search that takes place on Google that triggers your ads, Google will serve a 50/50 split to those people searching. That means if you’re an individual, one person with one device, and that person triggers your ads multiple times, they could see multiple variations of your ad. Now, the second option, Cookie-based means that even if that one individual triggers your ads multiple times, they will only see the one variation.
Now, I think Cookie-based is probably the best because it means you get a fair split of the audience and no other factors can really influence what happens in the conversion. You can get true reflection of whether or not your experiment is working. I’m going to select Cookie-based and then I’m going to hit Save, and there you have it. Now, we have a experiment running and it’s a bid strategy test, it’s running on the test campaign. It’s creating the experiment so it will be with us in our account very shortly and running. However, this has now created a 50/50 split test between two different bid strategies and you can analyze the results as the campaign progresses.
Now, you can see the experiment is running because I’ve just refreshed the page, given it some time to provision the experiment. Now, you can see it’s running and as I mentioned in the settings, I scheduled it for the next day to kick in. It’s scheduled, it’s not running at the moment, but it will start on the next day from the time this video has been made, and I’ve shown you. From tomorrow, my experiment will start running, and there’ll be a 50/50 split between my main campaign and my experimental campaign in order to determine which bidding strategy will provide the best results.
It’s a very easy way to test bidding strategies, so if you’re a bit fearful of jumping across to a bidding strategy without having any testing going on, this is probably the best way to do it. Make sure you split your traffic, get a good understanding of whether something’s working or not, and if it does work, you can accelerate things and set everything live 100% of traffic towards the successful experiment. If it doesn’t work, then you’ve only hurt your campaign 50% of the time as opposed to 100% of the time, so you can really get a good understanding of your performance and improve things in your campaigns.
Thank you very much for watching this video. If you liked it, please leave a like below. Let me know in the comments if you’re going to start running some experiments to make sure you’re testing your campaigns to the max. I answer pretty much every single comment I get, so feel free to hit me up there. Check out the other content across my channel. Don’t forget to subscribe, and I’ll see you guys on my next video.