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January 29, 2016

Google drafts & experiments

Google drafts & experiments: mobile bid adjustments

Being a Google partner gives our marketing department plenty of advantages; we are often the first to hear about new developments and changes and the first to be taught new skills directly from Google. But more excitingly we are the first to get our hands on any new Beta features of AdWords and Analytics.

Take for example Google Drafts & Experiments for AdWords. In November, we received a call from our account manager at Google to make us aware we were one of only 5% chosen to beta test this new feature. That same day we identified a pain point in one of our clients campaigns and set about creating our first draft experiment.

Now before I get into what it is we tested, I’ll first briefly explain what Google Drafts and Experiments is in a nutshell.

Google drafts & experiments – what is it?

Google Drafts & Experiments is a new feature of Google AdWords which not only allows you to test changes you make to your AdWords but also allows you to test any changes you make in parallel with your unchanged campaign. By running an experiment side-by-side using the same time frame and traffic, the test is much fairer than the ‘wait and see’ method currently being used. You can also choose what percentage of traffic you want to test the changes against, this means you no longer have to risk all your traffic.

For example, if you would like to see how reducing or raising your bids on a certain Ad Group effects conversion and cost, you could test the effects over a percentage of your traffic over any chosen period of time. You can then compare the data to determine whether or not to make these changes will be made permanent.

Our experiment

Having decided on a pain point on a customer’s account, we created an experiment to test a mobile bid adjustment on one popular Ad Group. Now this Ad Group already had -40% mobile bid adjustment applied however the cost per conversion was still more than we would’ve liked. We decided to test how much affect a -60% mobile bid adjustment would have on this ad group. We ran the test over a period of 31 days and split the experiment 50/50 over the traffic. The results were very interesting.

The results

Impressions on the Ad Group dropped by 5% but clicks increased by 4.5%, whilst the average position maintained the same. Now for the good part; conversions rose by a staggering 83% and the cost per conversion was reduced by an impressive 33%.

After such positive results we decided to make the changes permanent and have now began experiments on all the ad groups for this particular customer.

In summary

Now we could have tested a reduced mobile bid adjustment without using Drafts & Experiments, but if we trialled our small experiment without this new feature we would of had to find out the results the hard way. Our decision to change the mobile bid adjustment could have easily been a wrong decision to make, possibly preventing conversions and being costly to the business. Thanks to this new feature we were able to experiment with the safety of knowing we weren’t affecting all the traffic to that particular Ad Group.

Already we are massive fans of the Drafts & Experiments feature, and can’t wait to carry out more experiments and help continue to optimise the accounts we manage.

Want to try Google drafts & experiments?
You can now request Beta access for yourself by submitting a request here.