The way-too-early AdWords holiday testing guide
Looking to run some tests in preparation for the holidays? Columnist Todd Saunders suggests some helpful ideas to get you started.
I know, I know, it’s still summer. But before you tell me to get lost, hear me out:
Now is the best time to test new strategies, find that perfect audience and lay the tracks for a relaxing holiday.
The beginning of Q4 is less than six weeks away, which means you have just enough time to properly test, adjust, optimize and master new AdWords features before you start ramping up for the holidays.
According to Google, one out of four shoppers will start their holiday shopping in October. About half will be done with their shopping by the time Cyber Monday and Black Friday even roll around. Big brands are going to try to bully their way to dominating the market, but preparing early will give you a distinct advantage in finding your perfect audience.
Let’s walk through best-practice testing methods, then go over four tests you should start running now.
Five quick AdWords testing tips
- Label your ads for testing. At the most basic level, use [Control] and [Test #]. Whatever you need to quickly orient yourself within the dashboard.
- Don’t overwrite existing ad groups or campaigns with new copy, creatives or structure. Always use a new ad to more easily compare results data.
- Low budget? Instead of testing small budget evenly throughout the week, put your budget into a single day and spend more time analyzing the results. You’ll reach insights more quickly.
- Patience. Let the data roll in before you call a winner. Not sure when you have a “winner?” Use this statistical significance calculator to get your answer
- If you’re testing creatives, manually switch the settings to rotate evenly indefinitely, and pick the winner yourself. I’ve seen Google “pick” an early winner and skew the data by serving it more frequently before significance is reached.
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