We received a question about testing ads in Google AdWords from one of our clients. As we have mentioned in the past, there are many different ways to test ads with pay-per-click advertising. The most common are A/B testing and multivariate testing. A/B testing is a method of marketing testing by which a baseline control sample is compared to a variety of single-variable test samples in order to improve response rates. Multivariate testing or multi-variable testing is a technique for testing hypotheses on complex multi-variable systems, especially used in testing market perceptions.
Unfortunately, Google AdWords rarely provides an “apples to apples” comparison of the ads because it does not “serve” the ads at an equal distribution. There are several ways to streamline the results for the best data.
1. Add Conversion Tracking to the Campaign.
2. Link to Google Analytics for overall impact.
3. Calculate the Sample Size of the Market and do not make any changes until all ads reach the sample size or greater.
4. Isolate the ads with consistent testing methods (day of the week, time, etc.). Not always the best method.