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Stepwise Procedure for A/B Testing of Responsive Search Ads

A/B testing in Google Ads is the best way to evaluate the performance of your ads and make changes to optimize the performance of the ads. With its recent announcement, Google has made known that responsive search ads will be the main text ad format from 1st July, 2022. Given this, it is best to brush up on A/B testing procedures so as to evaluate your ads.


Understanding A/B testing

A/B testing, or split testing is a method of evaluation of ad performance, wherein multiple versions of a variable like web page are shown to visitors to the page at the same time to judge the impact each version leaves on the website visitors. A/B testing in Google Ads helps publish the better performing ad more often than the others. The key factors looked into here are the click through rates (CTRs) and the conversion rates. In the traditional method of A/B testing, both of these metrics are multiplied to create another one named “conversions per impression”, which gives a more accurate picture of the performance of the ad. 

The problem with traditional A/B testing

The latest announcement from Google has established responsive search ads (RSAs) as the future of ads. Given this, it is important that the testing methodology also keeps up. The traditional method of A/B testing in Google Ads only considers the conversions per impression. But this will not provide an accurate picture of the performance of RSAs as they get over 4 times the impressions ETAs get. Therefore, the metric that best evaluates the performance of RSAs is “impressions per ad”, which is calculated by dividing the impressions of an ad type by the number of those ads. 

We being with Ad Strength Indicator

Google provides instant feedback of the responsive search ad you are writing by means of an Ad Strength indicator. This score takes into consideration the diversity of content, relevance and quantity of the RSA even before its serve. This metric is therefore a very good indicator of ad performance, and comes into play right as the ad is being generated. Studies by Google reveal that an increase in Ad Strength is directly proportional to a 3% increase in clicks. The easiest way to improve Ad Strength score is by following the guidelines laid down by Google in this regard. However, there is no need to be hung up on this indicator alone, as there are others too that together determine the performance of your RSA. 

The next indicator is Asset Performance Labels

Asset Performance Labels indicate what portions of the text of the RSA are performing the best and what should be optimized. This indicator comes into play once your RSA has over 5,000 impressions and has been at the top of search pages for more than 30 days. Google has published a key to understand what the different labels mean, so you can tweak your responsive search ad accordingly. 

An alternative to Asset Performance Label

If your ad has not accrued the required number of impressions in 30 days, you can still evaluate its performance through experiments, as listed below.

#1. Experiment on messaging

Generate multiple RSAs with different core messages. Every RSA can be broken down into 3 messaging elements – company name, value proposition, and call to action. The latter two provide the maximum scope for creativity as the company name remains the same. So, your experiment could have one sample that focuses on the variety of products offered, and another sample that focuses on customer ratings. Both these samples should be put through A/B testing in Google Ads and you can arrive at the message that garners most conversions and impressions. 

#2. Experiment on the high-performing message

Here, the message that performed better in the first experiment is placed in different positions like the headline, or description, to evaluate which yields better performance. You can now pin multiple assets to a single location, allowing you to also check how many assets pinned together yields the best results. 

If you are on the lookout for Google Ads services that include a correct evaluation of ad performance, look no further. Our team is more than happy to help you evaluate your ad performance and improve the same, if need be. 

Also Read: You Should Fix Your PPC Marketing Flaws Before 2022


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