Why You Should be Using Campaign Experiments for Landing Page Tests

July 19, 2019

Beyond ad copy, landing page selection also plays a large role in how well your marketing efforts will perform. Anyone can give you their subjective opinion on a landing page, but what use is personal opinion if it isn’t backed up by data? If I were able to tell you with certainty that landing page B will lower your CPA by 10% over landing page A, it shouldn’t really matter which one looks “better” to an observer, right? 

This is exactly what you can do with Google Ads campaign experiments. You’re able to split a portion (or even 50/50) of your traffic between landing pages, and learn insights into which landing page is the clear winner.

Typically an ad group is set up like so:

A few ad variations that point to one landing page. Now you might be wondering why you can’t just duplicate the ads and send them to a second landing page like below:

Obviously you can do that, no one is stopping you – but to put it simply: this is a cumbersome and wasteful method that doesn’t result in statistically significant results. Can you imagine duplicating ads across the entire account just to test landing pages? What if you had three you wanted to test; do you want to triple the ads? On top of that there is no way to guarantee a specific amount of traffic is split between landing page #1 and #2 using this approach.

With campaign experiments you’re able to isolate tests and diverge a specific percentage of traffic over to landing page #2 without creating an excessive amount of ads within your account. You can even set a specific length of time to run the experiment, giving you multiple ways to control spend when running a test.

Why Optimizing for Conversion Rate Only, is Bad

Once your experiment is up and running, you are able to quickly compare KPIs such as cost-per-click (CPC), conversion rate (CVR), cost per acquisition (CPA), and many more. Google Ads will actually denote that these changes have statistical significance with a blue asterisk. An example shown below:

These are important and necessary to consider when optimizing landing pages correctly. For example, if you were to solely optimize a landing page for conversion rate without any other factors considered, you could still end up with a higher CPA or lower ROI. How can this happen? A higher CPA could be caused by higher CPCs because your new landing page has a lower quality score vs your original page. This means although you are converting at a higher rate, you’re potentially wasting more money since CPA has increased on those ads. This example shows that optimizing for only CVR is missing the true goal, which is to ultimately make more money.

Now that you’re well informed, and would like to set your own experiment up, click on the drafts & experiments tab towards the bottom of the menu on the left hand side of the Google Ads UI.

Once there, click the + sign to create your first draft. You will need to create a draft before configuring an experiment.

I hope this entry encourages you to consider all aspects when testing new landing pages. If you wish to learn more detail on how to set on up for yourself, check out Tim’s blog post here for a step-by-step guide!