know edgeBeginner's Guide to AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE)


AdWords Campaign Experiments, commonly abbreviated as ACE, has been designed for the online marketer. More particularly, the feature allows marketers to isolate certain aspects of their Google AdWords campaigns, test the elements, and split off traffic in ways that are both profound and impactful. By doing so, marketers can enjoy the instant feedback that comes with PPC campaigns by funneling the data retrieved from these campaigns.

In this post, we're going to:

Introducing AdWords Campaign Experiments

Essentially, with AdWords Campaign Experiments, marketers should be able to test various elements, set up experiments, and measure the results of their campaigns. More particularly, the tool allows marketers to test placements, bids and keywords. With the tool, marketers should also be able to accomplish the following:

1. Ad Group Structure

Using AdWords Experiments, marketers can break ad groups down for purposes of trying different ad text and keyword combinations, as well as different segmentations and see how they will perform from the conversion and CTR (click through rate) perspective. This is highly effective for AdWords testing.

2. Keyword Match Types

The AdWords Campaign Experiments tool also comes in handy when one is looking to test different match types in an ad group to see how they will perform.

New Call-to-action

3. Keyword Expansion and Reduction

This is another of the amazing features that comes with the AdWords Campaign Experiments tool. In particular, AdWords Campaign Experiments will make it easier for people to add and/or remove both single and multiple keywords for new expansion opportunities, as well as eliminating keywords to see how it will affect the campaign. 

4. Keyword Bids 

ACE will also come with the ability to split-test bid changes from AdWords testing. 

Testing Using AdWords Campaign Experiments

The main consideration is what to test using Adwords Campaign Experiments. This means that marketers need to understand what will lead to a likely improvement in their campaigns for purposes of creating impactful test designs. 

So what should you consider when choosing what to test?

a) High Impact Areas

Marketers using AdWords Experiments should look for big spending Ad Groups and campaigns. More particularly, they should focus on the high volume segments of their campaigns where CPAs need more input.

b) Low Quality Scores 

If the campaign received low click through rates and presented low quality scores, the best solution would be to try different keyword and ad copy combinations as well as different keyword segmentations. By so doing, marketers will be better able to find structures that resonate with their searchers after performing the required AdWords testing. 

c) High Volume with Poor CPAs

When this happens, it is an indication that the broad match was inefficient. However, this should not stop the marketer from testing different matches and trying to convert campaigns from all broad and modified broad keywords.

d) Great CPAs with Low Volume 

When this happens, marketers should consider using AdWords Experiments to test keyword tool ideas that iterate themes that have been proved to work even if they do not drive enough volume.

e) Specific Search Queries

Even when there’s a keyword in the campaign that is sopping up all the clicks and impressions, the search query report may show that most of what the keyword is getting matched against is a specific query. In such a situation, it is recommended that one creates an experiment where they set the high volume keyword up as an exact match before seeing whether the impressions directed at specific keywords will improve conversions and CTRs. 

There are other great examples of the things one can test using AdWords Campaign Experiments, especially with respect to bidding experiments. 

Setting up ACE

To set AdWords Campaign Experiments up:

  1. Navigate to the campaign in the settings tab before scrolling to the bottom. Under the advanced section, the tool will show.
  2. Name the campaign and determine the percentage of the impressions you wish to dedicate to the test experiment.
  3. Save the settings on the screen and Google will allow the experiment to start.
  4. Before running the experiment, jump back to the Ad Groups tab to convert the Ad Group in question from the broad category to the modified broad one.
    1. Select the group to change where the experiments were enabled before toggling to the keyword tab. This will cause an experiment icon to appear next to every keyword.

Knowmad SEO CTA

Targeted Keywords

At this point, Marketers should be able to determine what they are going to do with every keyword targeted. In this case, leave the existing keywords to act as the control.

Then, set a fresh list of keywords up on the modified broad match for the experiment. This is easy to do. Just select every keyword and change them to control only.

After designating the broad matched keywords as the control, generate the list of modified broad match keywords. There are two free ways of doing this but first you want to export the keyword list.

Export them by: exporting the list of keywords from the Google AdWords interface by clicking on the button for downloading reports. Then, export the keyword list as a CSV report before copying the row of keywords from the MS-Excel sheet.

After collecting the keyword list, you have two options:

  1. Drop them into the Acquisio Modified Broad Match Keyword Tool. This nifty tool was designed to let marketers create modified broad-matched versions of keywords but with different controls. As such, the tool is effective for generating modified versions of targeted keywords. 
  2. The other option involves using the Modified Broad Match Keyword Tool. This spreadsheet automatically creates all variations of the modified broad match for the keywords. As such, it enables marketers with the ability to grab and test the different combinations using the AdWords Campaign Experiments tool.
    1. After that, select the output and input the new list of keywords into the Ad Group as experiment-only keywords. On saving, the experiment will be set up and ready to be made live and the corresponding results will be analyzed. 

The experiment can be enabled by going to the campaign tab from the settings tab and applying the launch changes before running the experiment. 

All in all, AdWords Campaign Experiments is great for testing keyword combinations and monitoring the results of the experiments. Using the tool, marketers should be able to come up with more profitable keywords that will increase click through rates and conversions on the websites and blogs they are promoting. 

Interested in learning more about how Knowmad's PPC services can help your business? Check out our pay per click management services here.


Matthew Wheeler

As a search marketing expert for Knowmad, Matt expands our clients’ online presence by designing campaigns that increase visibility, drive more leads, and grow revenue. His keen attention to detail and knack for noticing the little differences set him apart.


Search Engine Optimization Prices: The Truth About SEO Services Prices


What To Do When A Competitor Targets Your Branded Keyword