A/B testing has been a traditional practice to improve advertisements. It is the process of comparing two versions of the same ads and measuring the difference in performance. As a marketer, you must have done AB testing with your expanded text ads or ETAs.
However, Google has announced to discontinue ETAs from July 1, 2022, onwards, meaning that you won’t be able to create ETAs any longer. Instead, Google has recommended creating responsive search ads.
It calls for revising the ad testing practices.
Understanding the Definition of A/B Ad Testing
A/B Testing also known as split testing, is a method to find out which variable of the ad can work best. You create multiple variants of the same ad by changing headlines, body copy, call to action, etc. to see which variation is performing.
But conducting A/B tests is stressful and time-consuming as well. When you post new ad copy, load those ads, optimize them, and assess them, the job becomes burdensome.
Even creating copy can be overwhelming. Once you create several headline and body copy versions, you have to mix and match to prepare several combinations, upload them, etc.
Google Responsive Ads Has Made Manual A/B Testing Obsolete? May Be NOT
Google’s new responsive search ads (RSA) have brought smiles to the faces of advertisers being bothered by the stressful A/B tests. This new model is meant to automate A/B testing and PPC ad optimization.
With this ad type, you provide several headlines and descriptions when you create the ad. Then Google will come into action by optimizing your ad content to match search queries, analyzing different combinations of text, and figuring out the relevant one.
Even inexperienced PPC marketers can take advantage of Google Responsive Ads by adding multiple ads to a group.
Why does A/B Test Still Matter with Responsive Ads?
While RSA has minimized the hassles associated with ad testing, CTR (Click Through Rate) is still the key criterion for Google to pick your ads. That’s why the default setting for ad rotation is optimization. While it can go well with your CTR goals, you
Here, it is worth mentioning that the primary criterion for Google, based on which it picks these ads, is the Click Through Rate (CTR). That is the reason why the default setting for ad rotation is optimization. While it may work fine for marketers focused on CTR, the ones looking for conversions might not be happy with the way this model works.
Only focusing on conversion rate can make marketers overlook the conversion rate possibility of an ad.
It can lead to a few clicks due to a low CTR, thereby impacting the conversion rate. That’s why it is highly recommended for marketers to focus on the combination of conversion rate and CTR, which is known as “Conversions Per Impression” or CPI.
By aiming for CPI, advertisers can get better results from their ad campaigns.
Right A/B Testing Approach is Important for RSAs
RSA ads get more impressions than expanded text ads (ETA), as they ensure a better ad rank and therefore attract more queries. Impressions should be incorporated into your testing and analysis.
Any A/B ad test that includes RSAs should factor in impression data so that you can measure the performance. Moreover, it is important to account for impression volumes to ensure the right “boost”.
The Bottom Line:
Although A/B testing has been a common practice to experiment with the ads variation, the introduction of responsive search ads requires changes in A/B testing, as the traditional methodology of submitting multiple ads to an ad group might not bring results.
Keep in mind that impressions are also determined by the apart from keywords. And you need to keep this principle in mind while A/B testing RSA ads and look for the ad that can ensure good incrementality.