Back in February, Google announced two exiting new AdWords features to help you make smarter advertising decisions. Campaign drafts and experiments give you a chance to test changes to your campaigns and see what kind of results you can expect, before actually implementing them.

That’s a pretty handy crystal ball Google dished out to advertisers and our early impressions have been very positive. So here’s how you can set up campaign drafts and experiments to test potential changes before sending them live.

 

How to create a draft in AdWords

To create a campaign draft in AdWords you start by selecting the campaign you want to work with and click the Drafts button to the top right of the dashboard:

draft-button

Note: you can only create drafts for search campaigns at this stage

 

From the drop-down menu you’ll want to click Create new and then name your draft in the popup box.

popup

That’s your draft all set up and ready to work with – simple as that. Now you can start making changes to your campaign without them taking effect. For example, we’re going to increase the Default Max. CPC for an ad group in our dummy campaign:

max-cpc

Once you’re done with your changes, you can click the Apply button to the top-right of the dash, where the Drafts button originally was:

apply

This will bring up two options: you can either apply these changes to the campaign or run an experiment before deciding whether to send them live.

run-or-test

We don’t want to update our campaign with these changes yet, so we’re going to click the Run an experiment option and click Apply.

 

The next box that pops up will ask you to name your experiment, set the time period you want to test for and the percentage of your budget you want to allocate to the experiment. This is set to 50% by default and we recommend sticking with this to get the most accurate picture from your results.

create-experiment

Next you’ll be taken to the All experiments page by default. In the Status column you’ll see your experiment is labelled Creating…

first-experiment

It could take a matter of minutes or several hours for your experiment to run. When that happens it will be given the new status of Active.

 

Once your experiment has been active for at least a day you’ll start to see a comparison of the results from your changes against the existing campaign settings. It’s up to you how long you run your experiment before you decide to implement the changes or ditch them altogether. If you’ve set an end date for your experiment, data will stop collecting once the end date passes.

results

If you’re happy with the results from your experiment, you can apply them to your campaign by clicking the Apply button to the top-right of the dash once again. You can also end your experiment at any point by going to the experiments page, selecting the tick box for your experiment and clicking Remove.

remove

So that’s how to set up campaign drafts and experiments in AdWords. There’s nothing difficult about setting them up so go ahead and see what you improvements you can make with them. Just remember these changes don’t come free – you still have to pay for that traffic with a portion of your budget. And you’ll also want to run your experiments for long enough to counteract variables from weekends, public holidays and other seasonal changes that can affect the results of your campaigns as standard.