Google Ads announces in-campaign experimentation for Performance Max

Google Ads announces in-campaign experimentation for Performance Max
Google Ads

Google Ads this week unveiled a new feature for Performance Max campaigns: in-campaign experimentation. This functionality enables advertisers to test optimization strategies within a single campaign, enabling real-time data-driven decision-making.

The initial experiment offered through this new feature focuses on Final URL expansion. This feature, currently in beta, automatically replaces an advertiser's final URL with a potentially more relevant landing page from their website based on user search intent. According to Google Ads, advertisers using Final URL expansion within Performance Max campaigns have seen an average conversion/conversion value increase of over 9% at a similar cost-per-action (CPA) or return on ad spend (ROAS).

Benefits of in-campaign experimentation

This new functionality offers several potential benefits for advertisers:

  • Improved Performance: Testing Final URL expansion allows advertisers to determine if dynamically adjusting landing pages based on user intent leads to better campaign performance.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: The experiment provides clear data on how Final URL expansion impacts key metrics, empowering advertisers to make informed decisions about campaign optimization.
  • Simplified Testing: In-campaign experimentation eliminates the need to manage separate campaigns for testing purposes, streamlining the process.

How to participate in the experiment

Advertisers interested in participating in the Final URL expansion experiment can reach out to Google Ads support or their account team. Google has indicated plans to expand in-campaign experimentation to encompass additional Performance Max settings and features in the near future.

Understanding final URL expansion

Here's a closer look at Final URL expansion and how it functions within Performance Max campaigns:

  • Default Setting: Final URL expansion is enabled by default. Advertisers can choose to disable it during campaign setup or through campaign settings.
  • Matching User Intent: When enabled, Final URL expansion allows Google Ads to replace the final URL with a landing page on the advertiser's website considered more relevant to the user's search query.
  • Incompatibility with Store Goals: Final URL expansion is not supported for Performance Max campaigns focused solely on store-related goals (store visits, sales, contacts, and direction clicks).
  • Dynamic Asset Generation: With automatically created asset settings enabled, Google Ads may further optimize the campaign by generating dynamic headlines, descriptions, and additional assets tailored to the chosen landing page content.
  • URL Coverage: Final URL expansion can serve traffic on any non-excluded page within the specified domain.
  • Complementary Approach: While Final URL expansion refines landing page selection, advertisers can also utilize page feeds to provide Google Ads with additional URLs for consideration.

Addressing common concerns

The announcement includes a FAQ section that addresses common advertiser concerns regarding campaign performance and Final URL expansion:

  • Improving Campaign Performance: Google Ads suggests enabling automatically created asset settings (text assets and Final URL expansion) as a potential solution.
  • Negative Keywords for Performance: Advertisers can leverage account-level negative keywords to prevent ad delivery for specific terms while maintaining automatically created asset settings.
  • Traffic Control and URL Exclusion: Utilizing URL exclusion rules alongside enabled automatically created asset settings allows advertisers to maintain control over which pages receive campaign traffic.
  • Single Landing Page Scenarios: For situations where conversions are limited to a single page, advertisers can disable Final URL expansion while keeping automatically created text assets enabled.

Overall, Google Ads' introduction of in-campaign experimentation for Performance Max represents a significant development for advertisers. This new functionality enables data-driven optimization through real-time testing, potentially leading to improved campaign performance and return on ad spend. It's important to note that Final URL expansion is currently in beta, and advertisers should carefully consider the potential impact on their campaigns before opting into the experiment.

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