Before you start testing your hypothesis; you need to know the scale of the test.
That brings us to the two different types of ad testing:
- Single ad group testing
- Multi-ad group testing
With single ad group testing, you examine the ad data for only that ad group. Even if you are testing in thousands of different ad groups, you will only examine the ad data within the ad group itself.
With multi-ad group testing, you examine the data at the hypothesis level (which can be an ad line, template, label, a pattern, etc) across all the ad groups where you are running a test.
When you consider your ad data, you should be thinking about the insights gleamed from any ad tests and if that data can be used elsewhere in your account.
For instance, if you run a test within a single ad group; you will know the best ad for the targeting in that ad group (targeting can be keywords, lists, placements, etc). However, you won’t know if that ad will perform well in another ad group until you test it in the other ad group.
WIth multi-ad group testing, you are testing an idea across many ad groups and therefore, you will understand what line (or concept) is best across all the ad groups used in that test.
Single ad group testing
- Best for high traffic ad groups
- Best for brand ad groups
- Easy to get started, you just need multiple ads per ad group
- Only receive insights for a single ad group
- Need a fair amount of traffic to reach minimum data requirements so you can’t test low volume ad groups
Multi-ad group testing
- Best for templated created ads
- Best for small data accounts (since you are combining data at the test level, even small accounts can benefit from ad testing)
- Best for market research and testing hypothesis
- Best for massive accounts
- You are examining the overall ideas; not the individual ad groups. So some ad groups might perform better with a different idea; but the overall weighted average will show you the global winner.
- Since the data is at the idea level, and not at the targeting, it’s not good for testing most brand terms as you want the best brand ad possible and not an overall idea winner
- Can be difficult to setup and measure if you aren’t using the correct tools.
Which to use?
If you are testing very high value targets, such as brand terms or your hero keywords; then it is best to use single ad group testing as you will find the best ad for each targeting type.
If you are testing ideas, templates, or massive accounts and want insights that can be applied to many ad groups, and even landing pages or other marketing channels, then multi-ad group testing is best.
Once you have determined your hypothesis and where you will test, the next step is to choose what metrics will tell you that your ad tests are winners and losers.