The search world is not much different from real life.
You start off at age zero, you learn how to crawl, and eventually grow up to be self-sufficient. We all got there by testing what worked and what didn’t.
So…come on, if you did this for yourself, you should do it for your paid search campaigns too!
This is why Google created AdWords Controlled Experiments (ACE).
With ACE you are able to run split tests in your campaigns in a way that you have not been able to in the past. ACE is also compatible within Marin, Kenshoo, and other search management platforms.
Within ACE you are able to setup a control and an experiment on ad groups, ads, and keywords.
This is especially useful for ads where in the past you might have had to just run 2 ads to be able to split traffic equally across them.
Now you can have as many ads within your ad group, set which ones are your control/experiment, and then specify how much traffic you want to go to each.
Ad group testing is also interesting if you want to know how 2 ad groups with similarly themed ads/keywords perform when compared to each other. In the past – this type of test would be skewed as one ad group could dominate the other, and the traffic would not be significant to make a conclusion on the winner.
On the keyword level you are able to test what bid level works best for a single keyword or set of keywords. This is useful when you are trying to establish what your bids should be as you enter new markets.
ACE is also supported within AdWords Editor as you are able to run experiments in bulk by building a bulk import sheet of your controls/experiments.
If you are interested and ready to get started, the good folks over at Google created a setup guide here.