#AdsenseWednesdays: How to Setup A/B Tests or Experiments in Adsense

Can’t decide where to put an ad unit? Or what background color is best for your ad? With the different formatting and placement options for your ad units, it can be tough to decide what is best for your site and users.

A/B test is a comparison of 2 items – A and B,  that can help determine which is a better choice. Rather than guessing, you run an A/B test using the Experiments feature in your Adsense account to find out which setup is the best performing.

For example, you want to figure out whether a green background on your text ads would outperform the white background on your current ad. To do this test, you decide to perform an experiment.

TIP: To prepare for an experiment,  you must first decide exactly what you’d like to test. If there are multiple changes you’d like to try – like background color and font size – it’s best to run two different experiments, so that you can easily measure the impact of each change.

Related Read: 5 Things Your Site Visitors Can Teach You About Ad Placement

To create an experiment:

  1. First, select the original ad unit you want to run the experiment on.
  2. Then select which settings you’d like to change for the other ad unit.
  3. Decide whether you want Google to determine how to best split your traffic or define this for yourself.

TIP: We highly recommend that you let Google optimize the traffic split for you as this will maximize the efficiency of your experiment.

Once your experiment is up and running, you can monitor its progress. After  24 hours, you should see data in both the Experiment list and the Experiments report. Over time, you should see either the original ad unit or the variation outperform the other.

To help you decide the right time to choose your winner, we calculate a confidence score for the two settings. This score tells you how likely the original or the variation is to be the highest-earning version in the long term. If one of the settings has reached 95% or greater confidence, you’ll see the button for that setting highlighted in blue.

TIP: We recommend that you wait until this point before you implement the winner.

If you choose the original as a winner, then the settings of the original ad unit are retained. If you choose the variation as the winner, then we apply the settings of the variation to the original unit. In either case, we’ll stop the experiment and your site will show the ads with the setting you picked as the winner.

Source: youtube.com/watch?v=041NNWErNrQ

Need help with this? Worry no more!  Premium publishers can coordinate with our in-house ad optimization specialists on how to conduct A/B tests in Adsense and Ad Exchange. Contact us today.

You can also sign-up for FREE to Ad Exchange or become a Premium Publisher.


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Kean Graham

CEO and Founder at MonetizeMore

Kean is the resident expert in Ad Optimization covering areas like AdSense Optimization, DFP Management, and third-party ad network partnerships. Kean believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals and holistic optimization as keys to effective and consistent ad revenue increases.

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