This article explains the methodology behind testing landing pages and outlines a few different ways to approach your tests. These instructions are independent from Marin's built-in Landing Page Testing tool, as some Marin users prefer to set up their own test that does not rely on Marin's methodology for determining test winners and losers.
If you prefer to set up a landing page test using Marin's built-in testing tool, check out our dedicated article.
How To Set Up Landing Page Tests
To test your landing pages fairly, you will need to make certain your ads are set to Rotate Indefinitely. You can learn more about ad rotation from our article Ad Rotation Options With Google.
Create A New Dimension
The first step in creating your new landing page test will be to create a Dimension, which you can use to compare the performance of your landing pages across groups, campaigns, and publishers. Follow the steps below to create your new Dimension.
- Click the Admin tab.
- Click Dimensions.
- Click the Create New Dimension button ('+' icon).
- Name your new Dimension Landing Page Test. A description is optional.
- Click Advanced Settings and select Tagging and Rollup. This will allow your data to roll up across campaigns and ad groups. Tagging and Rollup mode offers full analysis capabilities associated with dimensions that allows you to see your dimension rulled up into summarized metrics for everything that has been tagged with a specific dimension. You can then create reports based on your dimension data.
- Click Continue.
You'll have an opportunity to tag your creatives with Dimensions in the next step. If you'd like to learn more about creating and tagging Dimensions, check out our dedicated article.
Create New Ads
The next step is to create your new ads.
- First, you will need to create a new bulkskeet, which you will use to upload your new creatives in MarinOne. This file should contain the following headers: Account, Campaign, Group, Headline, Headline 2, Description, Display URL Nav 1/Nav 2 (Optional), Landing Page, and Landing Page Test.
Landing Page Test is the column that will be used to tag creatives with the new Dimension that we created.
Note: For some publishers, you may need to swap out the Landing Page column for the Destination URL column.
- Create as many identical creatives in each group as there are landing pages being tested. If you have 3 landing pages you'd like to test, you will need to create 3 identical creatives, swapping out landing pages, which will be added to all groups where the testing is taking place. Your new creatives will be identical in all ways except for their landing page and their Landing Page Test Dimension tag.
Keep in mind that the more landing pages you're testing, the longer your test might take to determine a clear winner.
- For each identical creative, apply a different test landing page in the Landing Page column (or Destination URL for some publishers). If you're using the URL Builder, your tracking parameters will be automatically appended. Otherwise, please be sure to upload a Destination URL with your tracking parameters already applied.
- Fill in the Landing Page Test column, labeling each creative and its associated landing page appropriately in order to identify it later. For example, you might label your Landing Page Dimension tags as Home, Control, Test LP, Coupon Page, etc. depending on the landing pages you're using.
- Finally, upload your new creatives into MarinOne and sync with the publishers. If you'd like to learn more about performing bulk uploads in MarinOne, check out our dedicated article.
Pause Old Creatives
To create a fair landing page test, it's recommended that you pause your currently-live ads and create new batches of ads as clones of your originals. This way, all sets of ads that are part of your test will start rotation without historical data.
- First, navigate to the Ads tab.
- Next, filter the Groups column for groups that will be part of your new landing page test.
- From the Column Selector, bring in the Creation Date column.
- Place a filter on your Creation Date column. Select a date prior to your bulk upload of your new test creatives. For example, if you created your new creatives today, select On or before yesterday's date so that your newest creatives will not be included.
- Super-select all creatives within your filter criteria, then select the Pause button above the grid.
- Once your old creatives have been paused, be sure to navigate to the Activity Log section and Post your latest updates to your publisher account. If you don't post these manually, they will be included with the nightly sync, as long as your changes were not made in held status.
Remove Keyword-Level URLs
The next step is to remove your keyword-level URLs within the groups where your landing page test is taking place.
- Navigate to the Keywords tab.
- Filter for all keywords that live in your test ad groups. You may need to apply additional filters for publisher or campaign, depending on where your landing page test is taking place. Be sure you apply filters selectively so that you don't accidentally remove keyword-level URLs from groups that are not part of your test.
- From the Column Selector, add the Status column.
- Place a filter on your Status column for All but deleted.
- Once your filter is in place, create a report containing the following columns: Landing Page (or Destination URL for some publishers), Account, Campaign, Group, Keyword, and Match Type. To learn more about creating a one-time report, check out our dedicated article here.
- Once you have created and downloaded your report, remove the contents of the Landing Page (or Destination URL) column.
- Bulk upload your report back into MarinOne with its newly-empty Landing Page/Destination URL column.
- Post your changes to the publisher from the Activity Log.
Viewing Your Landing Page Test Results
Follow the instructions below to track the performance of the landing page test.
- Navigate to the Dimensions tab in the top navigation.
- Use the Column Selector to add the Landing Page Test dimension column to your grid.
- In the Roll up by setting, choose Creative.
- You can then use your Column Selector to bring in any metrics columns you need, such as Conversions, Revenue, or Conversion Rate. Use the Export button above the grid to report on your new landing page performance.
Ending The Landing Page Test
To end the landing page test, you will simply need to reverse the steps that were taken to start it. In general, the steps are:
- Rebuild the relevant Google keyword URLs using the winning landing page from your test.
- Activate your old creatives.
- Pause or Delete your test creatives.
Please refer to the process above for details on each of these steps. You will simply do the opposite of each step listed, so when the steps above indicate you should pause creatives, you will instead re-activate creatives or when the steps above indicate you should remove keyword-level URLs, you will instead add keyword-level URLs.