Heidi Cridland

Heidi Cridland

Setting Up Google Ads Drafts And Experiments

Google has many brilliant tools to use, many you may know about, many you may not. One which we have discovered and are finding extremely useful is the new campaign drafts and experiments tool in Google Ads. If you do not know what this tool is or how to use it, that’s what we are here to explain!

Sure, you’ve been able to perform experiments in some ways previously but, it has never been as easy as it is now with this new tool from Google.

What Are Google Drafts and Experiments?

Google drafts and experiments ‘let you propose and test changes to your Search and Display Network campaigns.’ With this new tool, you can quite simply copy an existing campaign, make your changes, submit the new ‘draft’ campaign as an experiment, and run it alongside your existing campaign. You can then easily compare the two campaigns to measure and understand the impact of the changes you are planning before you decide to apply them.

Campaign Drafts: A draft campaign mirrors the set up of the original campaign. From here, you can prepare multiple changes to your campaign without actually applying them and affecting the results. Once you have finished all your changes, you can simply apply the changes to the campaign or run an experiment.

Campaign Experiments: You can only run an experiment after you have created a draft. The draft can then be used in an experiment. When setting up an experiment you can choose how much of your campaign budget is to be used to run the experiment and also how long you would like to run the experiment for. With the experiment running, your original campaign OR your experiment is entered into the auction when a search is performed. When you have enough data from your experiment, you can choose to either apply the changes or end the experiment without making any changes to the original campaign.

How To Set Up A Draft And Experiment

Draft Campaigns

  1. Log in to your Ads account.
  2. Select the menu item ‘Drafts and experiments’ on the left and ensure you are on the Campaign Drafts tab at the top.
  3. Start a new draft by clicking the blue plus button.
  4. Select the campaign you wish to make your changes to, enter a name for your draft campaign and click
  5. This campaign will know show under the Campaign Drafts tab and you can go about and make your changes like you would a normal campaign. All your changes will be automatically saved to the draft campaign so you can leave it at any point and come back to make further changes later.
  6. When you’ve made all the changes you wish to make you have 2 options: Apply the changes to the original campaign straight away or; create a new experiment and run it side by side with the original.


*Note: Experiments are only available for Search and Display Network campaigns and you can only create an experiment AFTER creating a draft.

  1. Ensure you are in the ‘drafts & experiments’ section of Google Ads. (You can find this in the left menu)
  2. Click on the draft you would like to use as your experiment. In the top section of the page you will see the draft status, type and original campaign. Once you know you are definitely in the right draft, click the APPLY button along the top.
  3. You will see a box appear with two options:
    1. Apply changes to the original campaign
    2. Run an experiment
  4. Choose Run an experiment’
  5. Name your experiment. We suggest something that explains what your experimenting with (eg. For a campaign you are testing Target CPA bidding, use the experiment name: Campaign Name – Target CPA Bidding)
  6. Choose a start date, an end date and the percentage of the traffic / budget you would like to allocate to the experiment.
  7. Once you are happy with everything, click create and your experiment is ready.

Ending An Experiment

While running an experiment you will be able to view data and compare it to the original campaign. When you feel like you have enough data to make decisions about what you want to do or your campaign ends, you will be able to either apply your changes or simply remove the experiment. Two options are given if you choose to apply the changes. You can either apply the changes to the original campaign or convert the experiment into a new campaign. If you choose the latter, your experiment will show with the same budget and dates as your original campaign and the original will be paused.

If you do not wish to apply the changes and the experiment has ended you can remove the experiment or simply leave it so you can review the data in the future. If you wish to end the experiment before your end date, simply change the end date in your experiment and it will stop running at the end of the day.

Need Help?

If all this seems just a little too daunting, our experienced Google Ads team is here to help. Simply give us a call or make an enquiry through our contact form to start the conversation and find out how we can help with your Google Ads and other online marketing efforts.

For other information on Google Ads drafts and experiments visit: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6318732?hl=en-AU


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Heidi Cridland
Heidi Cridland

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