Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
is one of the most common features of a digital marketing campaign. It can also be one of the most expensive. For this reason, it’s imperative to not let any potential conversions
slip away. We highly recommend using an A/B test to ensure your PPC ad measures up. The process of A/B testing
is relatively simple though there are some important best practice guidelines that can often be overlooked.
Where Do I Start?
The most important aspect of PPC testing is knowing what you want to test and what you’re looking for. In most cases, you’ll test the headline, body text, link and keywords. We’ll talk about each aspect individually below.
This is one of the most important parts of your ad. This is what’s going to get the attention of the consumer. This should be clear and reflect what you’re offering. A shorter headline is normally better – try to include your keywords here.
This is the PPC equivalent of a meta description. When writing it, be clear and offer the reader a greater insight into what they’ll find on the next page.
The page your ad links to is very important for conversion. Once a user has clicked onto your ad, you want them to stay there and fulfil your desired outcome. When picking what page your ad links to, be sure to consider this in mind. What are you trying to get out of the ad? If you’re looking for more subscribers or buyers, be sure to lead the user in that direction. Linking to a homepage is not always the best option. Consider your desired outcome and then find a link to complement this.
It’s a simple fact of PPC advertising that some keywords will convert better than others. This is related to the search habits of your demographic. It’s possible to make an informed judgement about this though an A/B test is likely to deliver a more reliable analysis. We recommend basing a test around different keyword combinations and tracking the results to see what works best.
Analysing Your Results
As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to clearly understand what the desired outcome of your PPC ad is. Usually, you’ll monitor two main aspects of the ad performance; the click-throughs and conversions. Ideally a test will result in high numbers for both though this isn’t always the case. For instance, some search terms are more commonly used by customers who aren’t yet at the buying stage.
You should give your test a reasonable length of time. We recommend a minimum of 2/3 days. Be sure to keep track of exactly where your ad appears. The position of your ad can confound your results. It’s important to consider that these tests are not an exact science. You may need to adjust variables and run numerous tests before you find a formula which consistently works.
A Few Hints and Tips
If you want to conduct a successful and stress-free A/B test, it’s worth following these simple tips:
- Test variants simultaneously to ensure time doesn’t affect your results.
- Only change one variable per test, this way it’s easier to determine why your results have changed.
- Test early in the campaign and keep at it till you find a winning formula.
- Listen to the data, don’t deviate from a successful formula without good reason.
- Let your test run for long enough to be accurate.
Optimisation is Everything
A poorly optimised ad will take your money and deliver little return. An optimisation strategy is imperative for both organic and paid search. This type of advertising is always best achieved by experts with an insight and understanding of what works. We can help with the full range of paid search and PPC services to ensure your brand stands out. This can increase your brand’s visibility drastically. Don’t forget that 75% of web traffic originates at search engines and by being on the first page of Google, you can distribute your message to 85% of potential customers. Find out more about how we can run your PPC or overall digital marketing campaign here.