5 Step PPC Ad Testing

Posted by justinfreid 1 Comment

You may be familiar with the sales motto ABC – Always Be Closing, well when it comes to PPC, Front Street Consulting’s motto is ABT or Alway Be Testing.

So Why Should You Be Testing Your PPC Ads?

User search behavior changes on a daily basis. Search behavior can be influenced by news outlets, new products, geographic regions and pretty much anything else that affects your industry. Staying on top of this is extremely important when managing your Google Adwords or MSN Adcenter PPC account.

Testing is something you should always be doing, especially when you are talking about ad variations. A text ad represents your your company/product on SERPs and may only get a few split seconds of attention. If it is properly optimized, that searcher is yours to convert, if not, well that another wasted impression.

Many small businesses run into issues with testing ad copy because their account does not receive a high volume of impressions. This can lead to issues because if you do not have enough data, you can make an ill informed decision. So how can a small business implement ad testing? Here is step by step instructions to do so.

Step 1: Pick Your Control Ad

Within each ad group you will be testing select one ad to be your ‘control’. This should be your best performing ad within the ad group and have quite a bit of data to back up your reason for choosing. This ad should deliver a clear message about your company or product and include a clear call to action.

Step 2: Create Your Variable Ad

For each ad group you are testing create an additional ad that will represent the variable of this test. This should be a variation of your Control Ad. For example if your control ad is as follows:

  • Cheap Contact Lenses
  • Order Contact Lenses Online
  • Cheap & Free Shipping. Order now!

Then your variable should be something like:

  • Cheap Contact Lenses
  • Buy Contact Lenses Online
  • Free Shipping, Low Prices, Order Now!

Since in this example we are talking about small businesses with low search volume, you only want to test two ads at a time to ensure you collect enough data. If you have other ads in the ad group you are testing, pause them.

Step 3: Collect Data

Depending on your industry, your keyword search volume and ad budget you may be able to collect data very quickly or it may take a week or two. In order to make an informed decision you need to have enough data to back it up. In order to do this you need a minimum of 1,000 impressions. The more data you have the better decision you can make.

Step 4: Review Data

Once you have collected enough data to make an informed decision you will want to look at different metrics to gauge how the ads performed. Here are a few that can help you make the decision.

  • CTR – Click through rate – This will tell you if the users found the ad intriguing or relevant enough to click the ad.
  • Conversion Rate – Compare the conversion rates of the two ads, does one out perform the other significantly?
  • Bounce Rate – If you have your Google Anlytics account linked up to your Adwords account you can review the bounce rates of ads. If your bounce rate it high it means the searcher did not find what they were looking for when they landed on your site. This raises a red flag for that text ad.

Be wary of using metrics like total conversions or total clicks. These can skew our thinking if one ad received a significantly larger amount of impressions.

Step 5: Repeat

Once you have found a winner, it is time to start over! Use the better performing ad as your control and create another ad to test against it.

One Response to ‘5 Step PPC Ad Testing’

  1. Jesse says:

    Awesome tips guys! Some solid points that can easily help me out with my catering company. We don’t have an abundance of impressions due to our geo-targeting. Thanks again!

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