Split testing is like a swear word to some site owners, but the most neglected sites of all are the ones that are already making money from pay per click campaigns because if it’s not broke, why fix it right? The trouble is, you never know how good your ROI could be if you stick with tried, but untested. PPC is the same as any other marketing technique in that some ads are good, but some ads are amazing and you only know the difference when you split test and then test some more.
Personally, I would never run a campaign without at least some of the budget devoted to a split test, but that’s just me. Some clients expect you to have insider knowledge about the best way to create an Adwords, Facebook or LinkedIn campaign for their product, service or industry sector, but knowledge comes with experience and my experience tells me to always strive for improvement. When you are a paying client, you are entitled to get what you are paying for, but it’s important to know what to expect when you ask someone to handle your pay-per-click.
Getting the Order Right
It’s my honest opinion that you should never buy a dog and bark yourself. By that, I mean don’t pay a PPC professional and then tell him where to spend your budget. A good PPC campaign is based around your product, but more importantly, it’s based around your target market. I can understand that some brands want more exposure on LinkedIn than on Facebook, but success with low costs and great ROI is only achievable by knowing your market in a hands-on sense. Your cost per click could be sky high on Adwords or LinkedIn because of tough competition, but the same demographic could cost half that amount on Facebook.
Should anyone let preconceptions about the ‘type’ of user on Facebook stop them improving their ROI? Surely, I don’t need to answer that one. I’m not championing Facebook PPC, far from it; I’m just saying that testing is critical for anyone who values their marketing spend. There’s no reason why a PPC ad should not bring in highly targeted traffic from Bing, Yahoo, Google or Facebook. All are valid and important to businesses with decent PPC budgets.
There’s no reason for someone with a £500 monthly budget to avoid split testing. It might be easier to see patterns with a £5k per month budget because you have much more data to play with, but testing should take place at every level. Test Google vs Bing or stay with Google and test one ad layout against another. Test on demographics; test different ad types, but whatever you do, test enough to know you are not wasting an opportunity to make more money another way.
Data is Key – Use it!
The main product of any PPC A/B split test is data. The chances are, both A and B will make money, but what if you have A/B/C/D? Then it starts to get confusing. If you have a £20k budget, you should be running multiple tests at any one-time, but this is where organisation is critical. People have different opinions, but common sense tells me you should test two variables at any one time, but always have controls. Essentially, you should test pretty much in the way demonstrated by the image below, but with your own variables (or use the ones suggested). How many levels you test to depends on your budget and ability to monitor and handle data.
If you need any help with your PPC, give us a call or comment below and we’ll do our best to help out.