Pay-per-click advertising is a key part of marketing strategies for businesses of all size. The trouble is it’s also one of the most expensive, which means you don’t have much room for error. Every wasted click costs you money and the only way to reduce this number and max profits is to regularly test campaigns and streamline your PPC strategy.

We’ve already looked at the importance of landing page optimisation and today we’ll be talking about A/B testing your PPC ads themselves. So let’s get to it!

First, what are you going to test?

The good thing about testing PPC ads is it’s generally simpler than testing other things, like a landing page. The fact is there are less things to test, which means you can pretty much work your way through the following elements:

  • Headlines
  • Ad copy
  • Links
  • Keywords

That’s it! So for your first set of A/B tests you can simply start with headlines and work your way down to keywords. Once you do this a few times you’ll start to get a feel for the strengths and weaknesses of your ads and you’ll know which elements need more focus.

What goal are you testing for?

Before you get started you also need to know precisely what goal you’re testing for. If your campaign is simply designed to raise brand awareness then clicks could be all you need, but it’s more likely you want some sort of conversion to happen on your landing page. Maybe your aim is to have people sign up to your newsletter or buy a product outright; whatever your goal, you need to associate a metric to it so you can monitor results.

This is why we looked at landing pages before we moved on to testing your PPC ads – because it’s much easier to test ads once you know your landing pages are in order.

Track your results and analyse

At this stage you should know what you’re testing, which goal you’re testing for and the metrics you need to monitor. Generally speaking your key metrics will be click-thoughs and conversions related to these leads. Your aim from here is pretty simple: to increase the ratio of conversions against clicks, as well as overall click throughs.

Now it’s time to make your change and run two versions of your ad to see which one comes out on top. To do this you simply need to create another ad in your chosen campaign which will basically compete against the original.

If you’re not sure how to go about changing your ads, it’s always a good idea to focus on user intent. For example, what’s the overall selling point of your headline – does it tell searchers you’re the cheapest, the best, most experienced or safest option? It could be something else entirely, but above all you want to know you’re targeting users with the right selling point and take it from there.

We’re not done with A/B ad tests yet

We’ll leave it here for this week, but you can expect to see more posts on A/B ad testing soon. Next time we’ll look at how to test the individual elements of your ads for better results so check back in with us soon!