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By Holly Lieberman on June 05, 2014

The Importance of A/B Testing in PPC Advertising

PPC,

In PPC advertising, you need to know that your ads and landing pages are effective. A/B testing can help you determine what is working and what is bleeding your campaign of funds.

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing is simply testing two variants against one another. Everything will be identical except for a single element. For instance, you may test two landing pages against one another. Try two different headlines to see which one leads to better conversions. It's important to only have one element that is different between the two tests. For instance, do not change your ad text and landing page at the same time. Otherwise, you won't know which factor is the one that made the difference. Some elements that you can test:

  • Ad headlines and text.
  • Landing page colors.
  • Landing page text.
  • Banner ad size.
  • Call to action wording.
  • Adding a pop-up to a page.

How to A/B test PPC ads

What to Do Before You Start

Before building your test, look at your current analytics. See what sort of traffic you have been getting and how well that traffic converts.

The best thing you can do before testing is ask your customers what they would like to see. Instead of simply coming up with a test, survey customers first. They have perspective on your work that you can lack. After all, they are the people you are trying to reach. From the results, you can develop tests and see what works best in action

What Should You Test?

In some cases, it's good to start with small differences between one page and another. In others, try doing something drastic like going between a long sales letter on the landing page to a short bulleted list and a call to action. Or, change the wording of the call to action. In one, tell the customer "Offer ends soon!" and in the other "Offer ends Tuesday." By playing with variables large and small, you can get a much better handle on what works best with your prospects.

Determining a Winner

The page that is more effective is known as the Champion. But, be sure that you run the test long enough to see real results. For instance, if one page is getting 20% more clicks, it can seem that it is more effective. But, if those clicks are not converting into sign-ups, then you don't have enough data to determine whether one is better. You could need more data. Or, it could be time to test another element to see why people are clicking but not completing a transaction.

Test a number of elements over time to see what works best with your clientele. By examining what works best, you can dramatically increase the power of every dollar you spend on marketing.

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Published by Holly Lieberman June 5, 2014