A Basic Guide to PPC Testing: How to Optimize Your Ads for Greater Conversions

A Basic Guide to PPC Testing: How to Optimize Your Ads for Greater Conversions

Crafting effective PPC ads in today’s competitive digital landscape can be challenging amid the constant influx of paid online promotions. Nevertheless, the most successful PPC ads don’t emerge as one-time creations but are the outcome of ongoing scrutiny, testing, and refinement.

Establishing a framework rooted in persistent ad testing stands as the linchpin for a lucrative PPC ad campaign. This approach guarantees that you systematically identify and address any vulnerabilities in your campaign, preventing potential conversion losses.

Let’s delve into the key subjects we’ll explore:

  • What is PPC testing?
  • Why is A/B testing for PPC important?
  • 3 PPC testing methods
  • 3 PPC ad tests to get you started
  • PPC testing best practices
  • 5 best testing tools to track your results
  • Earn more leads with PPC testing

“Looking to maximize the impact of your PPC campaigns and optimize your ad spend? Our team of skilled PPC experts is here to ensure you get the best value for your money. By leveraging our comprehensive market analysis, industry expertise, and state-of-the-art technology, we can help you minimize budget wastage across all your PPC campaigns.

Connect with us online today to have a chat with an experienced strategist. Let’s explore the most fitting options for your business and take your advertising efforts to the next level!”

What is PPC testing?

Optimizing your PPC performance through testing, often referred to as “A/B testing for PPC,” revolves around systematically trying out different elements of your advertising strategy. By conducting trials with various ad versions, features, and configurations, you can identify the most effective approach for connecting with your desired audience. This iterative process allows you to refine your campaign based on real data, ensuring that you resonate better with your target audience and achieve optimal results.

Why is A/B testing for PPC important?

Testing your PPC ads is crucial for understanding their effectiveness and assessing the value of your investment. By analyzing the performance of your ads, you gain valuable insights into what works well and what doesn’t. Identifying trends among your top-performing ads enables you to create successful templates for future campaigns. Simultaneously, this process helps you pinpoint the characteristics of underperforming ads, guiding you in refining your strategies for better results.

3 PPC testing methods

Crafting a successful experiment is crucial to yield actionable outcomes. Selecting an appropriate testing method depends on the available data and the variables under consideration. In the realm of PPC ad testing, three key methods prevail:

  1. Before/after tests
  2. Drafts and experiments
  3. Scheduled A/B tests

There are benefits and drawbacks to using each of these approaches.

1. Before/after tests

When it comes to optimizing elements like product names, descriptions, photos, and pricing in your feeds—tasks that can be time-consuming or challenging to modify—employing before-and-after testing is a highly effective best practice. This method involves a thorough comparison of the dynamics between your experimental and control groups, allowing you to analyze the differences in their connections. This approach is often the most reliable way to test and experiment with new variables in Google Shopping, ensuring that you can fine-tune your strategies for better performance.

2. Drafts and experiments

The drafts and experiments testing method provides a high degree of flexibility, particularly when assessing the effectiveness of various elements such as landing pages, advertisements, and match types. This approach allows you to gauge the impact of adjustments to your ads’ features, such as ad extensions or audience lists, on the overall performance of your campaign.

Drafts enable you to replicate your ad campaign and make modifications to the specific elements you wish to test. This allows for experimentation with different configurations and variables without the concern of disrupting active campaigns.

Upon finalizing your initial draft, you can seamlessly transition to the next stage and commence the experimentation process.

Experiments play a crucial role in evaluating ad performance, offering insights into the consequences of adjustments and modifications to elements before implementing them in a live campaign.

Once your draft configuration is transformed into an experiment, you can choose a subset of your traffic for testing, along with a specified time duration. This method ensures a systematic and controlled approach to refining your advertising strategy.

3. Scheduled A/B tests

Optimizing your target keywords is key for successful A/B testing, especially when it comes to tweaking match types and incorporating negative modifications. Don’t forget to experiment with the structure, pricing, and components of your Google Shopping campaigns for optimal results. For a more controlled approach, consider scheduling A/B tests manually, allowing you to run tests sequentially instead of simultaneously. This prevents potential overlap in your campaigns and proves especially useful when the drafts and experiments method falls short.

3 PPC ad tests to get you started on optimizing your ads for greater conversions

Now that you’ve grasped the fundamentals of A/B testing, it’s time to pinpoint the specific elements of your PPC ads that will undergo experimentation.

While the possibilities are vast, here are three A/B tests for your PPC ads to kickstart your optimization journey:

  1. Testing ad copy
  2. Testing landing pages
  3. Testing extensions

“Always remember to experiment with new ad versions and features to ensure that your ads are consistently effective. However, it’s crucial to focus on testing one variable at a time. This approach allows you to fine-tune your advertising strategy for optimal results and ensures that your audience sees the most compelling ads.”

1. Testing ad copy

The click-through rate (CTR) is the sole metric that matters when testing ad copy since the point of the test is to determine which version of the ad encourages readers to click through to the website.

You have to run several tests on different features or elements of your ad copy to obtain the most precise picture of what’s working and what isn’t. That way, you learn how to optimize and improve your ad’s performance.

Here are some of the things you should test within your ad copy for better results.

The delivery of the offer

How you deliver your promotions or deals in the ad’s headline is key to attracting potential customers. Therefore, you must evaluate several delivery methods to determine what works best to grab your target audience’s attention.

For example, you can test whether the version of the ad copy, “10% Off” or “$15 Off,” results in more clicks.

Sense of urgency

One of the most effective ways to persuade clients that products are limited and drive them to make a purchase is to evoke a sense of urgency. So when running an ad campaign, you’ll want to test different sense of urgency lines in your headline to find the one that works.

For example, you can try “Limited Time Offer” against “Limited Supply.”Call-to-action (CTA)

Simply slapping any old CTA onto your ad without giving it any thought is the worst thing you can do if you’re trying to maximize CTR. It’s crucial to test out many CTAs to identify the one that results in the most significant number of qualified leads.

For instance, you can experiment with “Buy Now” and “Place Your Order.”

Call-to-action (CTA)

Simply slapping any old CTA onto your ad without giving it any thought is the worst thing you can do if you’re trying to maximize CTR. It’s crucial to test out many CTAs to identify the one that results in the most significant number of qualified leads.

For instance, you can experiment with “Buy Now” and “Place Your Order.”

Ideally, you’d want an increase in your conversion rate or return on ad spend (ROAS), but you can’t pin it on the altered variable. However, if you already know your total ad revenue and total ad spend, you can use the Tap for Tech ROAS Calculator to get your exact returns from your ads.

2. Testing landing pages

So, you’ve got the user’s attention, and they’ve clicked on your ad – great! Now, let’s optimize that landing page for maximum conversions. There are two approaches: tweaking your existing page or redirecting users to a different page on your site.

Tweaking Your Current Landing Page

In this PPC ad testing phase, the goal is to find that magic tweak to your page design that skyrockets your conversion rates. To do this, tools like Microsoft Clarity and user testing become your best buddies. Look out for:

  • Clickable Components: Identify elements that users should click on but aren’t.
  • User Engagement: Note items users try to click but can’t.
  • User Experience: Watch out for excessive scrolling or page flipping.

Now, what changes can you make to your landing page?

  • Replace a mandatory click (like selecting a price) with a prominent “Buy Now” button.
  • Integrate an “Add to Cart” button or a sticky appointment booking widget for seamless navigation.
  • Transform unclickable images into interactive links.

Additionally, consider designing a dedicated landing page for PPC ad clicks. Make it a mini-hub with pricing details, FAQs, product descriptions, and a clear Call to Action (CTA).

Redirecting to a Different Page

If your paid traffic is landing on your homepage, it’s time for A/B testing. Compare this against directing users to product pages, special offers, shopping carts, or other key pages.

Remember, the key is to continually refine and test. Your landing page is your virtual storefront – make it enticing, user-friendly, and conversion-driven.

Optimizing for both user experience and search engines will ensure your landing page not only converts well but also ranks higher in search results. Happy testing!

3. Testing extensions

Boosting your online presence is a game-changer, and ad extensions play a crucial role. To maximize click-through rates (CTR) and pageviews, it’s vital to choose the right extensions and continually assess their impact.

Sitelink Extensions:

  • Make your ads more clickable with site link extensions. These appear beneath your ad, offering clickable links to specific parts of your site. Test their effectiveness by experimenting with different site URLs and copy variations. Find what resonates best with your audience.

Structured Snippets:

  • Enhance your ad copy with structured snippets that showcase your product’s features and benefits. While these extensions don’t include active links, they provide valuable information. Experiment with different lists, tweaking both the features and benefits highlighted, as well as their order.

Price Extensions:

  • Drive engagement by adding clickable “Rates From” components at the bottom of your ad. Test various price points and listing formats for your products or services. For instance, compare “no-name golf t-shirts” to “no-name round necks” to see what attracts your audience.

And if you have a mobile app, consider the game-changing potential of an app extension. It might just be the boost your downloads need.

Remember, when delving into the data, focus on what matters. When you check extension data, default settings show all the information associated with that extension. Analyze and refine based on what works best for your business.

PPC testing best practices

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that, regardless of what you’re selling, you will need reasonably compelling content to make your offering stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Look at some of the best practices for running successful PPC ad campaigns.

Emotional appeal

Crafting emotionally resonant advertisements can substantially boost click-through rates (CTR). Therefore, an effective strategy for creating and testing your ads involves understanding the emotions of your target audience. Discover what resonates with them or turns them off, identify their key concerns, and explore how your product or service can provide solutions.

If you encounter challenges, explore popular headlines on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Although headline generators are typically associated with generating blog post ideas, they can also assist in infusing emotive headlines into your ad copy.

Prices

Prices may both help and hinder your PPC marketing campaigns. On one side, being transparent about your price structure equips users with crucial knowledge. It speeds up the buying process for everyone. On the other side, the price may discourage customers since it indicates that they must part with their cash.

This is particularly the case if your offering is more expensive than others shown in the search results. As a result, testing is the first step in determining the best strategy.

Promotions

Boosting engagement in PPC advertising often involves incorporating quantitative promotions, such as discounts, tiered pricing, or limited-time deals. Craft compelling headlines like “Enjoy a 75% discount on stylish home décor accessories” instead of a bland “home décor accessories on sale.” Experiment with diverse ad copy featuring precise percentages, accurate prices, and well-defined offers to enhance your Click-Through Rates (CTRs). Another effective strategy is testing your discount approach on prominent figures to gauge their impact on performance.

Abbreviated and actual numerical values

Incorporating statistics into your ads, such as stock levels, percentages, or prices, can significantly boost their appeal by providing concrete information. By featuring numbers in your advertisements, you not only make them more engaging but also set yourself apart from the multitude of PPC ads out there.

Numbers lend credibility to your brand, showcasing that you have reliable data to support your assertions. To optimize your advertising strategy, consider experimenting with how your target audience responds to abbreviated versus full numerical values. For instance, test whether there’s a noticeable difference in user engagement between ads displaying “1M” and “1,000,000.”

Manipulating numbers creatively is a powerful way to make your ads stand out and capture the attention of your audience.

CTAs

As obvious as it may be, people have varying responses to ads. Your presentation or how you encourage your audience to engage with your brand or try your product can influence their reaction to your ads.

For this reason, the initial word of your CTA has the power to set the tone for the whole ad, no matter how small it may seem. Therefore, you should A/B test various initial words in your CTA and then choose the most successful variant.

Changing the first line of your CTA from “Contact us today” to “Call us now” may increase CTR significantly. Similarly, the audience’s reaction to the phrase “Shop now,” as opposed to “Order now,” may vary.

5 best PPC testing tools to track your progress

Leveraging PPC tools can enhance the performance of your campaigns and, in certain cases, even cut down on costs. These tools serve various purposes, assisting in:

  • Market Analysis and Competitor Tracking:
    • Gain insights into the market landscape and stay updated on competitors’ strategies.
  • Automation of Repetitive Tasks:
    • Streamline and automate routine yet essential tasks to save time and increase efficiency.
  • Keyword Research and Monitoring:
    • Identify valuable keywords and consistently monitor their performance for optimal campaign results.
  • Campaign Optimization:
    • Enhance the effectiveness of your campaigns by utilizing tools that offer advanced features for optimization.
  • Informative and Visually Appealing Reporting:
    • Generate engaging and visually appealing reports that provide valuable information about campaign performance.

For beginners, here are five user-friendly tools with advanced capabilities:

  • Google Ads Editor:
    • Streamlines campaign management through offline editing and bulk changes.
  • SEMrush:
    • Offers comprehensive features for competitor analysis, keyword research, and campaign optimization.
  • SpyFu:
    • Aids in competitor intelligence by revealing their PPC strategies and performance metrics.
  • WordStream:
    • Simplifies keyword management helps optimize ad spend, and provides insightful reports.
  • AdEspresso:
    • Ideal for beginners, it simplifies the process of creating and optimizing Facebook and Instagram ads.

By incorporating these tools into your PPC strategy, you can efficiently navigate the complexities of online advertising, boost campaign performance, and achieve cost-effective results.

Earn more leads with PPC testing

Looking for guidance on how to test and optimize your PPC ads to win more leads and generate more revenue? Subscribe to our newsletter to get insights and the latest trend updates so that you can get more out of your PPC and digital marketing initiatives. We’ve earned the confidence of over 200,000 marketers — give us a try, too.

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