Create More Effective Paid Search Ads with A/B Testing


A/B testing is an important component of any company’s PPC strategy. Strong brands are always experimenting with different advertising strategies. Adopting a data-driven approach to test and optimize messages on platforms like Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising can help to capture different audience segments, or help to better appeal to the ones you’re already targeting.

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The process of testing is invaluable to advertisers because it allows for the continual improvement of campaigns.

What Can You Do With A/B Testing?

The beauty of A/B paid search testing is that nearly every element of a paid search ad is testable—headline, ad description, display URL, and even the landing page. In addition, each element that you test can provide you with new insights to benefit your business. This kind of testing is one of the best ways to learn about your audience and what messaging they respond to.

There are many reasons companies should implement A/B testing in their marketing strategy, but another major benefit of A/B testing is a higher clickthrough rate (CTR). When you have the correct messaging for your audience, naturally your CTR will rise, and so too will your quality score. And in paid advertising, when your quality score increases, your cost-per-click (CPC) decreases. This means you get to serve more paid ads for the same budget! And more paid ads mean you can develop more tests to gather even more information about your audience, helping your business identify new areas for growth. It really is a never-ending cycle of opportunity.

How to Use A/B Testing

The best way to get started with A/B testing is to start with something simple, like changing a headline. Simply create a duplicate of the ad you’re looking to test and in the duplicate, change the headline to something you’d like to test.

If you’re looking to get started with A/B testing but you aren’t sure where to start, these are some important tips to keep in mind.

#1 Start by Testing One Thing at a Time

When you begin testing, it’s critical that you start by testing each change individually. If you start out trying to test multiple items at one time, you won’t know where to attribute any success or failure from your newly updated ad. Be sure that only the single element that you are testing has been changed and that all other elements in your otherwise identical ads are the same.

#2 Take Time to Gather Data and Determine Results

When running your A/B tests it’s easy to get nervous or excited about the results you might be seeing, but it’s imperative that you take the necessary time to gather your results. You will have the best results when you wait until your ads have served enough impressions, 1,000+ impressions is recommended. Letting your A/B test run fully will allow you to make better-informed decisions about how your audience is responding to your ad adjustments.

#3 Never Stop Testing

As you begin learning what works for your company, you might start to think you have it all figured out and want to put everything on autopilot. Don’t fall into this trap. If your goal is to achieve complete visibility and to have increased control over interactions with your target audience, you must be continuously learning and optimizing. This will improve your strategy and help make your ads more engaging. Things change over time and if you’re not prepared you will miss out on new trends—and therefore new business.

Takeaway

The main takeaway is that implementing A/B testing can be remarkably beneficial in helping you run a successful digital marketing campaign. Testing is essential for any good PPC strategy because it allows you to gain significant insights which can lead to major campaign improvements.

Testing in a way that obtains accurate results takes time. You can’t change everything all at once. A/B testing requires a detail-oriented approach and a lot of planning.

Even as you discover winning tactics, keep testing! Continue to optimize your campaigns over time.

If you need assistance A/B testing paid search campaigns for your business, reach out to the digital marketing experts at Hall. As Microsoft Advertising and Google Partners, our experienced marketers continuously manage, test, and optimize PPC campaigns for maximum revenue potential.

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