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A/B Testing for PPC Campaigns to Improve Ad Performance

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When figuring out how to improve pay-per-click (PPC) ads conversion, there is one thing that you’ll have to constantly do for things to work – and that’s testing.

When figuring out how to improve pay-per-click (PPC) ads conversion, there is one thing that you’ll have to constantly do for things to work – and that’s testing.

Testing is an ongoing process done in order to prevent any potential issues that can cause your account to become stagnant. A/B Testing is a well-known approach taken by many marketers and is used in order to get the best potential results when running PPC Ads.

In this article, we’ll discuss the top A/B tests you can do to improve your pay-per-click ad performance and break down the process with a few pointers to take note of when conducting them.

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What Are A/B Tests for Pay-Per-Click Ads?

With Pay-Per-Click (PPC) A/B tests, you take two different variables for testing ad copy and compare them to one another. For instance, if you aren’t convinced between two options, A/B tests enable you to test the two within an ad group and the variant that gets the most conversions is considered the winner. This extra step is necessary to ensure that your marketing efforts are not lost.

Top A/B Tests to Try Out

There are multiple PPC A/B test options that you’ll want to try out. But for this article, we’ve listed down the top PPC A/B tests advertisers and marketers should keep a close eye on.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion

One of the most popular PPC A/B tests is dynamic keyword insertion. This test ensures that every link in the ad feature has matching headlines and content. Users and Google alike will know exactly what your content will be like based on the content that you provide.‍

Use multiple variants here, and see which keyword performs better with more conversions in comparison to the other. This is a good option particularly if you have too many keywords to edit or add. All you need to do is test a series of keywords through the dynamic keyword insertion test and see which one brings the most conversions.

Ad Headline

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The ad headline is what will likely bring users to your website firsthand. There isn’t any point to do other in-depth tests unless you are sure you actually get the appropriate visits to your page. People who do not generate clicks from google ads are most likely to benefit from ad headline testing.

Headlines have a strong impact on your ad campaigns, which is why you’ll want to test as many variables as possible. Test in comparison as many headlines as you can. A good suggestion here would be to mix it with dynamic keyword insertion, to make it clear to the user that you have the answer to their problems. You may also try testing headlines in the form of questions, as these will intrigue users and entice them to click your ads.

Call to Action Optimization

You can significantly increase conversions and generate business leads by improving your call-to-action strategy.

To run a call to action optimization test, you need to split the traffic between two different calls to action – for example, a control button and an experiment button. This will give you an idea of how to improve PPC ads conversion for better results. Run the call to action A/B test for a few weeks and see whether there are any changes in your conversion with the new experiment button or not. 

Landing Page Optimization

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Another efficient A/B test you’ll want to try is optimizing the landing page linked to your ads. For this test, you’ll need to create a landing page that is relevant to the keywords you are using. Landing page optimization is a great test to do for those who are getting clicks from their ads, but visitors don’t stay long enough on the website to see what you have to offer.‍

To do this test, you should consider your landing page options, test them side by side, and see which page has a better conversion rate. For example, let’s say you have an ad for a marketing agency and multiple service pages on your website. Test those landing pages side by side and see which one brings you the most conversions.

Seasonal Ad Copy

Seasonal ad copies, as their name suggests, are ads that are run on a seasonal basis. They are a good method to try if you are wondering how to improve PPC ads conversion rates.

Seasonal ads are great if you wish to create campaigns that are more personal. Done correctly, this can create a certain connection with the visitor, increasing the conversion for your website.

Test between two different specific seasonal ads. Replace the non-seasonal ad creatives generic headline with a season-specific one and run it for a couple of weeks. Once the test period is done, check and see if there are any changes in your conversion. If you have multiple seasonal ad copy variants, make sure to test them out side by side.

Schedule Ad Delivery

With accurate data from this last A/B test, you’ll need to create an ad schedule to see which times of the week are likely to bring the most conversions from your ad campaigns.

Test an open campaign with an open schedule alongside a campaign that has a more refined schedule. By seeing how they perform in comparison, you’ll be able to identify whether or not your target audience is taking action regardless of a specific time or during the ad delivery you have set. 

Things to Avoid when Running PPC A/B Tests‍

When running a PPC A/B test, it is best to set a goal from the very beginning. Determine whether you want to go for awareness, or if your goal is to increase conversions. Not setting a goal might drive you in a direction that will not bring you the results that you want. It is tempting to test multiple variables at the same time, but focusing on variables separately will help you get accurate test results. 

At the same time, you shouldn’t wait until everything seems perfect. Do the tests, and see how they perform. Depending on their performance, you may then apply the appropriate changes. Be aware of how you do segmentation as well, as going overboard may compromise your results.

A/B Tools To Test Out

A/B testing tools are essential for optimizing websites, landing pages, and digital marketing campaigns. These tools allow you to experiment with different variations and determine which changes drive the best results. Here are some of the top A/B testing tools available:

Optimizely

Optimizely is a widely used A/B testing and experimentation platform that offers features like server-side experimentation, feature flags, and personalization. It's user-friendly and suitable for businesses of all sizes.

Unbounce

Unbounce is a landing page builder and A/B testing tool that focuses on optimizing the landing page design and pages. It's known for its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface and split testing capabilities.

Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg offers A/B testing, as well as heatmaps and scrollmaps to understand user behavior. It's a great tool for gaining insights into how users interact with your website.

Final Thoughts

There are multiple PPC A/B tests that you can try out, all of which will put variables into comparison. Running A/B tests will help you learn and identify which areas of your ad campaigns you may need to optimize in order to get the best ad performance. 

Whichever test you try from the above, taking the first step will help to gradually increase your conversions.

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Frequently Asked Questions about A/B Testing for PPC

What is the importance of conducting A/B tests for a PPC campaign?

A/B tests are critical for a PPC campaign because they allow you to compare different elements of your ads to determine which version leads to a higher conversion rate or other desired action. By testing one variable against another, you can make data-backed decisions that enhance the performance of your ads and ensure your marketing efforts are more successful.

How can dynamic keyword insertion improve successful PPC campaigns?

Dynamic keyword insertion can enhance successful PPC campaigns by tailoring the ad copy to include the search results that triggered the ad. This relevancy can lead to a higher CTR (click-through rate) because the ad appears more tailored to the user's search query. Conducting A/B tests with different keywords can reveal which ones resonate best with your audience and contribute to successful campaigns.

Can Google Analytics provide meaningful data for A/B testing in PPC ads?

Absolutely, Google Analytics is an essential tool that provides meaningful data for A/B testing. It can track user behavior, such as bounce rate and conversion rates, which are crucial metrics when evaluating the performance of different ad versions. Proper tracking set-up in Google Analytics ensures that you gather accurate results to make informed decisions about your PPC campaigns.

Why is it important to focus on only one element at a time during A/B testing?

Focusing on one element at a time during A/B testing is important to ensure statistical significance and avoid common pitfalls that can skew your test results. If you change more than one element, it becomes difficult to pinpoint which change had an effect on the performance of the ad. Testing one variable at a time gives you clear and accurate results.

How does multivariate testing differ from split tests in PPC campaigns?

Multivariate testing is a method where multiple variables are tested simultaneously to see which combination produces the best outcome. In contrast, split tests, also known as A/B tests, compare the performance of two versions of an ad where only one element or variable is changed. Multivariate testing can be more complex but may provide valuable information on how different elements interact with each other.

What is a sign that you have collected enough data to make statistically significant decisions?

You have collected enough data to make statistically significant decisions when your test results show a clear winner between the ad variants, and the results can be replicated over time. This means that the differences in performance are not due to random chance but are due to the changes you made in your PPC ads. It's essential to run the test for a sufficient amount of time and across enough impressions to reach statistical significance.

Why is it beneficial to conduct more tests even after achieving a higher conversion rate?

Conducting more tests after achieving a higher conversion rate is beneficial because there may still be room for improvement. The market and user behavior are constantly changing, and what works today may not be as effective tomorrow. Continuously testing allows you to adapt and refine your PPC strategies to maintain or increase success.

How can proper tracking prevent a high bounce rate in PPC campaigns?

Proper tracking can help identify the reasons for a high bounce rate by providing insights into user behavior after they click on your ad links. For instance, if users are leaving the landing page quickly, it may indicate that the page content isn't relevant to the ad or the user's expectations. By tracking and analyzing this data, you can make changes to your PPC campaign to better match user intent and potentially lower the bounce rate.

What should be the focus when optimizing ad links for better performance?

When optimizing ad links, the focus should be on ensuring that the landing page is highly relevant to the ad content and that it encourages the user to take the desired action. This relevance can result in a higher CTR and a better chance of conversion, as users will find what they're expecting when they click on the ad. Additionally, the landing page should be optimized for user experience to reduce bounce rates and increase the likelihood of conversion.

Can new ideas for ad copy be tested using A/B testing to increase sales?

Yes, new ideas for ad copy can and should be tested using A/B testing to increase sales. By running tests on innovative headlines, calls to action, and other ad elements, you can determine which ideas resonate most with your audience and lead to the best performance in terms of sales and overall success. This continuous innovation is key to staying competitive and improving your PPC campaigns.

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