PPC or pay-per-click advertising is one of the key components of many digital marketing campaigns. And although it can drive a significant amount of revenue and without proper A/B testing it can also be one of the most expensive ongoing costs in a campaign.
That’s why they should be tested regularly. You don’t want to let any conversions slip through the cracks! Testing and optimizing is vital for any digital marketer. Being featured by Conversion Fanatics, it’s safe to say that PPC and A/B testing is our field of expertise.
Here we are going to inspect how A/B test can help you create better PPC ads. A/B testing through PPC is much simpler and easier but requires preparation and execution nevertheless.
This article will help you understand the basics of A/B testing and how they can help you create better PPC ads.
We are going to cover:
- What is A/B testing
- The benefits of A/B testing
- What to test
- What are the best practices
What Is A/B Testing
What is A/B testing in digital marketing? It sounds like a math problem or something like that. Doesn’t it? A/B testing is actually the process of comparing two versions of any marketing asset that has just one varying element.
This still sounds like math. But anyhow, you compare two versions of your web page, of your email campaign, landing page or any other digital marketing aspect.
So for example, if you are A/B testing an email, you would create two versions of the same email but, you would change your introduction.
Then you go out to test your version by sending to the half of your contacts one email and to the other half, the other version. The test is going to show you which version was proven to be more popular and you will get specific metrics like conversion rates and time spent on page.
Why is this important?
A/B testing marketing can help you determine what approach works best for you and this will help you understand what helps or limits sales. Furthermore, A/B testing is going to show you what words, phrases, audio-visual media, and other elements work best for you.
The Benefits of A/B Testing
Although we are only at the beginning of showing all the benefits A/B testing has we think the advantages are pretty clear so far. They help you determine what elements work best for your business and what can help you increase sales and your growth hacking efforts.
They are highly valuable tests every business can afford because they are low in cost and can be high in reward.
How do you perform an A/B test?
It’s simple math actually. Let’s say that for every article your content creator writes you get 10 leads. If you divide the annual salary of your content creator with the number of articles they write yearly you’ll get the amount of money you spend on those 10 leads.
This is not a bad approach as you have constant content that you can work around with. But if you ask your content creator to spend two days developing an A/B test on one article this might feel like you are burning a certain amount of money, instead of getting leads.
But if with that A/B test you find that you can increase each article’s conversion from 10 to 20 leads or even more, you just spend the same amount of money and got double the numbers of potential customers.
In the case your taste fails, you lost that amount of money but, everyone learns from mistakes. Your next A/B test can be even more detailed and educated. Because in the end no matter how many times your A/B test fails the increase in the company’s revenue will always outweigh the amount of money you invested.
There are many types of split tests and these are some of the most common marketers conduct when A/B testing:
- Test different blog posts
- Test different webpage titles
- Test different locations, colors and anchor text on your CTA
- Test fonts, images, and introductions for a lower bounce rate
- If you want to lower the chance of “cart abandonment” test product photos, descriptions, check-out page design, etc.
What Are You Testing For?
Before you actually start testing different aspects of your content, you need first to ask yourself what are you testing for? A/B testing for PPC can be done for many different reasons. People often use PPC just to get people to sing up for their newsletter which can ultimately lead to more conversions.
Sometimes people use PPC in hopes they will get people to buy their product right away. Either way, you must create a good strategy and have a goal in mind in order for you to analyze the data in the right way.
Also, think about what your goal is. Are you focusing on click-through rates, or are you more focused on the entire conversion process?
What to Test?
Before we get into detail about what you can test we are going to give you a list you can always come back to.
- Headlines & copywriting
- Images, audio, and video
- Landing pages
- Email marketing
Headlines & Copywriting
The headline is one of the most important aspects of copywriting. It is the hook, it’s the bait, it’s the first thing people read when they arrive on your web page. If it doesn’t grab attention people won’t stick around.
So, naturally the first thing you should check your headlines. Are they catchy? Do they demand attention? Experiment with your headlines and update your existing ones. Make variations.
Copywriting is another important aspect that can impact conversions. You can test your copy by trying out different paragraph lengths, anchor text, tone of voice, etc. See if your audience prefers a hard sell or a softer approach. Then change your tone of voice accordingly.
Social media is the perfect place where you can engage with your audience and directly see how they react to different types of copy.
CTA is one of the most powerful “tools” you can create. It’s the thing that tells your readers what to do and when to do it. It is, after all, call to action. Your CTA much like your copy should be inviting and enticing enough that makes your readers react to your CTA.
Your CTA should offer a value that your reader won’t be able to resist. This can seem like an impossible task, but if you know your audience well enough with a little research and testing you will come up with that perfect CTA.
Changing even one word can influence conversion rates. Other characteristics, like the color of the button, text color, contrast shape, and size can all also have an impact on conversion. But remember when you are conducting A/B don’t change everything at once.
If you want to test the font color don’t change the color of the link too. Because you won’t know which of the qualities you changed made a difference when looking over your A/B testing data.
Images, Audio and Video
There is a lot that goes into marketing. Marketing consists of a lot of different aspects and although SEO is one of the most important factors of good digital marketing an SEO optimized text can’t help you reach every member of your target audience.
So, creating podcasts, videos, and infographics can help a lot when you are trying to reach out to a wider audience. If you have a library of videos, podcasts, and infographics it would be a good idea to conduct an A/B test that compares video to written content. Also, you can compare short infographics to longer ones.
If you’re just getting into this type of marketing and don’t have a library of videos, photos, etc. you can use stock photos for your A/B testing. People are naturally drawn to other people, so if you have a photo of someone pointing at your headline or CTA, that image can help you to “expose” that element.
Your landing pages should be able to convert users on whatever you offer them. If this doesn’t happen you can lose a potential sale.
There is a certain thing called a heat mat that shows where people are clicking on your landing pages. You can collect this data before you run an A/B test because collecting it will make your theory more accurate and can show you which elements are most crucial for testing.
This will help you understand where people’s eyes focus on that particular landing page, so you can place your most important elements like a CTA exactly there.
Email marketing is still one of the most important aspects of internet marketing. This is probably one of the easiest A/B tests you can do. You just have to make two different emails and send the version A to 50% of your subscribers and version B to the other half.
This will clearly show you what you re doing right and to what version your subscribers responded better and follow in that direction. This simple change can impact your conversions to fantastic numbers.
But it is important to remember these three crucial factors:
- Change one element at a time
- Make sure an equal number of people see both versions
- Make sure the test ran long enough so that you can gain significant data
The Best A/B Practices For Testing PPC
For the best results you can follow and come to these guidelines:
- Test only one element at a time so you can know exactly that affects the success of your ads
- Test your ad variations at the same time
- Test often and as early as possible
- Trust hard data
- Let your tests run long enough
A/B testing is one of the most crucial aspects of creating a successful PPC campaign because this will show you, with important data, what you are doing right and what you should focus on. Every PPC specialist that has experience can create a good PPC campaign.
What’s important is to be able to replica that. That’s where A/B testing comes into play. As we’ve shown here, A/B testing will help you discover all the specifics that your audience likes and wants more of. This will help you scale your options down the road. Because writing ads are essentially your copywriting and design choices.
And like we said, even one word in your CTA, a specific color or an image can change your audience’s mind. Following our simple guide can be a perfect start for all the beginners in this field and will help them get accurate results that will ultimately lead to success.
We wish you all the luck! And if you have any additional questions, contact us! We’ll be happy to reply!