Split testing your PPC Campaign, and why

  • By Paul Lawrence
  • 23 Jul, 2016

A/B testing improves the performance of your Adwords campaigns

PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Ads) are one of several ways to generate inbound traffic to your landing pages and are done with the intent of converting visits into leads or sales. Among the paid advertising avenues available, PPC (Pay Per Click) hae proven to be among the most popular digital marketing methods and accounts for up to 64.6% of clickthroughs on keyword searches highly intended for commercial and business purposes.

PPC ads in general are effective for driving highly targeted traffic to a particular landing page where most conversion efforts occur. However, not all landing pages are created equal. A particular landing page variation may generate higher conversion rates than another page promoting the same product or service. Changes in certain page elements can be a big factor in the effectiveness of the page for generating conversions and it’s up to the business owner or the digital marketer to select which elements to use.

To validate which of these variations prove effective, A/B split testing can be conducted as part of the overall optimization process to improve the performance of your PPC campaign. 
Ok, but what is A/B Split Testing?

A/B split testing is a form of hypothesis testing involving two variants, particularly A and B.  A series of experiments are performed involving these two variants, with all factors and elements the same except for where variations of one particular factor or element, in this case that of a landing page or a web page, which is subjected for performance comparison.

 A/B split testing can be used not only for optimisation but also for validation, which is important during the initial stages of a particular PPC campaign.  

Optimisation
A/B split testing is primarily used for the optimization of an ongoing PPC campaign, particularly in testing which particular variation in page element likes the headlines, image, layout, form, call-to-action and other factors that will affect conversion rates. This tool is intended to increase known conversion rates of a PPC campaign after it has already been rolled out for a particular length of time.

Validation
 A/B split testing can also be used to validate which particular variation will be the best one to use for your campaign before you even roll out. A good example is when you want to roll out an ebook or a whitepaper as part of your PPC campaign. You can test different variations of these materials and validate which one will generate the best results – and use it for the main campaign.
Ok, so what should I measure when split testing my PPC Campaigns? 

When perform A/B split testing to improve the overall performance of your PPC campaign, you need to identify what particular metrics your will be using to measure success. These metrics will tell you if your tweaks and adjustments to factors and elements that affect conversion rates are making any positive progress or not.

The two main metrics to consider are:

• Unique Visitors – This may be a simple metric to track but it will tell you how effective your campaign is in reaching new markets and new-customer possibilities

• Conversion Rate – Of course, measuring every completed conversion per unique visit would be the ultimate metric you’ll need to test and monitor with you’re A/B Split Testing experiment. Conversion depends on the actual goal of your landing page, whether to generate leads and get valuable information from web visitors, or an actual sale.

Kent Digital Marketing

By Paul Lawrence 23 Jul, 2016
PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Ads) are one of several ways to generate inbound traffic to your landing pages and are done with the intent of converting visits into leads or sales. Among the paid advertising avenues available, PPC (Pay Per Click) hae proven to be among the most popular digital marketing methods and accounts for up to 64.6% of clickthroughs on keyword searches highly intended for commercial and business purposes.

PPC ads in general are effective for driving highly targeted traffic to a particular landing page where most conversion efforts occur. However, not all landing pages are created equal. A particular landing page variation may generate higher conversion rates than another page promoting the same product or service. Changes in certain page elements can be a big factor in the effectiveness of the page for generating conversions and it’s up to the business owner or the digital marketer to select which elements to use.

To validate which of these variations prove effective, A/B split testing can be conducted as part of the overall optimization process to improve the performance of your PPC campaign. 
By Paul Lawrence 24 Jun, 2016

Marketing automation refers to software that automates your marketing for you and helps you prioritise and execute your marketing tasks in a more efficient way.

The ultimate goal of marketing is to generate more revenue for your company, and to do this, we need to drive traffic to our website, convert that traffic into leads and close those leads into customers. Where marketing automation really makes an impact is the conversion and closure stages of this process.

Thousands of marketers today rely on email marketing and send blast email after blast email to their entire list of prospects and customers. It’s hard to tell though if it works, even if you are monitoring open rates and watching your sales.

Overall this means that you’re often wasting time and money marketing to someone who may not be interested in what you’re sharing, and possibly annoying your contacts and causing them to jump ship leaving you with no opportunity to market to them in the future.

It’s not great is it..but this is where automation can make such a difference. Automated workflows can look like this:

Step 1:  You send an email invitation to download your latest whitepaper to a targeted list of contacts

Step 2:  You send a thank you note to all the people that downloaded the offer

Step 3:  A few days later, you send a follow up email to the list of people who downloaded the whitepaper, offering them a case study relating to that topic

Step 4:  Finally, when someone downloads that case study, your sales team will get an automated notification so they can follow up with them (this person is now much more qualified and is likely further down the buying process). It’s also worth noting that as a prospect goes this journey, they can be lead scored, i.e the more they visit, download, read other content etc the more of a qualified lead they are becoming.

So how does a prospect feel?

Imagine yourself as the prospect. If this was you, receiving information from a company about their products / services, wouldn’t you prefer to get emails like the ones above over blasts you can tell they’re sending to thousands of other people? It feels personalised, tailored to you and how you are interacting with that company. It makes you much more likely to trust that company.

For further advice about implementing Marketing Automation tools contact us for a consultation! 
By Paul Lawrence 10 Jun, 2016

In essence, positions 1 – 3 at the top of the search results remain the same but now also features (in many instances) a 4th ad. You may also have noticed recently that Google had been experimenting with further ads at the bottom of the page. This has now been confirmed with positions 4-7 (previously 11 ads could be seen in total).  Google has stated that four ads showing instead of three relates to ‘Highly Commercial Queries’.

This move from Google means that organic search results will now become even more competitive with results pushed further down the page, and of course the removal of the right hand side ads has left a very big white space. How are Google planning to use that space? Well at the moment those who make use of ‘Google My Business’ may well that their position on the right gets larger with the new space, but it also remains to be seen what other changes will start to experimented with.

Ultimately Cost Per Click (CPC) will no doubt start to increase with the increased competition that the newly created position 4 brings with it. The end user will see less ads in their search results and so Click Through Rate (CTR) may drop. With there now been only 7 positions on Page 1 to compete for it could also mean that the Quality Score of your PPC ads needs to be even higher to compete.

It’s also worth pointing out that this change will not currently affect Product Listing Ads.

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