Split-Testing Ads: What Should You Care About?
Optimization is key to pay-per-click success. That is, you should be constantly improving your ad campaigns to generate more qualified leads at a lower cost per lead. One tactic to invest in is ad split-testing.
An advertising split-test is a scientific method by which you evenly display two different ads to a similarly targeted audience. The goal is to see which ad produces better results. The ads are in rotation – so every time a search is conducted on Google, a different ad displays. Ad A, ad B, ad A, ad B, ad A, ad B… and so forth. Therefore, if 1,000 individuals are exposed to your advertising, half will see ad A and half will see ad B.
After data has been tracked (I like to wait for around 30 clicks per ad to be certain of statistical significance), it’s time to analyze. But exactly what should you look for?
AdWords guru Perry Marshall teaches that the entire goal of the search ad is to motivate someone to click the ad. Therefore, when he split tests ads he focuses on CTR (click through rate). This theory is easy to implement; however, it is surface level at best. By focusing solely on an ad’s ability to generate a visit, you fail to acknowledge the ad’s ability to influence the final decision of the potential client to contact you for a case review.
As in all marketing, you must ask yourself: “what is the ultimate goal of this activity?” Is your advertising goal to generate website visits… or is it to increase case leads? If it is the latter, than all elements of your campaign should be held accountable for their part in it. Sure, generating clicks is a necessary part of creating leads. But the power of the ad to attract qualified clicks (those from people most likely to contact your firm) should not be underestimated.
Therefore, when determining which ad has performed better than another – always look at conversion rate (number of leads / number of clicks) along with click through rate (number of clicks / number of ad impressions).
Do that, and you will be miles ahead of your competition.