Ad Testing Made Easy: Getting Over Challenges for Necessity

By Kayla Kurtz | @one800kayla | Senior Digital Advisor at Hanapin Marketing

this is a hard hat areaThe final installment to this month’s PPC Hero series on Ad Testing Made Easy will focus on covering why ad testing can be difficult and why it is so important to keep at the top of the priority list in lieu of those challenges.


  • Getting Started

It’s probably obvious based on the previous three installments in the series that one of the major challenges in ad testing comes with the decision to ad test in the first place. You need to follow all the best practices, set everything up correctly and then run the ad test effectively and accurately. Knowing all that work is needed to run a successful test can send some PPC managers running for the hills to focus on slightly simpler tasks. Keep in mind, those simpler tasks may keep your KPI in line for now, but eventually you will begin to see the effects of ignoring significant ad testing for higher performance in your ad groups. Trust me, it won’t be pretty. Strap on the above-mentioned hard hat and make it happen.

  • Waiting It Out

We now know that allowing your ad tests to receive enough traffic to determine a true performance winner is key when it comes to carrying out this account optimization. Calling the winner with too few visits to the contenders may lead the data analyst to make a decision on what could be a statistically even fight. This is definitely hard, especially when you get that instinctual feeling that you can tell for sure which ad version is the better one for your goals. I assure you, waiting until the whole pack reaches the finish line will be in the best interest of the account (and the client). When you can show complete stats on a performance snapshot where one ad statistically beats another out, you can rest a little easier applying the tested changes across similar ad groups.

  • Pulling the Trigger

You put all the effort in and determined the parameters for your ad test, applied your experimental changes and kept best practices in mind and now you have enough traffic through your variable ads to make the call. Make it! If you have followed all the steps necessary and the data shows you a winner, then you have to trust your work. This can be a very difficult step for those of us with a “What If?” mentality (I’m just as guilty, I promise!), but you have to do it. You can see through the experimental data that the account will be better for it, so just pull the trigger.

Why It’s Important to Stick with It

This is plain and simple: the results are worth it. Click-through rate contributes to Quality Score as keyword relevancy increases and an increase in Quality Score can eventually lead to cheaper click costs for your account. Who can argue with that?

If for some reason you aren’t pro-cheaper clicks, consider the back end profits. Odds are, increased CTR after ad testing to find the best messaging and/or landing page-to ad-to keyword-to search query combinations possible, will result in increased leads, conversions or revenue for you or your client’s business.

PPC Hero readers, you are now armed with all you need to get 2012 started off on the right foot when it comes to ad testing in your accounts. Check back tomorrow for the full series wrap-up and if you haven’t already, the other three installments to the series.

You know we love to hear from you with every post, so tell us: what do you find the most challenging about PPC ad testing and how do you get yourself through it? Leave your stories and ideas in the comments section below! Thanks for reading!