Ad Text Testing – a PPC Manager’s Constant Friend and Companion

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When everything else in the PPC world has gone away, ad text testing will still remain standing. OK, maybe that’s a bit grandiose. What I’m getting at is pay-per-click advertising is awash with bells and whistles, hoosits and whatsits (galore) and a million other ways to become distracted from those tools and tasks that provide the strongest return-on-time investment. Ad text testing is one of those tools/tasks, and I really mean it when I say that it’s a PPC manager’s constant friend and companion!

I won’t go so far as to say that it’s a perfect system, but it’s close. You have at your finger tips the ability to create distinct advertising variations that will immediately become part of a traditional A/B testing process (or A/B/C – whatever, you get it). That is if you’ve remembered to set your ad delivery to rotate evenly! There aren’t very many forms of advertising where the testing process is initiated so easily. But don’t let that ease of entry fool you. Properly testing ad texts is a timely, methodical process that is not a one-time event.

I’ve used the cliché phrase many times before, but ad text testing is a process that cannot be successful with a “set it and forget it” attitude. If you create one or two ads per ad group and walk away assuming everything will work out fine, you’re sorely mistaken. Nobody can instantly understand all of the nuances of a keyword (or group of keywords) and it’s competitive landscape and write the perfect ad from the get-go. Maybe you’ll get lucky and you’ll generate a decent CTR or conversion rate – but why would you leave such an important thing to chance?

To be successful with PPC, you have to be dedicated. Dedicated to the process of ad text testing: Create ads. Review performance statistics. Determine the benefits, calls-to-actions or any other elements that are driving the best CTR and/or conversion rates. Then start the process all over again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Get to know this process, become comfortable with the cycle and make ad text testing your constant friend and companion. Do this, and you’ll find PPC success.

For a great primer for ad text testing, I strongly suggest reading one or all of these articles:

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2 thoughts on “Ad Text Testing – a PPC Manager’s Constant Friend and Companion

  1. Xurxo Vidal

    I couldn’t agree more. Often clients will ask me, “once my bids and positions are optimized for optimal performance, what else can we do to get more conversions?” My answer often will be “let’s work on your text ads and see if we can entice more people to visit your site and get them to convert (obviously their site has to pull it’s weight to close the deal).

    There is a huge opportunity for advertisers to pre-sell via their text ads and already put visitors in the right frame of mind to become a customer. The results are often pleasantly surprising.

    You make an excellent point that there are a lot of distractions in PPC, but fundamentals like ad testing will not go away, if anything it will become increasingly important as different verticals become more competitive with new advertising getting into PPC everyday.

  2. JohnJohn Post author

    @ Xurxo,

    Thanks for commenting! (I’ve seen/talked with you on Twitter, but think this is the first time on the blog…)

    I’m a firm believer that ad texts are the “front line” in the battle to win customers. That little PPC ad may very well be the first interaction a searcher has with your brand, product, service, etc. With that in mind, ad texts take on a huge responsibility within your PPC campaign! Pre-selling in the ad text is a must. Writing about benefits over features is a must. Being clear and concise is a must.

    I, too, feel that proper writing and testing of ad texts will only become more important for PPC advertisers as the search marketing space continues to grow.


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