Use Split Testing to Create Killer Ad Copy

One of the hardest components of managing a pay per click ad campaign is writing compelling ad copy. The limited number of characters and the fact that quality score is based on relevance makes this challenge even greater. One way to overcome this obstacle is thought split testing yourself or hiring a PPC Agency to do this for you. This article explains what split testing is and how it is used by PPC managers to create killer ad copy.

Split testing involves running multiple ads within the same ad group simultaneously. The idea is that the ads compete against each other over a set amount of time. The metric used to determine success is click through rate (CTR). This metric is important as CTR is an important factor in quality score which directly affects ad rank and bid price. The higher the CTR the less you will have to spend to maintain the same position within search results. A high CTR also indicates that your ad appeals to users and is drawing clicks aware from your competitors.

After a set amount of time the ad with the lowest click through rate is deleted and a new ad is written in its place. The new ad doesn’t have to be entirely different. In fact the opposite is true. If you already have a successful ad then you may only want to make small changes to the ad copy. Sometimes small modifications can make surprisingly huge differences.

This process can be repeated with no end. Some managers spend as much as two years optimizing a campaign with this technique. If you continue to see results and beat the previous ad then best advice is to continue in that direction. However, if you reach a plateau where you can no longer beat the current ad then you may have reached your zenith. However, the world of search marketing is constantly changing so it is beneficial to still write a new ad once in awhile.

For those new to PPC advertising it is important to know that two ads can not be shown at the same time. With Adwords you have the option to have your ads rotate evenly or optimize. If you select rotate evenly each ad will be shown approximately the same amount of time regardless which ad is more successful. Most often it is a better choice to select optimize. This option displays the better performing ad more often. This option is probably best for PPC managers that set up a split test and don’t plan on checking the results for a week or two. Microsoft adCenter doesn’t offer any options in regards to ad rotation and will automatically optimize based on click through rate.

Split testing is a powerful tool used by PPC managers to optimize ad performance, increase CTR, lower costs, and helps PPC managers write compelling ads that draw clicks away form competitors. Both Adwords and adCenter allow for split testing and will rotate competing ads. The ad with the higher CTR is kept and the losing ad is replaced with new ad creative. This process is repeated until a plateau is reached in which it is safe to assume you have created killer ad copy.

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