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An Inside Look At PPC Ad Testing

Last updated 4 years ago

Online search engine marketing (SEM) is more of an art than a science. It can be difficult to predict exactly what mix of keywords, call to actions, and links will convert a visitor into a customer. This is why Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising specifically requires multiple rounds of testing. Here are tips for how to cost-effectively test your ads to find the ad copy formula that works for you:

A/B Testing

Upon setting up PPC ads on search engines, ad groups, or social networks, separate ads into at least two “groups” or categories. Even if you are linking to the same landing page in every single ad in the campaign, separate the ads on the manager portal for easier mathematical comparisons later on. Use one group as a control, and the other as a variable. Then switch the variable group’s keywords, ad language, or call to action while keeping the other static. Let the ads run for a week or two, then compare your numbers. One ad may have a higher click through rate (CTR), but a higher cost per click.

Looking At Your Data

Every PPC ad provider network allows you to export your ad data. Pull up your ad information into a .CSV file, and open it in Excel to compare. Most companies will allow you to contrast the effectiveness of keywords and ad language separately. Decide which variables matter the most, and try to maximize ads that help reach your desired result. Your business’ variables may be unique.

CTR Matters

Each ad group will have a different CTR. This number is expressed as a percentage of clicks divided by the total number of times an ad is shown. Highly targeted ads to specific audiences can have higher CTRs than those focusing on a very broad viewership. Splitting different ad groups can help target different audiences and increase your CTR.

Constantly testing ads to reach more customers is essential for effective SEM. However, not every company can devote time and resources to parsing though ad data. If you are looking to run an online ad campaign, contact ReachLocal strategist Brad Sharenow at (877) 411-3777. He is a New York-based digital marketing expert who can run effective and focused search engine ads to help new customers find you quickly and easily.



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