AB Testing in Pay Per Click. What Is It, and Where's a Good Place to Start!

May 20, 2021

AB testing is a helpful optimisation method for any online advertiser. It's a process that methodically seeks to find that sweet spot in creating an ad that speaks to the person viewing it and drives them to carry out your desired action – a click!

It pays to be mindful that you need a bit of a plan before starting AB testing your ads. And it is quite a good idea to develop the ideal ad incrementally – so working on one component at a time.

You can AB test many parts of an ad. Here are some ideas to get you started:

AB Test Ad Headlines

It's a well-known fact that the headline of an ad (especially search) is the most clicked on element – and for a good reason.

As searchers are super busy, they trust that Google has provided the best results for their search query. The searcher will often forgo reading the whole ad and just opting to read the headline.

Testing your headlines is a great place to start!

Let's say that you run a garden landscaping business and paying for search ads on Google and Bing. You have researched your ideal customer and have three compelling, attention-grabbing headlines that you feel would work – which ones do you use?

Well, why not all of them and test their performance against each other? It may look like this:

Ad 1 headline: Established Local Family Business

Perhaps your customer is drawn to the local, stability, and family feel of an ad?

Ad 2 headline: Lowest Landscaping Prices Guaranteed

Or they are price-conscious, and this appeals more to them?

Ad 3 headline: We Use The YXZ Tech Machinery

Finally, could they be more interested in the technology you use? Only one way to find out! Run an experiment and measure the results – what you get back may surprise you.

AB Test Ad Copy

It's a similar concept as above, but you have more words to utilise. Ad copy testing options could be:

Ad Copy test 1: testing all the features of the service

Ad copy test 2: testing all the benefits of the service

Ad Copy test 3: testing a combination of features and advantages of the service

Ad copy descriptions is a great area to flex your ad copywriting skills and connect with the potential customer. Not all searcher only ready the headline, so please don't miss out on a valuable section.

AB Test Images on Ads

Visual images will undoubtedly connect with different people on different levels.

For example, we recently ran a brand awareness campaign on the Google Display Network and wanted to test two image styles. So we have the same headlines and ad copy, but one set of ads used photographs and the other set illustrations.

When reviewing the results, we could see that the photographs had far more engagement than the illustrations, which informed our decision to optimise our adverts further using photography.

It's important to note that this may change, so it's essential to see AB testing as an ongoing process.

Ready to Start AB Testing your Adverts?

There you have it, a few tips to get you started on your AB testing journey – I hope it will help you think about creating more engaging ads for your potential customers and seeing some profitable returns on your efforts.

About Stacey Pledge

I'm a PPC Specialist helping clients across the UK, Europe and the US get the best from their pay per click campaigns and reaching their business goals.

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