How to test (and perfect) nearly everything in PPC  


How to test (and perfect)

nearly everything in PPC


Columnist Andreas Reiffen adapts his talk from SMX London 2017 into a handy "how-to" for search marketers looking to improve ad performance through testing.



PPC (pay per click) is a key component of many online marketing campaigns. And while it can drive significant revenue, it’s also one of the most expensive ongoing costs in a campaign. Therefore, it’s key that you test your ads regularly, to make sure you aren’t letting any conversions slip through the cracks.

Testing and optimizing is an important part of our job as digital marketers. And I’m not just talking about perfecting your ad copy.

At SMX London earlier this year, I gave a talk on how we design and implement tests at Crealytics for both Text and Shopping ads.

Carrying on from that, this post will cover three methods you can use for successful testing, two types of testing to help you take performance to the next level, and five common pitfalls that testers often run into. I’ll also illustrate these points with examples from our own internal testing efforts.

Deciding which method to use

Designing a good experiment is actually the most important step in getting actionable results. Which testing method you use will depend on what data you have available and what variables you are trying to test. In general, there are three basic types of testing methods:

  • Drafts and experiments
  • Scheduled A/B tests
  • Before/after tests

Each of these methods comes with pluses and minuses.

Drafts and experiments

Drafts and experiments are the most diverse testing tools. This two-pronged testing method lets you propose and test changes to your Search campaigns.

Drafts let you create a mirror image of your campaign and then change the element(s) you want to test. This lets you play around with what settings it’s possible to change without messing up your current campaigns. Once you’ve created your draft, you can turn it into an Experiment.

Experiments help you measure your results to understand the impact of your changes before you apply them to a campaign. Once you’ve completed your Draft setup, you convert it to an Experiment and choose a percentage of your traffic to run the test on, as well as a time frame.

Through this method, you can test almost anything within your campaign. You can test structural elements of your campaigns like Ads, landing pages or match types. You can also test the influence of bidding variables like bid amounts, modifiers (device, schedule, geo-targeting) and strategies (eCPC, Target CPA). Finally, this method allows you to test changes within features in your campaigns, such as Ad extensions or Audience lists.

Unfortunately, drafts and experiments are currently only available in Text ads.


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Edited: 4 months  ago

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