judges which ad is more effective and will increase its prominence for you automati-
cally. If you have Google Analytics in place, you can use a ready-made A/B testing
function for comparing the effectiveness of two different ads.
A/B testing on YSM takes a little more determination because you can’t run two
different ads for the same keyword at the same time. Instead, try testing your A/B split
over consecutive testing periods rather than simultaneous ones.
A/B Testing: Page-Based
If you have a conversion tracking system in place, you can pursue a landing page A/B
test. Here’s how to compare the effectiveness of two landing pages for the same PPC ad:
• Find a PPC ad that’s been running long enough to gather meaningful perform-
ance data. Select a period of time (like a month) of its history and record per-
formance data. This period of time is your testing period.
• Build a new landing page for use with the ad. This should be an “orphaned”
page, one that doesn’t have any links to it other than from your PPC ad. For
meaningful testing, you don’t want this page to be indexed by the search engines,
so exclude it using your
file. (You learned how to do this in Chapter 8.)
Let your designer have fun with graphic text; this page doesn’t need to be
robot friendly. Since you know that the audience for this page is a little more
“qualified”—that is, they clicked a specific PPC ad—make sure the copy is
tightly focused to that audience.
• Now, sit back for a testing period and assess: Is the new PPC landing page deliv-
ering more conversions than your original landing page did for the same ad?
Some campaigns find that the extra level of targeting that is possible with a PPC-
only landing page translates into more conversions.
Does A/B testing have its limitations? Of course it does. You may figure out
that one ad is doing better than another, but unless you interview your target audi-
ence, you’ll never know exactly
. And if you’re only measuring click-throughs,
and not the outcome of the visit, A/B testing sure won’t tell you what those clicks are
worth. Plus, your tests are limited to your ideas for edits, so unless you’re a master at
thinking outside the box, there may be big improvements that you miss. Nevertheless,
A/B testing is one of the few ways of getting real data on the persuasiveness of your
Choose your favorite method of A/B testing, and set up your first testing period.
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