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Our top 5 PPC ad testing tools

You can’t just rely on intuition when it comes to paid search – which makes user tests is an essential part of your PPC management. Continuous ad testing will enable you to improve performance, understand what works within your campaigns and what needs to be adjusted.

To give you a better understanding of your options – we’re going to talk about 5 of our favourite tools. Using one or more of these tools can help you generate more valuable traffic by making the best choices throughout your PPC campaign.  

Google Ads Draft and Experiments

Drafts and experiments tool lets you propose and test multiple changes to your Search and Display Network campaigns. You can choose to apply changes or use the draft to create an experiment. This process helps you to measure real results and understand how you can impact a campaign depending on the changes you make. 

When creating your draft, you’ll mirror the real set-up of your PPC campaign and then make updates accordingly. You can make continuous changes and you can discard the draft at any point. If you are happy with your drafted changes – then you can apply it to your original campaign and create your experiment. You can then compare the performance of your original and your experimental ad. 

You’ll be able to easily control your experiment and monitor your changes without impacting the whole campaign. Here’s how:

  • Test % control – You can decide how much of your budget is used for your experiment. For example, you might choose to split impressions down on the middle or play it safe and give 25% budget share to the test.
  • Time – You can either let your experiment run until you end it manually or select an end date when you first set up.
  • Performance monitoring – Google Ads will let you easily view your performance as well as pause, keep running or apply changes to your campaign.

When a user searches on Google or a search partner site – they might be randomly selected to trigger your experiment ad. How often somebody sees your experiment depends on how you decide to split the traffic share. This is a great way to monitor your performance of each ad version and see what works best for your business.

Bing Experiments

It’s not just Google offering this type of experiment tool – Bing has a similar kind of A/B test for advertisers. You can experiment using a different bid strategy and type of targeting to see how it impacts your campaign performance. It works in the same way – by setting up a duplicate campaign and giving it a share of your traffic and budget.

The tool has three main steps:

1. Trying different ad variations.

2. See how your duplicate performs in comparison to the original.

3. Depending on the outcome, either apply changes to the original campaign or create one new campaign. 

Ad Variations

Ad Variations is another useful tool provided by Google Ads. It lets you create and test variations of your ads across different campaigns or your entire account. One example would be testing how well your ads perform if you change your call-to-action from “Join now” to “Learn more.” You can also experiment with your headline or description. 

To create your ad variation, you’ll first select the scope (entire account, custom scope or specific campaign). Then you’ll create the variation – so, if we’re using the same example as above; you would find “Join now” and replace it with “Learn more”. The last step is setting your variation details (end-date and traffic share).

You can choose to apply your altered ads to your campaign, replace your current ads or create new ads with the variations. It’s best to use Ad Variations when you want to test one change across multiple campaigns (one new CTA, headline, etc.). Drafts and Experiments is more suitable if you are testing numerous changes on a smaller scale.  

Perry Marshall: Ad Split Tester

Split Tester is a tool that can offer better insight into how well your ads are expected to perform long-term. When it comes to testing your ads, usually you’ll need to have quite a high number of clicks to measure how well they’re performing against each other. Even so, it might be the case that users at that time just so happen to be more engaged by a particular ad – so results might not be reliable long-term. Also, waiting for multiple ads to reach enough clicks to perform a fair measure can be time-consuming. 

Split Tester allows you to measure if your test has reached statistical significance. It can reveal how well your ads are likely to perform going forward and whether you’re on the right track with your PPC campaign. You just have to enter your number of clicks for each ad (which can be small), as well as your current click-through rate (CTR) – and the tool does the calculations for you.

CoSchedule: Headline Analyser 

Your ad copy plays a crucial part in your PPC performance. CoSchedule Headline Analyser focuses on creating a PPC ad headline that will drive clicks When analysing your headline, CoSchedule will provide you with a visual representation of how it is performing (in terms of where it shows on SERP). It can point out your headline structure, grammar, word choice and overall readability.

The type of words you want in your headline will depend on your industry, aims and your target audience. The good thing about Headline Analyser is the easy navigation and quick results it provides. You also have the chance to save your headline history and therefore, can monitor your progress throughout your campaign. If you are struggling to write ad copy that is making your business stand out – then this could be a useful tool for you.

Get in touch 

If you’d like to ask any questions about PPC ad testing tools and how we use them here at Summon, please get in touch. 

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