Testing Ads & Calls-to-Action in Large & Enterprise Level PPC Accounts


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Presentation from HeroConf 2013 in Austin, TX

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  • Testing calls-to-action or any ad message testing in a large account can be a challenge due to scale.There are a large number of campaigns.Due to segmentation, you can end up with a large number of campaigns and ad groups that are repeated.Segmented by geography, device, etc. And maybe Enhanced Campaigns will alleviated this problem… or not. Time will tell.
  • Enterprise PPC takes on many shapes. In many cases it means having the same or similar campaigns repeated across multiple accounts.* Each subsequent account can and will multiply the time
  • So if testing ads and calls-to-action in large and enterprise level is a challenge? How can we approach it?* I like to look at ad testing as micro versus macro strategies.
  • Option 1 – Micro!
  • Micro ad testing is really just the process you all know and love.Isolate an ad group. Analyze the data. Yada, yada, yada. You get the drill.I’m not here to say you SHOULDN’T approach ad testing this way. In fact – if you and your team have the time and resources – perhaps you SHOULD stick to micro ad testing.
  • However, if you’re like a lot of PPC teams and agencies, time is a precious commodity. Accelerate the process by approaching ad and call-to-action testing with a Macro strategy.
  • Macro ad testing allows you to test the same central ad message or call-to-action across a large number of ad groups and campaigns simultaneously.Instead of the micro strategy where you roll through each ad group individually, you consolidate the data into an aggregate view for analyzing.This is a two-fold benefit: 1 - make a decision on a winning message or call-to-action ONCE for a large number of ad groups.2 – speeds up your testing processes. If you have ad groups that don’t generate data as quickly – this can help you to reach statistical validity much quicker.Now I know what you’re going to say – there are issues here!!!And you would be correct – there are some potential negatives to testing ads in this fashion.Averages lie. Looking at data in an aggregated view can disguise issues in individual ad groups.Ultimately, you may not be writing the “perfect” ad for EVERY ad group.There will be additional variables playing into your test. Short list – geographic differences. Quality Score differences between accounts or campaigns. The list goes on and on.You have to accept that Macro ad testing is a compromise between an ideal ad testing strategy and efficient time and resource management.
  • So now you know what the heck I’m saying when I talk about “macro ad testing.” Now let’s talk a little bit about how to actually do it!
  • Some ground rules for conducting macro ad testing.Maintain rigid campaign and ad group structure across all campaigns contained in your test. In other words – same structure and same naming conventions.InAdWords – labels are your friend. Or in AdWords Editor, comments will do as well.Make notations of ads affected by your test. What is being tested? Call-to-action? Benefit? An entire message across line 1 and line 2?Eliminate testing variables in your ads where you can. Use a rigid format – place testing element (message, benefit, call-to-action) in the same position in each ad you are testing. Remember to still adhere to best practices. What am I referring to? Well, namely, make sure your keyword is in the ad! Often times it is possible to isolate the keyword in the headline and display URL leaving the body open to testing. But that isn’t always the case – so just take note of your restraints and work from there.
  • As you can see here, in this particular campaign, across the various ad groups I was conducting a test that wasn’t necessarily about a specific message or call-to-action. I was actually looking to see if even HAVING a call-to-action affected conversion rate.Ads in all ad groups in this campaign contained a comment for CTA=Yes or CTA=No. To review the results of my test – I was able to sort data based on that parameter.* Believe it or not – the ads without a call-to-action had a better conversion rate… Always Be Testing, right?
  • Pull all of your ad data into a spreadsheet. Data from multiple campaigns in one account. Or for those enterprise situations – ad data from campaigns across multiple accounts. Just snag any ad that was a part of your test.The best case scenario is that you can now create a pivot table based on either the labels (from native AdWords) or comments (from AdWords Editor) to review your data and make changes.Otherwise, you can sort or manipulate your spreadsheet to pivot from any perspective to review your data.Pivot tables are your friend. If you are unfamiliar with them – I recommend checking out this article by Mark Jenson… will learn you up real good!!!Once you understand your test data – make a decision on which ad (or ads) won the test and those that lost. Determine your next test element, create the ad and launch.Rinse/repeat.
  • Testing Ads & Calls-to-Action in Large & Enterprise Level PPC Accounts

    1. 1. Testing Ads & Calls-to-Action in Large orEnterprise Level PPCAccountsTHE RIGHT CTA AT THE RIGHT TIME
    2. 2. John A. LeeManaging Partner of Clix Marketing – search marketingagency specializing in PPC, display advertising andsocial advertising. In the search game for 7 years.Articles have appeared on Search Engine Watch, ClixMarketing Blog, PPC Hero, SEO Boy, WebsiteMagazine, Wordstream Blog and more.
    3. 3. Testing Ads in Large/EnterpriseAccounts is a Headache
    4. 4. Why Are LargeAccounts a Problem? Large number of campaigns. Due to segmentation, campaigns andad groups are repeated. More campaigns = more time and effort.
    5. 5. Why Are EnterpriseAccounts a Problem? Campaigns and ad groups arerepeated across multiple accounts. Time and effort to test is multiplied bynumber of accounts.
    6. 6. So… How Do You Test Ads andCalls-to-Action?MICRO VS. MACRO TESTING
    7. 7. Micro Ad TestingOPTION 1
    8. 8. What is Micro Ad Testing?It is PPC management 101: Isolate an ad group. Confirm ad test data isstatically relevant. Make a decision. Pause an ad. Insert new ad for testing. Move to the next ad group.Why is that bad? It isn’t bad! Just a time and resource drain. If you have the time or physicalresources – have at it!
    9. 9. Macro Ad TestingOPTION 2
    10. 10. What is Macro Ad TestingEfficient, Large Scale Ad Testing Test the same message or call-to-action across many campaignsand ad groups. Consolidate ad performance data. Speed up testing processes.Potential Negatives Averages lie. May not be writing the “perfect”ad for every ad group. Large number of variables. Have to accept that Macrotesting is a compromise.
    11. 11. The Macro Ad Testing Process
    12. 12. How to ConductMacro Ad Testing Maintain rigid campaign and adgroup structure and namingconventions. Use labels in AdWords or comments inAdWords Editor. Eliminate testing variables. Adhere to PPC best practices asmuch as possible.Part 1 – The Guidelines
    13. 13. AdWords EditorComments
    14. 14. How to ConductMacro Ad Testing Pull all of the ad data into a spreadsheet. Best case scenario: create pivot table basedon labels or comments. Alternative: sort/manipulate spreadsheetbased on any element then pivot from thatperspective. Make a decision on winning/losing ads. Pause losing ads. Launch new ads for testing. Rinse/Repeat.Part 2 – Pivot Tables Are Your FriendResource for Pivot Tables: bit.ly/ppc-pivots-rockCourtesy of Get Found First & Mark Jenson
    15. 15. Thank You!Want to Chat?Twitter: @john_a_leeEmail: john@clixmarketing.com