One of the most influential decisions every company makes is what kind of advertising and digital marketing strategy to adopt. As there are so many different approaches, it can be confusing for companies to decide which method to choose. One of these methods is A/B testing. 

 

What exactly is A/B testing, and how can it help you improve ad efficiency?

What is A/B Testing of Advertising Campaigns

A/B testing, or split testing, is a marketing technique used by businesses to optimize their advertising campaigns. This is a process where you run a control group of ads and a test group and then track and analyze how both groups of campaigns perform. You can then monitor which group performs better and implement it in future campaigns.

Testing structured advertising campaigns, sellers can identify the best-performing ones to maximize their ROI and refine a website conversion process. It also allows advertisers to experiment with their marketing efforts and find areas where they can optimize ads without wasting their budgets.

Why Should You Test Advertising Campaigns

When businesses think about paying for ads, they may be uncertain of the value they’ll get or their return on investment as it is difficult to know whether or not an advertising campaign is working based on its initial returns. It’s not just a matter of whether or not you should invest in a particular type of advertising. Data has been showing that there are differences across different types of ads in terms of the ways users interpret them.

 

This is where testing comes in. To ensure your promotional material generates the expected outcome, you have to test different approaches. With A/B testing, you may quickly come up with a winning PPC campaign and make the changes that are needed. Thus, you’ll be able to target the right audience, optimize the landing page, and get the best results out of your advertising campaign.

Resolve Consumer Pain Points

Data is growing to become the core of today’s successful online businesses. AI, advanced analytics, and machine-learning software have assisted the Fortune 500 companies and professional startups alike, making the use of data more important. As data analytics has also become a critical component of advertising, marketers are testing hundreds of different variations of their digital ad campaigns to maximize ROI.

Improve ROI and Conversions 

It is not easy to make informed decisions about where to spend your marketing dollars, especially when a budget limits you. A/B testing has the potential to help you make more strategic decisions by providing opportunities to reallocate your marketing budget and test different channels and goals. This way you can be sure conversion rates don’t drop. From better acquisition and retention rates to improved ROI, these tests aren’t as scary as they may seem, and they’re totally worth trying.

Diminish Bounce Rate

Bounce rates are keeping marketers awake at night. Why? Bounce rates are a common measure of the success of online content. They’re a critical metric that directly affects conversions and lifetime value-per-subscriber. So, it’s important to know how well your content is performing by testing it through A/B testing.

Make Statistically Significant Accelerations

To grow your business, you need metrics that matter and that ultimately lead to more conversions. Learning how to create, execute, and evaluate your own A/B tests is one of the best practices for business acceleration. 

Efficiently Redesign Your Website

A/B testing can be used to test out the entire web page or its different elements to see what changes impact your success the most. A/B tests also let you test how many of your web elements users notice without even clicking on them. You can test colors, calls-to-action, headlines, and other web page elements to see what drives the most conversions. 

A/B Testing in Paid Online Advertising

When you’re short on the budget, you may be tempted to check multiple things at once to make the A/B testing quicker. But that is a huge mistake – as a result, you won’t receive any valuable insights. 

 

What you need is an accurate plan of the tests you’re about to run.

Set a Goal

When defining the ads to run tests for, a brand has to first take into consideration what to reach. Are you trying to increase conversion or improve leads? Perhaps you’re trying to rank your products higher? Choose a primary metric and be specific with your goals. 

Have a “Control” Version

Prior to creating a variation, you have to record the outcomes provided by the initial version (or version “A”). Do not pause or change the control group during the A/B testing process. In order to test your ad variations, you must be using the current version while testing your new variations.

Create Hypotheses

What changes will assist you in achieving the objectives you’ve set? Answer this question, and you have a hypothesis. 

 

Think of the causes that might be hurting your campaign performance, have a look at how your current approach is different from your competitors, browse through the statistics, and you’ll be able to come up with a few solutions to your problems.

Define Your Timeline and Budget

Think about how long you want your tests to run and whether the timeline isn’t too short/long, as this can end up in imprecise outcomes. If you have a low budget, it will be several days or even weeks before you can see notable results.

Launch Tests

Once you’re done with the steps above, launch the tests. Your goal should be to try out one element at a time so that you can determine which component of your strategy affected its performance. Once you’ve run the two competing variations, stop running the one that has the highest lift. 

 

When you’re looking to run a social media ad campaign to promote your product, it’s essential that you run tests on the campaign components. This way, you can see where the ROI is. Listed below are some of the most important ads to test first of all. 

Thumbnail

Images are often the first thing that grabs a user’s attention. The imagery you choose to use in your website’s ad thumbnail is just as important as the words you include in the advertised product description. It’s crucial to get a jump on your competition and make sure you’re curating the right thumbnail that’s going to help your users click on your ad. 

 

To start with thumbnail testing and comparison, try color variations, create captivating titles, include text and compelling imagery, etc.

Ad Copy

There is no use in posting compelling thumbnails or landing pages if your ad headline doesn’t attract the right users. Consider testing the following elements of your ad copy:

 

  • Power words. Try out different phrasings of your ad to test their power to convince people to buy. Powerful words like ”free” and ”exclusive”, shown in an advertisement, can dramatically affect a person’s buying decision. Create a cheat sheet of big money words, so your own A/B tests are as successful as possible. Sweeten your ads with words such as “awesome,” “beautiful,” etc. 
  • CTA. Conduct experiments to test how different calls to action (CTA) variations perform in an ad campaign. Then compare two different CTA variations. Also, add CTAs in your headlines and see how people react to them. 
  • Transparency. Selling without mentioning a price is ambiguous. It can raise questions in the minds of readers. So, before deciding whether or not to mention the price of your product on your homepage, test different variants.
  • Urgency. When constructing an ad copy, many sellers choose to make it sound urgent by adding words like “now,” “today,” and “right now.” Most people will respond to marketing messages if they happen to be in a moment of need and fear that they’re missing out. But this doesn’t work every time. That’s why you need to test this too.

Landing Pages

Your landing page is an essential part of every marketing campaign, the goal of which is to increase conversions by testing variations of your page. A/B testing is designed to determine which version of a landing page is more effective. 

Since more than one person will land on the page at a time, A/B testing is an appropriate method for testing landing page effectiveness. 

Measuring the Results of the Ad Campaign Tests

Your ad campaign was launched, and now you want to measure the results and make adjustments as necessary. Keeping a running list of the successes, failures, and sometimes in-betweens, you’ll know what works for your audience and what doesn’t. 

 

The digital advertising world has seen a rise in the use of analytics-backed decision-making processes for everything from creative considerations to campaign optimization. One way to measure the impact of these processes is through the channels a campaign was delivered and its conversion rate. This way you can measure the impact of the ad campaign by comparing its value to its cost.

About the Author

Michael Iefremov is the Head of Analytics at Profit Whales, a full-service marketing agency for e-commerce brands that scales them on Amazon and beyond via a cross-channel approach.

 

Thanks to the experience of working with PPC Ads at the beginning of the journey, Michael was able to set up a clear multichannel client report system, develop a DS product and other new products (Niche Analysis, Advanced Advertising Audit, Product Research, etc.) that help e-commerce businesses plan and achieve the growth. He is also managing a team of analysts working with the agency’s clients.