Monthly Archives: September 2012

Split Testing Ads – The Best Way of Split Testing Your PPC Adverts

Split testing ads -Arsenal vs Chelsea

This post covers the topic of split testing ads, and how PPC text ads testing can be related to the beautiful game of football.


For all the passionate football fans out there we all know that the champion’s league is a competition, a competition of all the elite clubs in Europe fighting for that number one spot. Now 32 teams are split into 8 groups, with each team fighting to top each group.  Competition is extremely important when split testing ads. Comparing and setting up a type of elimination system, between your ads similar to the champions’ league group stage with all adverts fighting for that number one spot (ie: better conversion rate or other KPI). Okay here’s how you go about split testing ads. Write two similar ads but change something small, like a call to action or even as little as an exclamation mark, or change something in the headline. Proceed with split testing ads against each other, and once you have collected enough data based on your key performance indicators. You can decide which text ad is your winner. The winner of this ‘split testing ads’ match then moves onto the next round to face a new opponent, perhaps the same ad but with a slight variation, a price or something of that nature. Over the season you will eventually find out your split testing ads champions league winner is.

Barcelona Team (dream team)

Split testing ads - Barcelona 11

At Firstclick digital, we work very close together, I mean literally lol but jokes aside, we all pitch in when it comes to coming up with new landing page ideas, ad ideas, split testing ads and writing text ad variations. Even as a fairly experienced PPCer myself, it sometimes become repetitive with some text ads, sometimes using the same calls to action and phrases. When this happens I simply call on my team to assist me in finishing the race. They lend me a fresh set of eyes. This is a good way get some ideas for split testing ads, in order to find out what might convert best. We often pair up to look at each other’s campaigns and see if we can come up with ideas to beat the current top performing ad text. This is a good way also to improve ad text and the cohesion of the team. Remember teamwork makes the dream work, does the Barcelona team of 2010 – 2011 come to mind?

Premier league

As we all know and I’m not being biased, even though I am English wink! wink!, that the English premier league is the best league in the world, with the best football players from around the world coming to England to play there trade to help enhance the premier league. Here at FirstClick Digital, we are responsible for writing ads targeted to different countries around the world and in an increasing number of languages, which makes the process of split testing ads just that little bit harder. Relying on Google translator or another form of direct translation of your English text ads can be risky, a quick example would be something like, ‘’because’’ and “because of’’ are translated differently into Spanish, and the English word ‘’since’’ often means the same as ‘’because’’ but doesn’t always, if you get my drift. This is where you get that special player from another country to assist your striker, in older to enhance your team. In other words a translator or native speaker, to go through your text ads and write their own edition, in order to right any wrongs, for example spellings, idiosyncrasies and calls to action that might be unique to that particular language that can make all the difference to the Click through rate when split testing ads. And we all know that in Google, a better CTR contributes towards a better quality score.


Tactical Decisions

Split testing ads
This screen from one of our accounts, shows two text ads competing against each-other. Text ad 'A' is the clear winner, with a better conversion rate.

In the football game you want your best players to perform but sometimes due to bad management, some managers fail to give their young prospects a chance to perform. The same goes for split testing ads, having been in this text ad writing game for quite some time, I have made many mistakes and one of these mistakes was letting a poor performing ad be shown the same amount of times as a top performing text ad. Which can lead to us missing out of a chunk of clicks and conversions for our campaign. In Google Adwords, I used to use the ad setting ‘Optimise for clicks’ and just left my ads to ‘optimise’ on this setting. I have noticed a lot of people do the same, but the only thing is, they don’t set it up to ‘optimise for conversions’, which I now do. And let’s face it, we want conversions not just clicks. Providing you have a good number of ads variations, you will soon have the top performing text ad, scoring the most goals in your split testing ads competition!


FirstClick Digital is a London based digital marketing agency with a wealth of search marketing experience backed up with the technology and valuable knowledge needed to deliver a healthy ROI for any campaign. Feel free to give us a call on 0207 289 3218 or fill out the contact form and see how we can help your business grow!

Visit the author of this post here: John Ezeino