This is a guest post by Jana Fung of MixRank

So you have a campaign that’s been fairly successful for some time. Your ads and targeting are relevant to your audience, and you’re getting a steady conversion rate. But, over time, your campaign invariably starts to saturate the market. You see conversion rates begin to drop and costs slowly rise, while traffic remains flat. Don’t fret, this happens to everyone. Online advertising wouldn’t be a full time job if we could just throw up a single successful campaign and collect checks for the rest of our lives.

What should you do if you’re not getting the results you want from your pay per click (PPC) campaigns?

While you could change up the entire campaign altogether and hope you see an improvement, a simple A/B tests can help gradually increase click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and decrease bounce rate.  With multivariate tests or complete re-designs, it’s hard to determine what elements are better performing.  For that reason, I recommend you use simple split tests (like the 3 below) to improve your advertising results.

When conducting A/B tests, it’s important to run both versions of the test simultaneously, and analyze the performance metrics based on the same time frame so that the data is not skewed.

Here are 3 simple A/B tests that’ll have the biggest impact on your PPC campaign and why you need them.

1. Ad Headline

Why you should test headlines: All ads start with an ad impression and a click.  No point in testing your landing page if your ad copy is failing.  Your PPC ads are meant to generate clicks.  If they don’t, your ad is penalized with a low Quality Score and missed impressions.  So, generating the most compelling headline to receive clicks is highly necessary for a successful PPC campaign.

How to test headlines: Your headline can have a big impact on CTR. Test multiple headline variations to see how each one performs.  You can also test using “dynamic keyword insertion” in the headline to help generate more clicks, as that will bold the keyword within the headline.  Another suggestion that often generates more clicks is constructing the headline in the form of a question or adding a branded term in the headline as shown below.


2. Landing Page Call To Action

Why you should test your call to action: Conversion rate is largely determined by your landing page rather than the ad that brought the visitor to your site.  If a visitor can’t easily find or see the call-to-action on the page, this will result in low conversion rate and wasted ad spend on non-converting clicks.

How to test your call to action: You can test the wording, size, color and location of your call-to-action, but try focusing on the most important variables: the size and location of the button.  Are your visitors failing to convert because the call-to-action is in an awkward location or simply too small? Use an A/B test to find out.  As for the color, you’ll want it to stand out in a visible way but it should also complement your brand colors.  Here’s an example of complementing colors:



3. Landing Page Text:

Why you should test your landing page text:

A low conversion rate is a result of a poorly optimized landing page. To tackle this problem head on, you can and should conduct simple split tests to increase your conversion rates on your landing page.  The best part about A/B tests is you can easily see which elements result in more conversions, and use that knowledge for future landing pages and campaigns.

How to test your landing page text: There’s no universal standard for the amount of text that your landing page should have.  All products, landing pages and conversions are different in value, so the amount of text you have really depends on the goal of your landing page.  Instead of assuming what resonates well with your audience, test these theories. If you already have lengthy product descriptions or a text-heavy landing page, try shortening the text to see if conversions increase.  This takes little to no time, as you can just cut out excess text.  Depending on the results, you can cut the text even further or build out more text to highlight additional details of the product, promotion, or service.   Here’s an example of 2 landing pages that are selling lampshades. One has a long product description, and one doesn’t.  To find out which one is better performing, try the A/B test:






And there you have it.  3 simple A/B tests for your PPC campaigns and why you need to do them.  Remember, split tests are simple to implement and the easiest to measure performance on.  So, the next time your PPC campaigns are suffering a slow and declining death, try the simple A/B test to bring it back to life.


Jana is the Marketing Manager at MixRank. She has managed successful demand generation programs for over 5 years. She is optimistic about the growth of online advertising and has a passion for helping online marketers with their campaigns. If you’re a MixRank fan or just want to say hi, she’s interested in connecting with you! Follow her on Twitter @jana_fung