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A/B testing can drive you mad but it's worth it!
There are so many ways you can do A/B testing, but in the end, you're just looking for the best ad or landing page in order to convert more people while paying less money. You can A/B test ads, banners, landing pages, entire websites, forms, etc. If there is something that a potential customer can react to, it can be split test, and it likely should be if you want to know what works best for your target demographic!
A/B testing is also called split testing, which is what I also referred to it above, and it's essentially setting up various things that all have the same goal. You can set up 10 ads within one Adwords campaign to see which ones are performing the best, removing the ones that don't work well, and possibly setting up more that mimic the top performers already within the account. You can do the same with banner ads when it comes to advertising, which most of us already do, and this will help increase your click-throughs as well as drop your CPC if you're paying a flat fee for the banner advertisement. One of the easier places to do split testing with banners are on advertising networks like BuySellAds because they allow you to upload the same creative for a single ad. Now, I know you can do this in various other places online, but BSA just makes it really user-friendly and that's why I talked about them lol.
Patience is key when doing A/B testing
If you're not a patient person, you likely won't have much hair after A/B testing, because you'll be pulling it out every day when you don't see much data coming in lol. A/B testing, or split testing, needs to be done over a few weeks or even a few months to get the best possible idea of what works best for your audience. I will usually run a bunch of ads for the same campaign, targeting the same keywords, and see what is working best after 3 weeks. I'll remove the 3 worst ads, leaving me with at least 7 ads, and keep those going for another 3 weeks. After that, I'll use good judgment to remove the ones that are underperforming and keep the rest. Now, if you have the idea of removing the 3 worst ads, then removing the next 3 worst ads a few weeks later, you could be losing some money. I tend to keep 1 or 2 ads that could be removed, but they're close to being winners in my book, just to see how they do for the next couple of weeks. If they start to pick up steam, I'll keep them around, if they start to drop down even further, I won't think twice about removing them.
My Adwords split testing formula based on 10 ads for 1 campaign:
- Start with 10 ads
- Add various keywords specific to these ads
- Apply "Opportunities" that I think are good over the next 3 weeks
- Remove 3 of the worst performing ads
- Wait 3 more weeks while adding good "Opportunities"
- Remove the worst ads, keeping only the best, and possibly some "maybe" ads
- Add some Mimic ads to the campaign and see if they outperform the best ads already live
- Rinse and Repeat
As you can see from my basic A/B testing formula, it will take me a minimum of 6 weeks before I get to a point where I feel comfortable with my ads. I'll be adding Opportunities suggested by Adwords along the way, removing ads that aren't performing, and mimicking the ads that are already doing well. In the end, I'll have the best ads within an optimized campaign as I possibly can and I should have a pretty good quality score as well lol.
Don't rush A/B testing
If you're constantly checking your ads and monitoring their performance 10 times a day, you're going to rush to conclusions and potentially remove something you shouldn't have. You need to take your time in order to get this right and you will be glad you waited a week or even a day longer to remove something.
If you're just split testing some ads then maybe you should also set up a duplicate campaign and A/B test your landing pages. Some people have seen vast improvements when it comes to capturing sales simply by split testing their landing pages to see what converts the best. The best part about split testing a landing page is that it doesn't take as long since the people going to it will make an instant decision and the data won't lie lol. You can literally split test 10 different landing pages and send 100 people to each of them to figure out which one works best. Split testing ads is a little more difficult due to all the moving parts, but landing pages seem to be a little easier and in the end, they are what will sell your products or services so you better know what works and what doesn't lol.
In the end, you should always be split testing and taking your time because it can be very frustrating if you try to rush it. You might delete stuff you shouldn't have because you waiting 2 days instead of a few weeks. You may think you already have the best setup but then you start to split test and find some real winners in terms of ads, keywords, landing pages, forms, etc. Keep split testing even if you already have done it for a campaign or website, you never know how times will shift and something working now might not work later on