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How to test pay-per-click ads

It could be argued that Internet users have become desensitized to the mass amount of content and subsequent advertisements they're exposed to on a daily basis. But in the online retail industry, pay-per-click ads still hold value. In fact, recent joint research conducted by Convertro and AOL Platforms suggests that conversion rates for paid social network advertising were 25 percent higher than organic search results.

While there's no denying the power of social media, the argument could be made that paid ads, whether on social media networks, search engines or another platform, provide value to the advertiser. Now that the power of pay-per-click ads has been established, it's time to understand how and why they must be tested before, during and after an outreach campaign, especially if it's a multichannel approach to customer interaction.

Why should we test pay-per-click ads?

Now that you're familiar with pay-per-click ads and the purpose that they serve, it's time to understand why they should be tested. PPC's entire premise is based on generating traffic, which is easily measurable, but it comes with a caveat. Without proper management, your business could end up spending much more than it had initially anticipated and end up with undesirable results upon the campaign's conclusion.

Regardless of the platform, pay-per-click ads have the ability to generate a lot of traffic in a short window of time. It's also flexible in that businesses can adjust campaigns in real time, which is a necessary component for any successful outreach effort. Testing these campaigns will help you refine your marketing efforts and optimize more efficiently. The key is to not settle with something that yields positive results; now's the chance to push the envelope and strive for digital marketing greatness.

How can we test PPC?

First things first, you need to develop goals as to what you're looking to test and the results you hope to get out of testing. A concrete set of objectives helps you plan for the near and distant future as well as understand why you're testing and how to improve any shortcomings.

Since digital advertising is so reliant on click-through rates, businesses can easily track their PPC campaigns because most platforms provide real-time analytics with the service. Having this type of analysis is important for any growing ecommerce platform, but an actionable strategy must be developed once information is collected, otherwise the data is meaningless. Search engines and social networks will provide services that gather information, but it's up to you to act on it.

What should we be testing?

In the digital marketing world, the stream of new information will seemingly never run dry, which can make it difficult to understand which metrics a new business should be tracking on its PPC advertising outreach program. Keeping that in mind, here are few specific metrics your business can track during a PPC ad campaign:

  • Conversion rates

  • Keywords

  • Which channels are directing the most traffic

  • Ad copy

  • Landing pages

  • Keyword insertion

  • Geographical targeting

  • Demographical targeting

Businesses benefit from testing pay-per-click ads, especially when they create actionable strategies and realistic goals beforehand. Generating traffic flow to an ecommerce store's site is critical to its success. Ecommerce store owners test PPC ads to best optimize which campaigns are working best.

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