your ads
Pay per click icon vector, filled flat sign, solid colorful pictogram isolated on white, symbol illustration

By Will Haswell

Being visible online is vital for small businesses, and one quick win is to run a pay per click (PPC) campaign to get visitors to your website. In this article, Adzooma, the all-in-one digital marketing platform, offer tips to businesses and beginners who are undertaking PPC advertising.

Testing is a fundamental aspect of successful pay per click (PPC) advertising and will help you avoid wasting money on ads that aren’t working.

Start testing early so you can yield meaningful results from your ads more quickly. If you are a novice to PPC advertising, here are some fundamentals to bear in mind as you start testing your ads.

Test Big Changes Instead of Minor Tweaks

Changing the odd word or colour may be worthwhile but rather than tinkering with such minor changes you are better off testing bigger ideas. For example, you could test your messaging by mentioning different USPs in your headlines.

For instance, one ad might say:

Brown Leather Sofa Bed – Free Delivery Available

Handcrafted Exclusive Design Sofas That Are Built To Last. Buy Now.

While the other might say:

Brown Leather Sofa Bed – Hand Built In the UK

Handcrafted Exclusive Design Sofas That Are Built To Last. Buy Now.

Make Sure You Have Enough Data

To get meaningful results, make sure you have enough data to go on before making a decision. A good rule of thumb is to wait until you get about 100 clicks before analysing your results.

If you are only making small changes then you’ll need to run your test for longer before you can be sure of your results.

Test Copy More Than Anything Else

The vast majority of your testing should focus on testing the copy in your ads. The words you choose should entice people to click your ad.

The headline is the most important aspect of your copy because people may not read the rest of your ad. Mentioning the key benefits of your product in your headline will help persuade people it is worth buying. Compare how ads with different benefits perform to see which ones matter most to customers. You also want to try and make some emotional connection with your potential customers. Consider your personas’ likes and dislikes when trying to write copy that will connect with them.

Your call to action is another crucial piece of copy to test. You can try out more forceful wording like “Buy Now” or a more subtle variation which simply says “Shop Here.”

You can also try out different amounts of copy but don’t write extra just for the sake of it. You could use longer ad copy to address any barriers that might prevent people buying from you. For instance, you could include information that will act as a trust signal, such as social proof, or highlighting a media mention by saying something like “As Featured in The Sunday Times.”

The effect of different offers in your ads is also worth testing. You can also test mentioning your brand name or, if it’s appropriate for your industry and audience, you could try using humour to make your ad stand out.

Test Landing Pages

Of course it’s no good having a killer ad only to have people click away the instant they see your landing page. So make sure you test creating an effective landing page.

Don’t shy away from big redesigns either because they could be exactly what you need to make a real impact.

Try testing landing pages with different types of rich media, such as videos or picture backgrounds. Including a video on your landing page can help boost conversions by as much as 80%.

Once more, your call to action is key here, so try using different wording for it and moving its position on the page. Including trust signals like social proof and media mentions are also still relevant.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to make sure your landing page works well on the devices your buyers tend to use.

Optimise for Mobiles

More than half of the traffic to retail websites now comes from smartphones and tablets and 36% of UK retail sales are made on mobile devices.

So you should absolutely be testing how to make your ads more effective for users on these platforms.

You can do this in a number of ways but one simple one to try is including copy that says “Browse our mobile-friendly website.”

You can also test stripping away elements that will affect your load time on mobile phones, like large images. Consumers typically expect a page to load in two seconds.

Copy heavy information is a turn off on mobile phones, so keep your ads short and to the point. Headings are even more important on mobile phones – so be sure to test making these as persuasive as possible.

PPC testing can make a real difference to the success of your ads and this article only covers a handful of ideas to get you started. Don’t lose heart if you don’t land on a winning ad straight away, you will still learn valuable lessons you can use to optimise your ads.


Will Haswell is Business Development Manager at Adzooma. He has worked in the digital sector for over 7 years, and managed and delivered large digital marketing strategies for some of the UK’s largest businesses. With vast experience in ad operations and technology, he has encountered many third-party platforms, some good, and some not so good. Now at Adzooma, he is passionate about and strives to deliver a world class all-in-one digital marketing platform to simplify the management, and optimisation of digital campaigns in one central location. @adzooma.