We can all learn from testing in search advertising

Testing alternative advertisement copy is a staple technique in search advertising. Indeed, in AdWords, Google is really pushing advertisers to do that. One of the nice things if you get a definite ‘A-is-better-than-B’ result is that the lesson learned can probably be transferred elsewhere. If an advert that says “blue widgets are better than red ones” gets a higher click-through rate than one that says “what colour widget works best?”, we might be able to use the results in all sorts of other marketing collateral.

A general test is to compare a product-led headline with a solution-led one. Common sense tells us the former should work better where buyers are comparison shopping, and the latter when they’re in a research phase. Once we’ve decided which stage we’re at, it might be time to experiment with the text itself, and what’s more eye-catching: numbers, punctuation and the like. Testing should never really stop.

Search advertising can give us some really useful data – don’t waste the opportunity.