Surely you’ve seen a movie with a mad scientist. The Fly, Frankenstein, The Island of Dr. Moreau. The premise is simple: a scientist wants to solve a problem and is willing to push the boundaries to do so. He performs an experiment and it has unexpected consequences.
Experiments are the best way to find out what works and what doesn’t. They are an important tool to breaking new ground.
Here at Keyword Connects, we’ve created our own little laboratory for lead generation. But, our experiments don’t (usually) involve human/insect hybrids or zombies on the loose. Rather, our experiments are targeted at what matters most in lead generation: high performing ads. It’s called A/B testing.
What is A/B Testing?
A/B testing involves running two ads side by side and finding out which ad homeowners prefer. How do we know which one they like more? Clicks. When a homeowners sees something they like online, they’re going to click on it.
The goal of A/B testing is to experiment with different ad copy. In Google AdWords, you can test two blocks of text. Notice the two ads below: the blue text above the “ad” icon is the headline. The black test is the description.
In this case, we are testing 2 different headlines: “budget-friendly solutions” and “roofing that lasts a lifetime.” Both are about stretching your money, but they’re using different words to say it. According to the data, the click through rate (CTR) for the budget-friendly ad is dramatically better.
We can conclude that when homeowners are looking for metal roofs, they are more interested in an affordability off the bat. This finding is reinforced by the fact that “affordable” also appears in the description.
Why Should I Test My Ads?
In a nutshell, testing your ads helps you understand what the homeowners in your territory find appealing at the moment. It helps all of your media and messaging: direct mail, print ads, leave behinds. Using messaging that’s been tested can only help to lift response.
How Often Do I Have to Test?
Finding the right words is an ongoing process. The home improvement market is always changing; conversions depend on the economy, design trends and real estate values. As a result, a winning ad won’t always be a winning ad.
Ideally, you’ll want to run A/B tests every month. This will prevent sudden drops in lead volume, and provide insight as you add new products.
Will I See a Real Difference?
In the end, experimenting with your ads will pay off. Instead of creating a monster, you’ll create an ad that generate sustainable sales leads for your business. A/B testing is a tool meant to be used and it can really help you maximize the impact of your marketing budget.
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Twice a month, Todd Bairstow shares his take on internet marketing for home improvement companies. Submit your email to receive his latest posts.