September 4, 2019
How You Should Actually Be Testing and Evaluating Google’s Responsive Search Ads
Data is great, but getting lost in the numbers can cause you to lose sight of your ultimate target – consumers – and how their behavior fuels the successes or failures of your advertising efforts. Holding too tightly to direct PPC metrics can hinder your ability to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and gain a fuller understanding of what motivates your customers.
The following examples explain how you can hop into your pre-digital time machine and travel back to the days of fedoras, martini lunches, and single-column newspaper ads, when creativity was the driving force of the advertising industry, to gain valuable insights about your customer base that will drive more revenue from your digital marketing efforts.
Many advertisers look at ad copy as just one of many levers you can pull to impact paid search performance, but in fact your ad copy can be a trove of useful information about what messaging resonates with your customers. Imagine that your software company has been A/B testing two different ads for three months. One piece of ad copy describes your ease of use, while the other calls out your many positive customer reviews.
You pull an analysis, and ease of use has outperformed customer reviews in terms of CTR, conversion rate, and CPA. Simply pausing the poorer-performing ad (and thereby increasing your overall CTR and conversion rate) will be a huge win for your account, but it is a missed opportunity if you don’t also analyze why ease of use resonates so strongly with your customers. Perhaps your main competitor sells a technically-powerful but difficult-to-use product? Or is your average customer a small business owner who has little time to learn a complicated product? Understanding the answers to these questions will help you improve not just your ad copy, but also your website copy, your sales pitch, and even your choice of marketing channels.
You can use a similar strategy for understanding customer behavior across geographies. If your ecommerce website sells top-quality football gear online, it’s easy enough to pull the geographic performance data, and implement bid modifiers for top performing states. But you can really add value to your strategy by considering why your target market overlaps with these geographic clusters.
Is football more popular in these regions? If so, consider a geo-targeted strategy, breaking states into individual campaigns with ad copy that speaks directly to them, driving a higher CTR. Or perhaps income levels are higher in your top-performing regions, and schools and club teams are able to pay for higher-quality gear. If that’s the case, then consider implementing additional bid modifiers to target high-income individuals. You can drive much stronger sales results by diving just a little deeper into your data and employing a little bit of creative thought.
As technology gets more and more powerful, the level of sophistication with which advertisers can evaluate their efforts increases proportionally. In addition, advertisers allocate millions of dollars in ad spend every day based on the vast troves of data that digital advertising campaigns generate. With so many data points to consider, it’s easy to lose sight of the real goal. So don’t forget to take a step back occasionally to consider what’s really motivating your customers to choose you.