Paid Search Marketing
Let’s be honest, ad copy testing=tedious. Those of you who have conducted A/B testing on your ads are completely aware of how painfully time-consuming this task can be. Creating testing Excel sheets to set up, sort, and analyze how one’s ads are performing against one another can suck up hours upon hours of your time.
But, on the other hand, making small tweaks to your ad text can drastically increase traffic to your site! This is why testing is incredibly important, and can lead to glorious outcomes if done properly. Who doesn’t want a higher click-through-rate (CTR) that leads to more conversions, an improved quality score, and lower costs? You can achieve this through testing, testing, testing!
As I explain this to a client, they inevitably groan back, “But I don’t have time to test!” or “Testing is over my head.”
Fear no more! A simple solution has been created: PPC Hero’s New Ad Automator! Finally, an intuitive, user-friendly tool that creates new ads and automates the testing and reporting process.
But how does it work? And is it actually useful? Let’s dive in to some pros and cons…
After poking around the Ad Automator a bit, I really enjoyed the clear-cut user experience. The tool also allows you to try it out with a 7-day free trial before investing any spend.
What I Like About PPC Hero’s Ad Automator Tool
First I’d like to point out a few noteworthy features of the Ad Automator tool:
- Setting the tool up takes a few seconds: I was impressed by how simple it was to link my AdWords account, create a new experiment, and launch it in an instant. The tool guides you through these steps and your tests are off and running in no time (or scheduled to run, if preferred).
- The experiment building process is pleasant and understandable: There’s no frustrating bells and whistles here; you simply click the new experiment button, select your campaign(s) or entire account, chose how you’d like to measure success, enter the ad copy variations you’d like to test, and then start, schedule, or export your experiment. There are options, but it’s not overwhelming or incomprehensible.
- Results are delivered to your door step: Not literally, that would be a bit creepy. But the tool tracks and reports each round of ad tests in your experiment, and once statistical significance is reached you are alerted via email. How wonderful is that! It takes the pressure off manually monitoring, and having to decide what enough time is to run an experiment. You also will not forget to review any experiments you have running.
- All experiments (active and paused) are displayed in a clear graph view: The Ad Automator homepage shows the experiments separated by two graphs – those that are running and those that are not running. The visual is clear and provides some helpful metrics like the testing round #, current challenger, etc. A link is then provided for each experiment to open in a new tab, which displays more metrics on the winners of the individual testing rounds.
A Few Issues with Ad Automator
Like most tools, it isn’t perfect. Here are a few ideas for future improvement:
- More measurement control and reporting options: There are only three options to measure the success of your ad by – conversion rate, click-through rate (CTR), or impressions until conversion (IUC). Although these metrics are all important, some companies may be focused on other metrics, like cost-per-acquisition (CPA). It would also be nice to see a variety of performance metrics in a sharable report.
- Ability to customize columns in the homepage view: Every user has viewing preferences so it might be nice to have more control over the columns displayed with additional metric options and an ability to organize these as one would like. For example maybe the first thing I want to see is which round the experiment is on. This is just me being a bit nitpicky though.
- Tips for optimizing ads: A best practice tool to help optimize ad text when building these text ads would be a helpful addition to the tool, especially for the more novice PPC users out there. For example, in our Optimize Ads Alerts in the WordStream 20-Minute PPC Work Week, we have a best practice check box, which suggests simple ways to improve your text ad, like capitalizing each word in your ad or enabling sitelinks.
- Implement an option to test at the Ad Group level: Unfortunately, the tool only operates at the account or campaign level so experiments will be applied to all ad groups within the campaign. This is not ideal, since it is always advised to have tightly themed ads that align with your specific ad groups. I agree with Clix Marketing’s Managing Partner, John Lee, here that this might be the biggest downfall of the tool.
To conclude, this tool may have its drawbacks, but all in all it is a great solution for those new to testing who have a limited amount of time. The Ad Automator automates the testing process quickly and efficiently so you can lay back and relax without developing blurred vision from an overdose of screen viewing. With some additional features such as the ability to test on the ad group level and some more advanced reporting features, this tool could be a key player to improve text ad testing.
We've just heard from the team at Hanapin that they've been listening to the feedback and have updated the tool accordingly. Ad Automator now includes ad-group-level testing. Read more about this updated functionality over at the PPC Hero blog.
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