A/B Testing: The Secret Sauce That Makes Ads Effective

A/B Testing, Split Testing—if you’re in the world of online marketing or digital advertising, you’ve probably heard of it. Most marketers and advertisers would sing praises for it, for a good reason. Even the…

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A/B Testing: The Secret Sauce That Makes Ads Effective

A/B Testing, Split Testing—if you’re in the world of online marketing or digital advertising, you’ve probably heard of it. Most marketers and advertisers would sing praises for it, for a good reason.

Even the advertising legend has a few words about it:

“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.”
— David Ogilvy

 

A Horse Race Analogy

Imagine you’re about to bet $100 on a horse race for the first time.

Out of the 10 horses, 1 of them, let’s call the horse ‘X’, has consistently won 80% of the time. The rest have won around 40–50% of the time.

Having this kind of data, you’d bet on ‘X’.

That’s the kind of insight A/B Testing offers, you’re getting a cold, hard look at the numbers to see which part of your ad works.
 

 

Why A/B Test?

The betting logic behind the horse race is the same when making ads.
You don’t create an ad and just wing it from there. You make sure your ad works by testing it. After rigorous rounds of testing, only then you can say that your ad is the best and will give you the performance you’re looking for.

  • Don’t know which ad headline works better? Run an A/B Test.
  • Don’t know which color is more attractive? Run an A/B Test.
  • Don’t know which picture resonates with the audience the most? Run an A/B Test.

A/B Testing removes the guesswork. It gives you the answer, complete with numbers and figures, right away. Instead of letting your creative team argue over which ad works better, let the numbers guide them. Ultimately, A/B Testing saves you time, energy, money, and headaches. Even Facebook offers practical A/B Testing tips on their platform!

Now here’s a good question: How do you run an A/B Test? Here’s a quick step-by-step rundown of A/B Testing:
 

 

Step #1: Set 1 Main Goal Only

Yes, you read that right.

When you’re doing an A/B Test, you have to be incredibly specific what your goal is because that’s what you’re going to test on.

Juggling multiple goals means you’re going to do multiple A/B Tests simultaneously. That’s a surefire way to drain your energy, waste your time, and confuse yourself with the results. Whether it’s increasing the conversion rate for sales or increasing impression for awareness, just choose 1.

It’s the only way to keep yourself sane while running effective A/B tests.

 

Step #2: Declare Your Bias (Your Hypothesis)

Before proceeding with the A/B Test, you must declare your hypothesis.

Your hypothesis is your belief prior to the testing.

  • You believe that Headline A works better than Headline B
  • You believe that Image X is better than Image Y
  • You believe that Color B is better than Color C

Whatever it is, you must have a hypothesis to steer your A/B testing towards the right direction.

Does this step sound familiar?

It should.

It’s the scientific method we learned at school that we should now be applying in the real world!
 

 

Step #3: Run Your A/B Test!

Remember that you have to have only 1 main goal (Step #1) and to state your hypothesis (Step #2).

That means if you want better conversion rates, your ad texts should probably be tested. If you’d like to raise awareness by getting your ads exposed, you’d want to test your headline or your ad image.

Here are some tips to ensure you’re effectively running A/B Tests:

  • Make one tweak at a time. One headline. One Image. One color. One line of text. You don’t want to drown in a sea of data.
  • Run both ads, Version 1 and Version 2, at the same time. If you don’t, your results won’t matter.
  • Show them to the same set of people. The same as running both ad versions at the same time, if you don’t run them to the same set of people, your results won’t matter.
  • It’s better to conclude when you have at least 100 interactions on both versions. It’s even better if it’s higher than 100. Concluding from interactions less than 100 is just not that reliable.
  • To know if one version actually performed better than the other, use this incredibly helpful significance test tool from Kissmetrics.

 

Think A/B Testing is not Your Cup of Tea?

When you’re not comfortable with a task, it’s best to leave it to the guys who have done it before.

Otavation is an international online advertising company that helps businesses achieve their marketing and advertising goals through innovative techniques and practices. From PPC Ads to A/B Testing, we have you covered.
Contact us today
so we can help you run your business better.

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