Google Adwords Ad Variations

It’s only been a few weeks since I started to making some money in the pay per click market. It has been quite a learning process and there are so many variables on making the most out of your ad dollars. In addition to successfully making money off several test campaigns, I have had many fail. Once I run through a test campaign and see how the first couple hundred clicks perform, I make the decision to go ahead with the campaign, or trash it. During test campaigns, I am hoping to break even, or have a loss of around 10-15%. With this margin of loss you can still make a bad campaign into a good campaign.

Todays "PPC Tip" will focus on your campaigns ad copy, or "Google Ad Variations". If you are currently a Google Adwords users, you should know that you can setup several ad copies for your Adwords campaigns. Doing so will greatly increase your chances of cashing in with higher ppc earnings and becoming a successful PPC Marketer. Take a look at the example below.

To help you better understand, I setup four fictional ad copies which would be used if I was promoting this blog through ppc on Google Adwords. You should setup as many campaign ad copies as you can. Once the ad copies have been running in rotation you can weed out the performers from the non-performers. Taking a deeper look into stats, you can see a wide variation between click ratios and conversion rates. With pixel tracking you can track the overall cost for acquiring each lead, but I will go into detail on that another day. In this example, the first ad copy "Make Money with Zac Johnson" is the best performer, with a .01% click rate. Although the second ad copy "Zac is a Marketing God" pulls a better click through rate, it’s cost to conversion was more than double that of the first ad copy.

Once you know what ad copies are performing best, you can pause or delete some of the poor campaigns. This way you will receive more clicks and earnings, instead of letting the poor campaigns continually show. Continue to monetize your campaigns, weed out the good from the bad and you will succeed in ppc marketing!

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  1. Good article. What's the best way to go about testing different creatives if you are trying to target either keywords that have a higher CPC and you don't have the budget to spend a couple dollars a click, or a very targeted keyword/phrase where there is not much search traffic to test from?

    1. Try advertising across MSN, Yahoo and Google. You may be able to get more volume with lower cpc rates. Once you test on the smaller guys to see if leads are working, take those keywords over to Google Adwords then setup a few ad variations to see what works. Once you see the best performers, you can go back and change your MSN and Yahoo search ads to these same ad copies.

  2. Great post! I've let my campaign stagnate over the last few weeks. perhaps it's time I went in there and tweaked it a bit.

    How long do you run these campaigns before you think you have statistically solid numbers?

    1. I like to test campaigns with around 500-1000 clicks before I decide if I will continue to run them or not. If it's a low cpc offer, I usually cap off around $100 per test.

  3. Interesting Zac – I really like the PPC series. Keep it up.

    I'm wondering a couple of things: how many different ads do you think should be tested, and how do you track conversions?

    1. I really only started testing with multiple ad copies on campaigns that were performing well. I like to track using sub-ids (usually provided through affiliate networks) and pixel tracking for leads.

      1. I think Google Analytics could help with conversions, though I don't know if it would show where the conversions were from. I have a downloadable book on my page…can I track conversions still?

        1. Also, once you find the best-running ad, do you keep that campaign going indefinitely? Do you keep adding new ones to test? I imagine it depends on how well things are going.

  4. Thanks for the visual. I am buying into the testing of the campaigns. I have read horror stories of people that left campaigns 24/7 only to find out the conversions were terrible. Should I pause the campaigns when I am not available to keep up with the stats?

    1. You can pause, but the better option is to set daily limits on your campaigns. Instead of taking a much traffic as you can, set something like a $25 or $50 daily limit. This way the most you can possibly lose on one day is that set amount. Unfortunately for myself, I find that lack of volume is usually the issue.

  5. Ugh. I've tossed so much money to Adwords trying to get acampaign to be profitable. No such luck yet.

  6. I touched on the same subject in this post here:

    I tried to get across the point you're not after a high click rate (CTR), but conversion rate. It's easy to write a bad ad with a really high CTR because people are curious (eg. they want to find the price for the product mentioned in the ad) but unlikely to buy. Always include as much info in the ads as possible (if it's products, include price, availability, shipping cost etc!).

  7. i am struggling figuring out cost per conversion for affiliate links. I just want to know for each keyword, how many have clicked on my affiliate link. Any ideas?

    1. There's some javascript you can put on your "conversion page" (eg. "thanks for your order") to get better tracking. If you're sending people straight to Amazon or something, it's difficult to do without creating tons of different tracking IDs

  8. Interesting information Zac. Thanks for sharing. My brother and I have been interested in running our own Adwords campaign, but are confused about everything! I guess it doesn't hurt to just try something new sometime..

    P.S. I thought you weren't allowed to show CTR and whatnot with any of Google's programs? Or is that just with Adsense for content? I may be wrong though.


    1. I beleive that is just with Google Adsense. if not, the descriptions and campaign numbers I used as example where not from matching campaigns, they were only examples.

  9. I think you need better than 0.01% for CTR… i think to have a successful campaign you gotta be around 0.1% for ROI. (That's why I stopped using Google AdWords)

    Best way I think is using text links…(or just make enough websites with high PR…)

    1. I started working with Adwords a couple of months ago, so I don't claim to be an expert but as far as I know, the CTR for Search network should be at least 3-5%. You should make different campaigns for Content networks in order not to lower the general CTR (the higher CTR the lower the CPC, right:)

      Thanks for the good discussion

  10. Why not just split test 2 ads at a time, rather than 4? Then just keep writing new ads to "beat your winning ad", also known as "beat your control".

  11. Nice post and the idea of trial and error on which ads to use makes it even simpler and you can easily bounce back from the losses once you know which ads works best and give you a large amount of clicks. Its a matter of tweaking your ads.

    Thanks for the heads up advice. Thats PPC marketing and Adwords Strategy.

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