07 Mar Dental PPC Q&A: What is A/B Testing? (And why does my campaign need it?)
When implemented correctly, pay-per-click advertising can be a full time job. There are many elements that need to happen for a dental PPC campaign to work, like; keyword research, keyword selection, landing page creation, ad copy, analytics and of course, all of that tracking and analyzing to see if any of this is converting into actual calls made to your dental practice. What’s more, is Google will continue to push PPC advertisers to do a better job by docking those that do not keep up with PPC advancements – like better ad extensions – that will boost their user’s experience. Yes, just like in content marketing, Google will only reward high-quality work in PPC. A 5-minute “slapped” together campaign just won’t cut it; you might as well not even do it. But all of this work can be some of the most fruitful when it comes to quickly putting new patients in your dental chair. We’re seeing more and more of our clients have their best marketing success through PPC campaigns.
One of the most important parts of any great PPC campaign is continual testing to see if it is resonating with your target market and getting you the click-through and conversion rates you want. There are many ways to test your campaign – ranging from complex multivariate testing to a simple A/B split test. In this article, we’re going to focus on A/B testing and give you some insight into the simplest ways it can be implemented for dental practices.
Q: What is A/B testing in a dental PPC campaign and what will it tell me?
A: At its core, A/B testing involves testing two versions of one variable in your PPC campaign with the goal of improving your ad impressions, click-through rate or conversion rate. Often campaigns will start off great but results will taper off after a while and A/B testing has the ability to isolate the problem so your results don’t fall too far off track.
Q: Why does my dental PPC campaign need A/B testing?
A: As we mentioned, a simple A/B split test is a quick and simple way to pinpoint a problem in a PPC campaign. Here is a very simplified example, let’s say you have a PPC ad that targets potential patients searching for wisdom teeth extraction. Your ad performed well for a few weeks but you’re noticing that you aren’t getting quite as many visits to your website and calls to your office via your call tracking number. So, you take a look at your ad headlines and decide that maybe it could be more dynamic and eye-catching, but you’re not certain if that’s your problem. To see if it’s your headline that’s slowing your PPC results, you make a simple change, like this:
Original ad title – Wisdom Teeth Extraction – Comfortable & Affordable Care
New ad title – Wisdom Teeth Removal – Affordable Emergency Care
A simple A/B test would run each ad with the separate headlines and see which performs better. It’s an easy way to keep your campaign fresh and your conversion rates at their best.
Q: What parts of my campaign should be tested?
A: You can test just about any part of your PPC campaign, but for simplicity’s sake, here are three important elements many marketers (including us) suggest you test with A/B testing:
- Ad Headlines – Change up your headlines often to find what works best for your market and potential patient base. If your headline isn’t generating a high enough click-through rate (ie – how many people actually click on your ad that takes them to your landing page) Google will penalize your quality score, which means disaster for a good PPC ad. Change up your headlines, try some dynamic keyword insertion (your keyword will show up in BOLD) and track your results.
- Landing Page – When your potential patients click on your PPC ad, they “should” be taken to a customized landing page, which is the final step before they call to make an appointment. The landing page copy should be succinct and ONLY contain the information the searcher was “searching” for. To A/B test your landing pages, vary the length of your text and procedure descriptions and see which one results in more conversions.
- Call-to-Action – The call to action just may be the most critical part of the whole PPC process. If your potential patients can’t find how to make an appointment easily and quickly, they’ll move on and you’ve paid for a click that got you nowhere. Some of the elements to A/B test for your call to action include location (ie – at the top of the page or at the bottom), color (ie – bright or simple black), size of the click to call button (ie – very large or mid-sized.)
Pay-per-click advertising is indeed a lot of work, but if done right can take your dental practices to places you never thought it could go. Our PPC team is skilled in all areas of PPC campaigns and can manage the work when you don’t have time to. Give us a call today to learn more about your options.