Tag Archives: adwords testing

Some PPC Answers to How Many Conversions

There were a number of questions and comments on yesterday’s post “conversion testing – how many actions?” and I wish I could respond to all of them.  

Instead, I want to offer a practical alternative which plenty of people will take issue with, but I think it’s an important insight to put this all in perspective.

You see,  in the early phase of a campaign, I certainly don’t wait for 100 actions.  I rarely even wait for 30.   Instead, (and this is only possible because I’m always involved in researching the market above and beyond adwords), if I see an ad pulling ahead THAT MAKES SENSE IN THE CONTEXT OF MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE MARKET … I’ll just go for it after 10 or 12 clicks.  (There, I said it and lightening didn’t strike!)

This is INCREDIBLY RISKY from a purely statistical perspective, yet on a day to day basis I can get traffic flowing in a new market MUCH quicker than waiting for a 95% confidence level (e.g. 100 actions, or even 30).  Moreover, my understanding of the market moves forward fast.

Do I accidentally delete winners when I do this?  Yes, absolutely, positively, and definitely.  (So use at your own risk)

But the time and money spent on the experiment is downgraded and I can move at the speed of the market.   You see, the time and money you allocate to a test are ALSO a risk… leaving a test up too long has it’s costs too.

I start paying careful attention to statistical probabilities AFTER I’ve got something worth protecting (a “control worth beating”).   The more it’s worth, the more successful history the ad has, the more protective I am, and the higher level of statistical confidence (or greater number of actions) I’ll require.

So my personal interpretation of Google’s recommended 100 actions is that WHEN YOU’VE GOT A CONTROL WORTH PROTECTING, what we previously thought was enough actions really isn’t, given the “noise” on the internet.  (“Noise” = number of advertisers coming in and out of the market, changes in the economic news which are instantly available online, varying ad position and impression levels, changes in the organic rankings, public events, … even such things as internet worms and viruses which affect browsing behavior)

Bottom line?

When you’ve got something already making money, it might pay to wait longer than we’ve all traditionally thought.  How much longer?   Probably twice as long as you think.

But ultimately it depends upon how much you’re making, how much you already know about your market, and how big a bridge you’d jump off if you accidentally killed the winning ad 🙂

Beyond Peel and Stick – Adwords Success Factors

The vast majority of pay per click search marketers focus on TECHNIQUES like split testing, peel and stick, keyword research, and matching options.  Surprisingly Perry Marshall, author of  Entrepreneur’s “Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords” suggests that most beginners quickly master these Adwords fundamentals, yet are prone to ignore the REAL drivers of success.

Enjoy this 41 minute, in depth psychological interview with Perry where we discuss the true guts of Adwords marketing success:

Perry Marshall – Beyond Split Testing – Adwords Success Factors MP3

10 Steps to Adwords Success

This is a summary of the 10 fundamental differences between adwords money makers and those who continually struggle … from my interview with Bryan Todd, co-author of the “Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords”.


True success in Adwords often depends on your ability to honestly answer the question: “Is there some simple assumption that I’ve made in my business which I’ve never bothered to question”

When people go from not making money to making money, it’s usually because they’ve challenged a very fundamental assumption they had made about the people in their market, the market as a whole, or their business itself … one it never occurred to them to question before

Learn to question what you’ve left unquestioned, and you can make a very monumental step forward. Suddenly the flood gates open up, you can reach (and help) many more people, more effectively, than you ever dreamed possible!


1) Money Makers Get At The Soul Of The Market

Mastering the basic technical fundamentals of Adwords (below) is essential … but not always enough to break the success barrier!

* Keyword Volume

* Cost per click

* Ad grouping

* Position on the page

Connecting with the market on a much more personal level is what usually provides the competitive edge

* What does the market really want?

* It’s essential to communicate with the market in their language

2) Money Makers Ask “Is This What People Really Want To Buy?”

Many people get lost in searching for technical answers and never ask the simple question “is this what people really want to buy?”

Understanding the different between want and need

* (example: Bryan could do a fantastic job of teaching ou how to LEARN a language, but ultimately, people just want to SPEAK the language)

“The only marketing mistake is narcissism” (thinking people want what you want them to want, as opposed to finding out what they want!) – Dr. Glenn Livingston

3) Money Makers Only Play In Markets With Enough People Searching For What They Sell!

If you can’t find enough keyword searches each month to generate a predicted, sizable profit after hours of keyword research, then don’t try to fit a round peg in a square hole

4) Money Makers Ask “Is This A Business Model That Can Ever Really Work?” Before They Dive In

Lots of people get caught up in Adwords trials when they’ve never really asked themselves “can this business MODEL ever really work?”

* REAL MLMs (the ones that DO work) are just very sophisticated affiliate programs

* Move quality products that are useful to people

* With a quality product network marketing business will be successful, because again, it is just like an affiliate program

* FAKE MLMS: Some MLMs are merely an “opportunity to sell the opportunity”

* Example: addressing envelopes from home which recruit other people to address envelopes from home … and many other work at home offers

Two key questions to ask before getting involved in a business opportunity

* Question #1: How much money has the person offering this opportunity made this month from this opportunity?

* Question #2: How are you going to make money? Or how do I make money selling this?

* Answer should be simple and clear

* Provides for a business model that is easy to follow

5) Money Makers Know The Right “Core Message” For Their Audience

Ask the right questions about the big picture

Allow yourself to question fundamental assumptions about why you’ve ventured into this market, product, business in the first place

Question why am I trying to do this in this particular way?

* Is there a better way?

* Is this the best way?

Have I hit upon the core message for the market?

* Is this really going to resonate with my audience?

* Is this the silver bullet?

6) Money Makers Discover Know ALL The Desired Features of Their Products and Services


* Think about what you are selling

* Have you identified ALL the desirable features and benefits it really provides?

* Do you know WHICH HUMAN NEEDS each feature of benefit really serves?

* Note: there are only 37 of them … can you link your ad copy to one?

http://www.AdwordsMarketingMuscle.com/37.htm (list of the 37 emotional needs which can be linked to purchase motivation)

7) Money Makers Know the Best Marketing Model For THEIR Business

Evaluate and question is there some sort of advertising model or web structure that might work better for a particular market?

* People often struggle trying to make a particular model work and it may not be the best suited model for that business

* The marketing model should be bull’s eye targeted for the market. A model that can be optimized based on the needs of the market

* Opt in –> newsletter –> salesletter?

* Catalog?

* Ecommerce model?

8) Money Makers Know The Internet Is NOT Their Business

Understanding that the internet is a tool to enhance or “supercharge” a business will provide a competitive advantage over the marketers that believe the internet is going to do all of the work for you

The internet is NOT your business, it is a catalyst for your business

9) Money Makers Know There Is Simplicity on the Other Side of Complexity

* The ability to take a step back after being in the market and after trying to sell to the market

* The ability to evaluate if there is anything that could be changed, even a simple assumption that you’ve made that you could now question and turn around

* Complexity doesn’t equal success (example: we all want a doctor that takes the time to reassure you, speak to you in English and not revert back to the Latin phrases from med school)

* Find the simplest way to state the primary benefits of the business

* Don’t ever underestimate the power of coherence

10) Money Makers Understand The Essence Of Adwords

The essence of success with adwords requires the ability to define the business and/ or product clearly in a very small space with a very concise and simple statement

What is a successful Adwords campaign?

* Person thinks to himself, “I want X”

* Person then goes to Google™ and types in “I want X”

* Person sees an Ad that you’ve written and your ad says, “You want X? Good, we’re going to give you X” and then the URL at the bottom says “get X dot com”

* Person clicks through and the landing page says, “You want X? We are here to give you X. Now, let me tell you exactly what steps you will need to take in order to get X”

* Number one, fill in the form in the bottom and that will be step number one in you getting X.

* Or, pick up the phone and call this 800 number and we will give you a step by step explanation on how you can get X.

* Or, enter your credit card number down in the filed below and we will send X to your house.

* It’s really that simple. If I want X, you echo that right back to me.

* Good landing pages also usually repeat what the Google™ ad said


— And —


more split testing magic

Earlier today I introduced you to www.SuperSplitTester.com … the free utility which does the math to help you stop choosing the WRONG ads in your adwords split tests and helps you choose the one which makes you the most money PER IMPRESSION.

I wanted to explain in more detail.  Here’s the thing:

Google has everybody focused on Click Through Rate (CTR).    You can also see conversion … for example, when split testing two ads, you can see which one gets a better CTR, and which one gets a better conversion rate
But CTR + CONVERSION individually don’t give you the right information to make your critical split testing decisions.

You might be surprised to note that Google isn’t really pricing their traffic according to Click Through Rates, even though that’s how you pay for it**
All they have to SELL you is SPACE (impressions) … so they’re doing the math behind the scenes to figure out how much money they make PER IMPRESSION

Doesn’t it make sense to you that if that’s how Google is selling you the ad space (according to how much they’ll make per impression), that’s the same number you should be looking at?

Sorry if I confused anyone earlier … this is what I was getting at.

** Note: no one really knows exactly how Google prices their traffic.  This is a (strongly) educated guess based upon information available in their learning center and I’m only representing it as my personal opinion.  (So Larry, Sergey, please don’t send your “Uncle Charlie” to my house OK?)

pay per click domain testing

It seems Google has now disallowed pay per click domain testing within a single adwords adgroup.   Apparently they feel it is confusing the ppc search customer … see this article http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/019276.html

Perry Marshall originally pointed out the Adwords Display URL was the second most powerful part of the entire ad (after the headline).   Rotating domains and leaving all else equal in an ad test often produced gains of 100% or more in click thru (and sometimes also conversion).

Unfortunately, this now requires multiple ad groups.

However, there is a work-a-round which is also more powerful.  I’ve been teaching this for approximately a year not because of Google’s rules (which have only recently changed), but because it’s faster, easier, and less expensive.

The short story is … test headlines until you come up with a great one, then make your headline into a domain.

For a full explanation with an illustrated example, please download the PDF Adwords Display URL Testing Hyperdrive