Mobile Testing: Case Studies and Findings

Yes, I love testing. I love to see how things work under various scenarios and conditions. Testing is an important element of any paid search account. I’ve always felt that you don’t know if something works or doesn’t work until you try it. For example, we tested call-only ads when they first came out earlier this year.

However, in order to be able to get a better view of our mobile data, we felt it was necessary to set up a “mobile only” account a few months ago. This allowed us to try various things without having a direct impact on our main account performance and metrics. Using the account as an “incubator” for testing helped us better analyze the performance of campaigns. In addition, we created a set budget for the account with an end date. This helped us with overall account pacing and management.

For our new mobile account, we migrated over our call-only campaigns, and created new campaigns for mobile remarketing testing. For remarketing, we created a user list that was targeted to a particular audience. Our remarketing ads directed users to a new page that had several calls to action on it: click on a video or fill out a form. We developed both text and image ads for the test. For the call-only campaigns, we did some experimentation with ad copy to see what type of calls to action performed best.

Below are some of the findings we had in running our tests with the remarketing mobile campaign and some insights as well:

1. Text Ads vs. Image Ads

For our remarketing text, it wasn’t a surprise to see that our image ads outperformed our text ads in terms of clicks and impressions. We launched our text ads two weeks before we launched the image ads, and within a two week period the image ads caught up and surpassed the text ads. The CTR for the text ads, however, was slightly higher than the image ads – about 12 per cent.

Insights: It’s always a great best practice to test multiple ad types. Within AdWords, you can create image ads easily and quickly by using the display ad builder feature. If you haven’t used it, I highly encourage you to check it out. It scraps your landing page and pulls in the page elements into an image ad. Plus, you can customize the ads as well.

2. Call to Action vs. Action Taken

Because our landing page has two calls to action, we wanted to focus our remarketing ads on watching the video. The landing page had the video at the top of the page, and below it was a form to complete to get a report. Our ads focused on watching the video as the call to action, and we did not mention the form. And with this being mobile-focused, we anticipated a strong performance for the video.

Surprisingly, when we pulled the analytics data, it showed all of the actions focusing around opening and completing the form. Even though our calls to action focused on watching the video, our audience still wanted to fill out the form and get the report.

Insights: Although this was not the result we had anticipated, we do know that the report is one of our highest performing calls to action on our non-remarketing pages. Our assumption was that the video would be more of a draw for our audience, but this wasn’t the case. Even though a user’s intention might be one thing, the landing page can dictate a different action. Ensure that if your landing page has more than one call to action, you look at your back end analytics to see where people are going on the landing page.

3) Call Only Campaigns and Call to Action

In doing testing with ad copy, we found that including a “speak to” element in the second line of ad copy resulted in a higher conversion rate. Including a sense of urgency within the call to action also performed higher than ads that did not.
Statements such as “speak to a call agent now” and “talk with our team today” were strong performers and increased the conversion rate by almost 50 percent.

Insights: Creating a strong “speak” call to action can improve your call-only campaign performance. Experimenting with just changing a few words can make a difference in someone clicking on the ad and converting.

That’s the beauty of testing. The outcomes may not be what you anticipate, but the lessons are invaluable in building better – and smarter- AdWords campaigns.

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