Experimentation vs. Testing in PPC Campaigns

by | Jul 25, 2023 | PPC

Paid advertising can increase website traffic, generate leads, and drive sales. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to PPC campaigns, so experimentation and testing are essential for successful campaigns.

However, there’s an ongoing debate in the world of PPC marketing – is it better to experiment or to test? While these terms may seem similar, they represent different methodologies and can drastically impact the results of your campaigns.

What is PPC Testing?

PPC testing compares different variations of your PPC campaigns to determine which performs better. By running multiple versions of ads, keywords, landing pages, or bidding strategies, you can measure their effectiveness and make data-driven decisions to improve your campaign’s overall performance.

The primary goal of PPC testing is to optimize your campaigns by identifying what works best for your target audience. By continually testing and refining your campaigns, you can:

  • Increase click-through rates (CTR)
  • Improve ad quality scores
  • Lower cost per click (CPC)
  • Boost conversion rates
  • Maximize return on investment (ROI)

PPC testing helps you make informed decisions about your advertising strategy, ensuring you allocate your budget efficiently and achieve better results.

Common Elements Tested in PPC Campaigns

Several elements in a PPC campaign can be tested to optimize performance. Here are four of the most common aspects:

Ad Copy

Ad copy is the text that appears in your PPC ads and is crucial in attracting clicks from potential customers. By testing different headlines, descriptions, and calls-to-action (CTAs), you can determine which combinations resonate with your audience and drive the highest CTR.


Keywords are the foundation of your PPC campaigns, determining when and where your ads appear in search results. Testing different keyword match types, such as broad, phrase, or exact match, can help you identify the most effective keywords for your campaign. Additionally, experimenting with negative keywords can help prevent your ads from appearing in irrelevant searches, reducing wasted ad spend.

Landing Pages

A landing page is the initial webpage users encounter when clicking on your advertisement. By testing different elements of your landing page, including headlines, copy, images, and calls to action, you can identify the most efficient design and content to boost conversions.

You can even test various layout options, such as single-page designs or multiple-step forms, to determine the ideal user experience for your audience.

Bidding Strategies

Bidding strategies determine how much you’re willing to pay for each click on your ad. Several bidding strategies, such as manual CPC, automated bidding, or target return on ad spend (ROAS), are available. By testing different methods, you can find the right balance between your budget and desired results, ensuring you get the most out of your PPC campaigns.

What is PPC Experimentation, and How Does it Differ From Testing?

PPC experimentation systematically tries different strategies, ad elements, and targeting options to identify the most effective approaches for your specific goals. It’s an ongoing process that involves creating multiple variations of your ads and analyzing the results to make data-driven decisions for campaign optimization.

Some common elements in PPC ads that can be experimented with include the following:

  • Ad copy: Headlines, descriptions, and calls-to-action
  • Visuals: Images, videos, and colors
  • Targeting options: Keywords, audiences, and demographics
  • Bidding strategies: Manual vs. automated bidding, cost per click (CPC), and cost per acquisition (CPA)

While both PPC experimentation and testing involve making changes to your ads and analyzing the results, there are some critical differences between the two.

  1. Scope: PPC experimentation covers various strategies, tactics, and elements to identify successful approaches. However, testing is more specific and aims to validate certain hypotheses or compare the performance of two or more variables (e.g., A/B testing).
  2. Duration: It is essential to continuously conduct experimentation during the entire duration of a PPC campaign. However, testing is usually done for a specific time period or until a statistically significant result is obtained.
  3. Statistical Significance:  Experimentation is an ongoing process that does not require statistical significance to make decisions. Testing, however, requires a statistically significant result before any conclusions can be drawn.
  4. Risk Tolerance: Experimentation involves high levels of risk as it entails trying out untested ideas, while testing has lower risk levels as it aims to validate existing assumptions or compare known variables.

The primary goal of PPC experimentation is to learn what works best for your target audience and objectives, allowing you to make informed decisions for future campaigns.

Testing Methods for PPC Campaigns

Using valid methodologies when conducting PPC tests is crucial to obtain dependable outcomes. Below are four of the typical testing methods that are widely used for enhancing PPC campaigns.

A/B Testing (Split Testing)

A/B testing, otherwise referred to as split testing, empowers you to compare different iterations of an ad and identify the one that delivers the best results. This technique allows you to experiment with various ad components such as headlines, text, images, and calls to action, thereby enabling you to determine which variation resonates better with your intended audience.

Multivariate Testing

Multivariate testing is an effective method for assessing the most impactful version of an ad. It evaluates various combinations of an ad’s components, making it particularly useful when testing many elements simultaneously. This testing method can also compare the conversion rates of different landing page designs.

Geotargeting Testing

Geotargeting testing enables you to gauge how particular advertisements fare in varying locations. This approach proves advantageous for companies that function in multiple regions, allowing them to identify the optimal strategy for each area. Additionally, it helps businesses accurately pinpoint where their ads are most impactful.

Device Testing

Utilizing device testing to pinpoint the devices your intended audience uses to access your advertisements can significantly enhance your campaigns’ optimization. With this approach, you can effectively tailor your ad copy to suit mobile, tablet, or desktop devices. Moreover, you can analyze ad performance cross-devices and make necessary adjustments for seamless campaigns across all devices.

Get the Most Out of Your PPC Campaigns

PPC experimentation is a vital aspect of achieving optimal outcomes for your campaigns. Through testing diverse elements and strategies, you can gain valuable insights into your target audience’s preferences, enabling you to create more effective ads and reduce wastage of ad spend.

Whether you’re just starting in PPC or a seasoned advertiser, our team of experts at Full Circle SEM can assist you in maximizing the performance of your PPC campaigns. Contact us today to discover how we can help you attain better results through PPC experimentation.

Michelle Ober

Justin’s favorite sister-in-law that he “fires” regularly. Director of Content & Social Media for Full Circle SEM.

If you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, call 888-757-2714 or contact us here today.