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drag racing

A Measure of Success – Finding the Best Performing Ad2 min read

Comparison is at the root of identifying success. A race is won by the fastest time, a football game by the most goals and a pie eating contest by the collapse of the first chair, but these results mean nothing on their own. There have to be other results to compare with, or choosing a winner becomes meaningless.

The same rules apply in advertising; the best performing ad is the one that outperforms its competitors. However, how do you go about finding a top performing ad in the first place, sheer chance? Nope, the answer again lies in comparison!

The process of finding a killer ad is very much like a drag race. Create and ad A and an ab B, launch them at the same time and compare to see which gets the best results. Simple eh?
The trouble arises when your trying to make the comparison and there’s very little data. Imagine if a local shoe store ran a newspaper ad campaign using two ad variations, how would they measure each ads success? Worst of all, what if they saw no increase in customers whatsoever – how could they find out where their ads went wrong?

batmobile drag race a b split testing analogy
Think of your Ads like two drag racing… Batmobiles? Sure, why not…


The lack of measurable data on ad performance means three things:

  • You’ll never know why one ad performs better than another
  • You’ll never know why an ad didn’t work at all
  • You’ll never be able to improve ad performance

Fortunately, most forms of digital advertising provide you with masses of wonderful data on the performance of your ads. This allows you to easily find the best performers and continue to improve them, as well as giving you vital insights into why a particular ad may under performed.

Google Adwords, particularly when combined with the awesome analytical power of Google Analytics provides an almost limitless amount of data for you to take into account when comparing your ads with one another. Using Google Adwords you can see:

  • How many times people saw your ads
  • How many people clicked on your ads
  • How many sales or sign ups each ad made
  • How high up the results each ad appeared
  • How long on average each ad visitor spent on your site

… and so much more!

This gives you masses of useful data to compare, which makes measuring the success of your ads an even more rewarding process. You can even end up with two winners; one ad may have driven more traffic (best at brand awareness) whereas the other may have resulted in more sales! You can then split these ads off into different campaigns and test them against new ad variations to try and get even better results.

To beat a world record you’ve got to start by beating your personal best. So get your ads out there, let them compete then compare the results!

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