Ideally, when you’re split-testing the performance of your ads, you’d like to pick a winner according to which one best converts to sales.
Now if you’re testing with high-volume you can do that. Such as via a big list, CPA offer, or high-volume keywords in AdWords.
But for most of us, most of the time, it’s not that easy.
The sales don’t happen too often – so it would take a long time to have enough data to pick one as a winner, with statistical significance.
With AdWords, the usual answer is that you look at CTR as the gauge.
So you’re optimizing for CTR, rather than conversions. That’s driving your split-tests.
But people often don’t think of intermediary steps – between clicks and sales.
One of my favorites is newsletter signups.
So between 2 (or more) ads, which one is converting the best for getting subscribers?
Another favorite is for “add to cart” actions. Those aren’t quite sales, since only a percentage (unfortunately) of those actions, result in sales. But if you’re tracking those, you can use them as a strong indicator of sales.
Another option, when applicable, is to track “next page” actions. I’ve done this for cases where I present a list of things in my landing page, and the visitor has to click on one to go deeper.
A click is then an indicator that you have a good visitor. At least a lot better who just “bounces” out of the landing page without doing anything. So a click means they’re interested and want to go deeper.
When using these, you can have them as conversions for Google’s Conversion Tracking and/or in Google Analytics.
Use that data to more quickly improve your ads. Rather than just going on CTR alone … or waiting for enough sales.