Quick Methods for Split Testing Your Banner Ads

The majority of web sites and bloggers have some form of banner advertising. It doesn’t matter what size the banners are, what you are promoting or even how they are worded or created. What does matter is that you split test your banner ads accordingly.

More often than not, if we are graphic designers ourselves then we are going to outsource the banner creation process. The problem with this is that unless you go to the right designer, you may just end up with a pretty looking banner that actually doesn’t get any clicks or conversions.

Split testing is extremely important and I will list just a few of the reasons why below.

  1. FotoliaGives you an immediate idea of what people are clicking on
  2. Ability to remove poor performing banner ads and increase ROI
  3. Test different banners against different traffic sources
  4. Comparisons between click results and banner sizes

As you can see, there is a lot more that goes into a successful banner ad campaign than just throwing a banner on a site.

How is banner advertising related to blogging? Easy… the majority of blogs out there sell banner advertising. Whether you are selling or buying, you should still have an idea what type of banners are converting with your traffic and what doesn’t.

Let’s start with some simply split testing!

There are plenty of ways to serve banner ads and perform split testing, but I wanted to focus on three quick methods that will give you enough volume and stats to work with in a short amount of time.

Buy Sell Ads Network

One of the largest banner ad networks out there is BuySellAds and they have massive exposure across a ton of blogs. They also serve banner advertising in a full array of sizes and markets. With their self serve advertising platform you can easily pick the sites you want to buy traffic on, then upload all of your banners and they will start rotating banner ads so you can see which perform the best and pause the lower performing ads.

Facebook Ads

With over a billion users on their network it would just be a mistake to not try some split testing on their site. While they don’t have 468×60 and 125×125 banner sizes for you to play with, you can mess around with different images and ad copy. When you are pushing massive volume with your ad campaigns, the smallest percentage difference in CTR can make a huge difference. Use Facebook for split testing is crucial for any successful ad campaign.

Plenty of Fish Ad Platform

If you are looking for another self serve social advertising network, Plenty of Fish is a great one for you to try it. POF combines the best of both worlds, you can run banner ads and/or create text and image based ads like Facebook offers. POF currently has one of the best self serve advertising platforms out there for demographic targeting, while also being able to push massive volume.

At the end of the day you have a lot of options for when it comes to split testing. It’s not so much about how and where you do your split testing, as long as you are not throwing up one banner ad and hoping for the best. It’s all a numbers game and the simple math of dividing your CPM cost by your clicks/leads. The more split testing and variations you add to your campaigns, the better your results and overall ROI.


  1. Jeet says:

    @Zac: Most WordPress plugins won’t allow using the two different ads at the same spot (I am assuming we are doing split test for graphics and not for location of ads where).

    Which plug-ins do you recommend if I want to buy / sell ads manually and then decide on the banner graphics that work the best.

    As far as ‘networks’ are concerned, I have found that changing the ad network works only for first few days (ad blindness?).

  2. Jill Boling says:

    Your exact campaign will determine which method of split testing will work best for … As well, it makes it possible to split test text ads vs. banner or HTML ads.

  3. Perfectbanner.com says:

    Luckily a lot has happened since 2012 when this post was made.

    Ther is now full automation for A/B testing in banners; on your own site or blog, on Adwords, on third party ad servers or any number or traffic sources: Perfectbanner.com can automate your work flow.

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