A/B Testing

A/B testing ads is a great way to improve the performance of your ads.

Running tests determines whether a specific section of text, way of wording

For conducting A/B tests you’ll have better results if you do the following:

  • Test your ad variations at the same time to minimise time-based factors which may impact on your results.
  • Test one thing at a time so you can understand exactly what is impacting the success of your ads.
  • Analyse the data with Google Analytics
  • Allow enough time to run the ads and collect data to get accurate results. You will need at least a few thousand impressions to get any kind of accurate data.

Choosing What to Test

Pay-per-click (PPC) ad testing changes usually covers the following:

  • The headline
  • The body text
  • The link
  • The keywords the ad shows for

The headline of your ad is the very top section (in blue) in search results.

This is usually shaped to reflect what product or service is being offered.

It’s best to keep this short – this is roughly 25 characters, engaging, concise, and include the keyword being searched for.

The body text of your ad is a field for including a description of your ad.

It should give searchers more of an idea of what you’re offering, and what they will receive if they click on your ad.

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Headlines are the main thing Google suggests spending the most time on with A/B testing:

“Your headlines should receive the majority of your testing attention. As you go about instituting and testing expanded text ads, focus on writing the best headline possible. Implementing great headlines has the most potential to make a big difference to performance. Two headline fields raise another question about ad text — should your call to action be in the first or second headline? It’s a great question, and exactly the type of thing that you should test as you optimise your creatives.”

When you’re thinking about your new approach to headlines you could look at the following:

  • You can still include your main keyword in the ad headline as a best practice, but now you can also include the sale offer, like “25% Off,” right in the headline.
  • Include your call to action in the headline: “Download Your Free White Paper” or “Attend Today’s Event” or “Sign Up for Our Webinar.” Previously, calls to action have been inserted in the description line to save characters
  • How can you answer your potential customers question in the headline? Google says “… ads that offer answers typically receive more engagement and clicks”.

Frequently asked questions

On average, we run tests for 14 days. This gives us enough time to analyse the data.

Typically, we test the ad headline, the message, call to action and keyword used.

Our team only changes 1 element each time, so we know what the impact of the change was.

We usually duplicate the ads, change only 1 element, then let the test run for a period of time before picking the winner.

We use Google Analytics and Google Ads for all A/B tests.

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