Quick Tips for Easily Testing Ad Copy

So you’re ready for a refresh.  You’ve been running some of your ads for a while and you feel that performance could use a boost.  You want to try making ad copy updates, but aren’t sure where to start.  Here are a few suggestions to help make ad copy changes easy and manageable.

First, let’s discuss your Customer

Knowing about your customers’ needs and wants can go a long way in testing ad copy.

  • Is your customer focused more on quality of your product or service.  Write ad copy with text that shows your offerings.  Try phrases, like “Superior Service” or “Satisfaction Guaranteed”
  • Are your customers price conscious or focused on sales? If so, focus your test on wording that includes prices or savings.
  • If you are trying to reach new customers that don’t know your company, test phrases like “Free Shipping” or “Low Price Guarantee”.  These can help a new customer feel their risk in your company is lower and can be more willing to try a new product or service.

Keep Your Changes Small/Manageable

Knowing where to start your test can be difficult.  Making small changes on your ads can have a large impact. Start by just changing one or two words or phrases to see which draws in your customers.

Here are some ways that you can start testing:

  • Change the way the price is written

Pricing Tests

  • Highlight a different deal or offer

Wording Tests

  • Try updating your URL

URL Tests


For more testing ideas, Hanapin Marketing recently put out a great whitepaper, “9 Tests You Should Be Doing In Your PPC Account”.  Check it out and see which tests will work for your clients!


Note Your Test

Labels! (In AdWords only for now)

My colleague, Phu recently wrote a post about AdWords Editor adding labels. Whoo! We’ve been waiting..

Using Labels in Adwords or another bid management tool can help easily find results and manage tests.  When labeling, make sure you have enough information to fully understand the test.  Label your ads with the date, type of test and some distinguishing factor.  This makes pulling results fast and easy, and you can quickly add labels to each new test.  Also, make sure to label any evergreen copy!

Ad Copy Test 5.28.15_URL_A

Ad Copy Test 5.28.15_URL_B


Ad Copy Test 5.28.15_CallToAction_A

Ad Copy Test 5.28.15_CallToAction_B


Know How to Measure

Whatever metric you base your company’s success on, make sure that you are able to track your results.  If you are unsure where to start, click through rate (CTR) and conversion rate are a great way to see which ad is performing better over time.

For example, your results could look something like the below.

Test Results

You can then take your information and make a pivot table to easily show your boss/client/management your findings.  Below is an example for a click-through rate analysis:

Pivot Table - CTR

Using your analysis you can determine which test won out and have the data to back up your decision.

Don’t Forget!

  • Make sure to change your settings to rotate ads evenly if they are not set to that currently.
  • Get creative and have fun! Ad copy testing doesn’t have to be difficult if you have a good plan in place!

Time to get those tests started!

Allison Danforth About the author

Allison Danforth is a Paid Search Client Manager at Point It. When not knee deep in excel pivots, Allison enjoys kickboxing, wine, and seeing every classic rock god in concert.

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