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Google Adwords Tutorial - Table of Contents

<< Adwords Quality Score Expand Your Reach with Google Display Network>>

Adwords Ad Copy Testing

Managed SEO

Throughout many places in this tutorial we have mentioned how important it is to test your ads and now finally, here is a whole chapter about ad testing.

We can't stress how important testing is! You might be an AdWords guru and still need a lot of testing to finetune your campaign. Yes, you do need to track your conversions in order to see how things are going but you need even more to test before you launch a massive campaign.

If you are a beginner, then testing is even more important you might want to start with a single ad or two only and test them till you spot the winner and only after that expand to include more ads. You should never-ever skip testing because if you do, you will be running inefficient ads and this costs a lot of money. Additionally, you can also damage your Quality Score, which means more lost efficiency and more money down the drain for the next months!

There are various third-party tools that allow to test the efficiency of your ads. However, the best tool you have is inside AdWords itself, so you don't have to look any further. What I'm talking about is the split test tool, also known as A/B testing.

What's A/B Testing About?

When you perform an A/B test, you are comparing version A to version B. This means you write two versions of the same ad, run them at the same time and with the same parameters (i.e. bid amount, location, daily budget, etc.) to find which of them has a better CTR.

After you find the ad with the better CTR, you remove the other one, write a new version of the same ad, run it and compare its CTR with the CTR of the winner from the previous round. When you repeat this multiple times, you will inevitably find the version that performs best.

An A/B Test Example

For instance, here are two versions of the same ad we used in a previous chapter:


Headline: Best Organic Skincare!

Description Line 1: Make Your Skin Fresh and Young

Description Line 2: All Organic Skincare - 10% Discount

Display URL:


Headline: Best Organic Skincare!

Description Line 1: Affordable Natural Cosmetics

Description Line 2: All Organic Skincare - 10% Discount

Display URL:

The variations are minor but essential. With the second version we hope to attract the attention of users who are not only looking for organic skincare but who are also budget-conscious. Since natural cosmetics could be very expensive, we could expect that for many of our clients prices do make a difference. The second line stays the same in both ads (but you can change it, if you want) because in the second ad we want to stress once again the financial benefit a 10% discount.

We run the two campaigns simultaneously for let's say a week, or at least till we get 20-30 clicks on one of them. If one of the ads has already got let's say 10 clicks, while the other has none, we can stop here. What matters is that we need to give it some time to see which one performs better. If we stop after 2-3 clicks, for example, the results will not be precise. Because of this, we want to give them time enough to pick the winner and not too much to waste money and endanger our Quality Score.

So, after we've run the test, we noticed that version A outperforms version B. Obviously, not all our potential clients are interested in the price only they want the benefits, too. This is why we'll test a new version of A) we'll keep the discount data because it is good to have it but we'll add free shipping over $50 offer. Here is what it looks like:

Headline: Best Organic Skincare!

Description Line 1: Make Your Skin Fresh and Young

Description Line 2: 10% Discount Free Shipping over $50

Display URL:

We test this one against the winner from the first pair and see which one wins this time. We delete the one that lost, write a new version of the winner, test it against the winner, and so on. We'll do this till we reach a CTR we are pleased with.

How to Set a Split Test in AdWords

It's very easy to set a split test in AdWords. Just open the Ads tab and click New Ad.

This opens the same dialog you are familiar with from the time you created the first ad. Fill in the fields and save it.

If you are surprised that there is no A/B Split Testing mentioned anywhere in the interface of Google AdWords, this is just fine you don't need to have a separate page, or a special tool. All you need to have is right there in the Ads tab from there you create the second version and there you see the CTR of the two ads directly - this is enough to determine which ad is the winner. It doesn't have to be complex in order to be working, right?

You can set as many A/B tests as you want but our advice is to keep their number low. Otherwise, it gets easy to become confused what you are testing. Also, after you delete a loser ad, make sure you have a copy of its text on your computer, so that you can have it for reference in the future.

<< Adwords Quality Score Expand Your Reach with Google Display Network>>
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