How to Split-Test Your Ad Copy for a Successful AdWords Campaign

If you’re running an AdWords campaign for your website but not seeing results, it could mean that your ad copy isn’t saying what it needs to say. The best way to examine its effectiveness is to perform a split-test (or A/B testing). Take a look at these best practices for creating the right ad copy for your AdWords efforts.

What is Split-Ad Testing?

Split-Ad Testing refers to a marketing strategy wherein two varying elements of the same marketing campaign are tested in order to determine which one can deliver the best results. These can apply to any type of campaign—whether an email campaign, landing page, social media ad, or even blog post titles.

Test slight differences

Giving your ads a trial run doesn’t necessarily mean creating two drastically different materials. Instead, try playing around with different headlines or descriptions. Then, run both ads simultaneously and compare the number of clicks and conversions you earn on both. Once you’ve determined a clear “winner” format your future ads accordingly.

Publish several ads for one product or service

If you’ve been selling a product or service for a long time, you won’t want to just keep running the same ad. Create variations of one umbrella ad and analyze at least a month’s worth of data to create a Pivot table. This will give you a better idea of what descriptive words work best for your ad copy.

Test continuously

Split-testing can’t prove itself effective if you only use it once. To ensure that your ad copies always stay fresh, test new elements every time you publish a new ad. There are dozens of resources for digital advertising buzzwords online that you can incorporate into your campaigns.

Pay attention to your ad rotations

To best evaluate your ads’ success, you’ll want to give each copy the same amount of airtime in order to get comparable data. Set your Ad Delivery to “rotate indefinitely” as opposed to optimizing them for certain metrics. This will ensure that Google doesn’t just show you your best performing ads.

Know how long to split-test

While you can’t perform a split-test in a day, you also won’t want to split-test for more than 4 weeks. This way, you can leave your best ads running while making slight adjustments to those that could perform a little better.

Know what metrics to consider

The metrics you analyze will depend entirely on your goals. If you’re aiming to increase your sales or leads, taking a closer look at your conversions will help you determine whether or not your efforts have been successful. If you’re working on your branding and increasing your website traffic, focus on your click-through rate (CTR). Various metrics indicate various successes, so be sure you know what you’re looking for.

Prioritize your best-performing ad

No matter what type of testing you choose to perform, you should always keep your best-performing ad running. While switching out your copy will allow you to make adjustments according to how your audience is responding, keeping your best ads up will continue to help you convert.


Ad copy might seem like a lot of guesswork, but they’re far more measurable than you think. Split-testing is a great method for analyzing trackable results and can get you on the road to success in just a few weeks.

For more tips on digital advertising, take a look at The Advertiser’s Guide online. We provide the best resources for digital advertising that you’ll love!

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James LePage
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