5 Best Ad Copy Test Procedures To Stand By

As PPC architects, it’s important for us to consistently test and challenge retail ad copy. From an internal standpoint, it’s crucial to be innovative with ad copy and keep up with current trends, especially against competitors. Retailers should do everything they can to optimize an ad and increase the amount of data they base their strategy on.

Ultimately, PPC ad copy testing helps retailers raise their Quality Score, which can lead to better ad relevancy, improved click-through rate (CTR) and more conversions. Within ad copy, retailers can test a variety of elements including format, call-to-action and value propositions.

Regardless of the element tested, there are five best practices every retailer or PPC architect should always be aware of during the testing process:

1. Test for a Minimum of 30 Days

While there is no such thing as “too much testing,” it is critical to track tests for a minimum of 30 days. Retailers can check their results every three to five days to ensure the test is still running appropriately, but they shouldn’t make any major changes until after the 30 day mark has passed. Testing for too short a period of time will not provide accurate data.

After the 30 day period, retailers can determine which ad had the best results by comparing click through rate and conversion rate between test A and B. At this point, retailers can determine which ad to pause and continue further testing for the winning ad copy.

2. Consider Seasonality

Not every 30 day period is going to be consistent. Products such as sunscreen that sell well in the summer may not be as successful during the holiday season. Retailers should keep this in mind during their testing period.

3. Organize Results

Within AdWords, retailers should apply labels, such as “constant ad vs. new ad,” so they can keep a log of which tests they run, and how to categorize each value to the product and brand. Without the proper organization, test results, whether good or bad, should be trackable for future testing purposes.

4. One Test at a Time

There are dozens of elements to test within one aspect of ad copy from headline to description line. If retailers are testing multiple components all at once, it will make it increasingly difficult to attribute performance and success. The ideal testing model is to compare two ads per ad group running at the same time that are identical with the exception of one element. After the 30 day period, the results will be clear, and retailers should be able to determine the winning ad and implement those strategies.

5. Test Differently

Retailers might be wary to test out an odd format, simply because they haven’t seen it used yet. Of course, prior research on competing products and brands will help retailers determine trends in things like font and call-to-action, but the entire philosophy of testing is to try out a variety of concepts and theories.

My final piece of advice in ad copy testing: don’t be afraid to be different.

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