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Start Testing Your Ads Before the Holidays

A/B testing your ads right now might seem like a daunting task but with the right plan of action, you can get great results and apply those learnings to your holiday campaigns. You can read our Ad Copy Championship Playbook, blog highlighting some of our best practices, and resources from Google for more information. Continue reading to find out more about the ad testing process.

Getting Started

Before you begin, ensure your Google Ads account is well-structured. You’ll want to make sure you focus on your top-performing products, campaigns and ad groups should be closely related, and you should keep your budget in mind when conducting keyword research. In our previous blog featuring Google Ads tips, we highlight these steps in further detail.

Specifically for ad testing, we recommend focusing on low-performing ads so they don’t affect your high-performing ones. Work with your team to determine which low-performing campaigns and ad groups should be used for testing purposes.

Before You Write Your Ads

Start conducting some general competitor research to see what others in your industry are currently doing. If you have a small team, you can consider adding popular keywords into a search query to see what results show up. If you have a larger team, you can assign team members to conduct an extensive analysis with key insights and takeaways.

Now that you have some of that research, you can determine what types of tests you’d like to conduct. Here are some examples:

  • Different CTAs in Description (i.e. Shop, Buy, Order, Get, Try, etc)
  • Placement of CTAs within your ad
  • Desktop CTAs (i.e. Shop/Buy) vs. Mobile CTAs (i.e. Tap)
  • Desktop vs. Mobile (i.e. using IF Function)
  • Trademark vs. Non-Trademark
  • Rotating where promos and end dates are within the ad
  • Starting your ad with an action word in Headline 1 vs. no action word in the Headline 1
  • Countdown customizers in Headline 2/Description vs. having a static end date
  • Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) vs. no DKI
  • Branded Copy vs. Product Specific Copy
  • Responsive Search Ads

Stay Organized & Plan Accordingly

Once you determine what tests you’d like to perform on your ads, you can start by creating a spreadsheet (with Google Spreadsheets or Microsoft Excel) that highlights the campaigns and ad groups, as well as your final tests. In that spreadsheet, do the following:

  • Write our what each test is for what campaign and ad group and why you’re testing it.
  • Create a clear hypothesis, emphasizing which test you think will win and why.
  • Choose a clear metric or two for success, such as CTR or CVR. It’s easier to keep track of results when you restrict the number of metrics. If you have a larger team to work with, having more than two metrics can be more manageable.
  • Choose the amount of time you want your ads to run. We recommend running a test for at least 30-60 days.
  • As you write ads, be sure to focus on one variable at a time. If you’re testing CTAs in the Description, it’s best to have the same copy throughout the ad and then just modify the CTA at the end, such as “Shop Now!” or “Buy Now!”.
  • Have team members review your ads before you run your experiment.
  • Once you run your ad experiments, be sure to let your ads just run. Don’t go in and keep changing them.
  • If you need help with campaign drafts and experiments in Google Ads, there’s a helpful resource from Google here.

Review Results

Compare the results of your ad experiments and use your metrics to determine which ads were successful. Review the ad messaging to determine what had the best results. Use these findings to update your low-performing ads and future ads. Additionally, create internal best practices to share with your whole team. Keep in mind the following:

  • If you don’t have enough data or inconclusive results, let your ads run longer. You should be confident of your results.
  • If there are any outliers, make a note of them. Determine what makes them stand out.
  • You can utilize this resource from Google to monitor your campaign performance.
  • If you need help determining the winners, you can use this resource from Google.

Our team is ready to help you succeed this holiday season. Check out our Holiday Readiness Resources for more information!