PPC Ad Copy Testing – Winning Results in a 3rd of the Time

Ad copy testing can be a laborious and time consuming task but the Harvest method is effective and manageable. One phrase we like to keep in mind while carrying out any large scale analysis is ‘keep it simple, stupid’.

Step 1: Choosing your ad groups

Step 2: Target & Goals

Step 3: Campaign Settings

Step 4: Test your Headlines

Step 5: Test your Description Lines

Step 6: Results

Step 7: Adapt the Winning Creative

Step 8: Rollout & Repeat

Step 1: Choosing your ad groups

Some AdWords accounts can have 100’s of campaigns which can lead to 1000’s of ad groups. This makes it near almost impossible to test all of them in an efficient and time friendly manner. Instead we recommend testing only on the top high spending, volume driving campaigns/ad groups to begin with. Remember that you must test at an ad group level, not a campaign level as this will be misleading.

Step 2: Target & Goals

Whether it’s to increase quality score, drive clicks or lower CPA, it’s important that you determine the goals and metrics you deem most valuable before you begin. This may differ for different parts of your campaign, for example you may accept a higher CPA on a brand ad if it has a higher CTR as every conversion is much lower than those obtained through other activity so you want to maximise sales.

Step 3: Campaign Settings

Make sure you set your campaign ad rotation settings to either ‘Rotate Evenly’ or ‘Rotate Indefinitely’ based on preference while testing. This allows for poorer performing ad copy to show as often as best performers allowing for more conclusive results. Set all non-testing campaigns to ‘Optimise for conversions’ to maximise performance on the lower volume campaigns.

Step 4: Test Your Headlines

We recommend putting 8 ads in to rotation, 4 desktop and 4 mobile. All ads will share the same description lines with each ad having a unique headline. Once live, we believe that 6 – 8 weeks of activity should allow for enough data to gather in order to determine the winning headline for desktop and mobile devices.

Step 5: Test Your Description Lines

Once you have found your winning headline we now recommend rolling out 8 ads with the winning headlines applied to the various description lines you are testing which are tailored to the ad group and device. Interestingly to note you would expect shorter copy to work best across mobile but this is not always the case as we have seen in the past, making it important to also test the length of your ad copy. Once again we propose 6 – 8 weeks as a time frame to test before deciding the winning creative.

Step 6: Results

Wohoo! You now have found your winning creative but depending on how many ad groups you have tested may not know the best way to display your results that will be reader friendly. Below is an example of how we gather and display our results which is just a simple snapshot of the winning creative. Feel free to add on the columns including the metrics you used to determine the winning creative.

AmyOPPC

Step 7: Adapt The Winning Creative

Now that you’ve found your winning creative, the next step is to create a similar variation of the winning creative for both desktop & mobile and implement within the campaigns/ad groups you have tested. This will result in 4 ads running across your ad groups and allow you to continue to tweak your creatives based on the original best performer. Once implemented pause all other creatives within that ad group allowing only the best performer and tweaked creative to run.

Step 8: Rollout & Repeat

We would also recommend rolling out the winning creatives across similar ad groups where there is low search volume. Now all that’s left is to eat, sleep, wait, repeat!

Happy Testing!

If you would like to find out more please feel free to contact workwithus@harvestdigital.com

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