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November 4, 2020 - By Hawke Media

Effective A/B Testing for Your Text Ads on Google AdWords

Google AdWords A/B Testing is important because provides a better understanding of your audience. Testing provides insights on what kind of messaging works, what product/service features are (actually) the most important, and how the brand benefits customers. These insights get you higher quality scores and lower cost-per-clicks, paving the way to greater returns. For newer companies, this is a great way to help you figure out your brand voice and messaging.

So how do you A/B test a text ad on Google AdWords? Let’s break it down into the key elements:

Headline: Depending on your campaign type, your first headline is usually your brand name or a brief (non-branded) description of the type of product/service you’re selling. Your second headline is where you can be more creative – it could be your company slogan/tagline/value proposition, a call-to-action, or, my favorite, an engaging question. Questions spark thought and curiosity and could be a way to phrase your value proposition more interestingly. In terms of style, witty (or “punny”) headlines are great attention grabbers, seasonal headlines are highly relevant, and straightforward headlines are easy to understand, all of which could help increase click-through rates.

Here are some tests you could run for your headlines:

  • Version A of value proposition vs. Version B of same value proposition- e.g. different tone, style, or sentence structure
  • Statement headline vs. Question headline
  • Tagline vs. Call-to-action

Description: Testing descriptions is similar to testing headlines, but here you have a higher character count limit. Avoid repeating the same information in the headline and description in order to make the most out of your ad’s overall character space. For instance, if your headline includes your value proposition, then no need to mention it in the description.

Test at least how these descriptions compare:

  • General value proposition vs. Specific example of how you’ve helped customers
  • Product features A vs. Product feature B

Landing Page: Ideally, your landing page supports your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) efforts, meaning it includes keywords and text that match with your ads so that you can provide a seamless experience from search term to search ad to the landing page. Not only do landing page tests let you know which page provides better engagement, but it also helps you optimize your site’s overall user experience.

Here are some ways to A/B test landing pages:

  • Homepage vs. Specific page
  • Version A of product page vs. Version B of product page- Should be for the same product- Test different types, amounts, and formats of copy and visuals
  • Page from website vs. Page separate from the website – Applies to businesses that focus on lead generation. The separate page is usually a dedicated landing page created for a specific ad or campaign, using a template through platforms like Unbounce or LeadPages

To get clean data, don’t test multiple ad elements at once, and remember to set your Google AdWords campaign ad rotation settings to “Rotate Evenly” so that your ads have equal chances of being shown. Leave this setting on for at least two weeks, but if you have lower than average site traffic, keep the setting on for longer. Happy testing!

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