Online advertising is key to driving business growth and success. It doesn't matter if we're talking about social media or paid search ads...Effective ad campaigns reach the right people with the right message at the right time.

It’s so much more than simply creating ads and launching campaigns. Every setting matters.

Ad copy and creativity also have a massive impact on the overall success of each ad campaign. To understand your audience and how to optimize your campaigns, you need to monitor important KPIs and do split testing. 

What is Split Testing in Marketing?

Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is comparing two versions of an ad or landing page to see which one performs better. In a true A/B test, all variables remain the same except for the one that you are testing.

This allows you to identify what your audience responds best to and improve your ads’ performance. 

With so many settings and variables involved in a paid ad campaign, you can split-test almost any aspect of it. While the possibilities for split testing are endless, it’s best to focus on the highest-impact test first.  

We do this to scale our clients' PPC campaigns, and here is how you can do it.

How to Split Test to Improve Ad Performance

split testing your ads for better performance

1. Test Your Headlines 

The headline is one of the most critical components of an ad. It needs to capture attention and encourage people to take action. A good headline can be the difference between your audience clicking on the ad or just scrolling spend some time on it.

I must tell you that writing effective headlines can be tricky. What works for one group of people might not work for another. That’s why testing is so important! By split-testing different headlines, you can see which one generates a stronger performance and use that insight to create more effective ads in the future.

2. Test Your Ad Copy

Just like headlines, ad copy has a major impact on performance. But you must be even more creative with your Ad copies. To see what works, go heavy on testing:

  • Ad copy length
  • Tone of voice
  • Messaging
  • Calls to action

3. Test Your Ad Creatives

Ad creative is the visual component that helps communicate the overall message. It includes images, videos, graphics, animations, etc. When running a split test, try different formats:

For example, photo vs video or lifestyle vs product shots. Experiment with layouts, imagery, and colors.

A red call to action on an image may or may not outperform a green call to action. Or your audience might respond more to video creatives than static images. The only way to know that is to test!

4. Test Your Landing Pages

The page a user lands on after clicking on your ad is just as, if not even more, important than the actual ad itself. This is where users take action—making a purchase, filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter, etc. 

We're not only testing different landing page layouts, content, and calls to action but also trying different copies, headlines, and visuals on landing pages.

Insights gathered from a landing page split test can not only be applied to future landing pages, but also to ads, emails, and other website pages as well. Keep that in mind.

5. Test Your Targeting

Split tests aren’t limited to the ads themselves. We also play with different audiences, which can be challenging, especially when using affinity or interest-based targeting.

Sometimes, even if your audience selection is on point, some people will still respond differently than others when shown the same ad. I recommend trying various demographics, interests, behaviors, and geographic locations to figure out what your target audience is.

You can also split test ad placements to see which platforms perform best.

6. Test Your Ad Schedule

Timing and frequency of ad delivery also have an effect on performance, so don't be afraid to split test.

Ads delivered too frequently can lead to ad fatigue, while ads delivered too seldom run the risk of not being seen enough to convert. If most of your ads are shown during days/times when your audience is away from their devices:

  • Your advertisements aren’t serving you the best
  • You’re not getting the best bang for your buck

That said, you should try different ad schedules to learn how often your audience wants to see your ads. 

7. Test Your Bidding Strategy

Lastly, let your money do the talking.  How you optimize your campaign and bid in the ad auction can drastically increase the ROI of your PPC advertising.

Testing the same ad in a conversion versus a traffic campaign might deliver some surprising results. During a split test, you can also test different goals for your bids, max clicks vs target CPC, or max conversions vs target ROAS. 

Wrapping it Up

Obviously, this wasn't a comprehensive guide on A/B testing, but it will help you get more for your buck. So, go through each step and optimize.

And if you want us to check on your paid advertising performance ⇓⇓⇓

free ad campaign audit