What To Test When Testing PPC Ad Copy


July 23, 2012

You may have seen our post in June regarding ad copy testing for beginners. Now that you know how to run an ad copy test, this post will outline a few additional (and some less common things) to test in your ad copy. There are, of course, the conventional points that advertisers will commonly test, which often prove to be extremely successful. Some common factors include (but are not limited to):

  • Calls to action – something I’m sure you’ve used if you’ve ever written ad copy before. These include ‘Save Now,’ ‘Shop Today,’ and the list goes on and on. While common, calls to action have shown to be really successful.
  • “Free” – obviously this is not something that can be used by every advertiser, as it actually requires potential visitors to be able to receive something for free. If your company does offer some sort of free product or service, whether it be big or small, it is highly recommended you use the word “free” in your ad copy. Examples include ‘Free Audit,’ ‘Free Samples,’ etc.
  • Exclamation Points – I am a huge proponent of exclamation points. Despite the fact that it’s a simple one character change to an ad, I’ve seen much success come out of using exclamation points in one of the description lines.  It creates urgency for the visitor without going over the top.

The above examples are more common factors to test in ad copy testing, but don’t forget to think outside the box. Below are a few examples of ad copy factors that you may not have thought to try out just yet.

  • ‘Registered’ Symbol – This is one of my favorites to use, especially when working with a client who is battling in a thick competitive online space. Building credibility for your site/ad is key, and the ‘Registered’ symbol does just that. It’s just an extra way to ensure potential visitors that you are the real thing, and a legitimate brand. Quite possibly the best thing about the use of the registered symbol is that it doesn’t take up too many characters, and allows you to use the remaining description lines to explain the features of your brand.
  • “Official Site” – Similar in theory to the use of the registered symbol, use of the phrase ‘Official Site’ in your ad copy helps to emphasize the credibility of the site the user will arrive at when your ad is clicked. This is especially useful if you are a retailer with products that are resold online, in order to capture people who are interested in getting directly to the site itself. Try incorporating the use of the ‘Registered’ symbol as well as “Official Site” to see what sort of results you can get!
  • High Price Points – This can be tricky and really depends on what your goals are and how flexible you can be with testing. Paid search really is an ongoing test, but this example in particular is something that you’ll really want to keep a close eye on. While it’s very common for advertisers to test out low price points or promotions, this uses price in the opposite way: making potential visitors aware of a high price point to eliminate clicks from those people who would not be interested in the price. These ads can often have lower click-through rates than other ads in the account, but can be a good way to save money. Before running this test, make sure you’re prepared for low click-through rates and that it’s a good time to run this sort of test.

This post outlines three more common characteristics to test in PPC ad copy, and three more unconventional strategies to try out, but the list of factors that can be tested in ads can be endless.  The key to ad copy testing is to remember that it is a test, and anything can happen.  Keep up

Find a Winning Ad with AdWords

with the results and check on your tests often, and continue to build off the successes you see!  Don’t forget to set your ads to rotate evenly, and ensure you have enough data before determining the winner.

Have you given any of the above techniques a shot? What sort of results have you seen?