3 Tips to Test Your Way to Better Ads

Sarah Burns
February 23, 2015

This is a guest post from Sarah Burns, Content and PR Manager at Boost Media.

As a search marketer, you likely rigorously test email copy and landing pages, but what about your ad copy? Search ads need love too.

Testing search ads can provide marketers with valuable insights and data about how ad creative impacts overall campaign performance. The more you test your ad copy, the more highly optimized your ads will be, resulting in more compelling messaging that speaks directly to your prospective customers’ needs and solves their problems. This leads to higher conversion rates and saves you from writing endless amounts of ad creative that doesn’t resonate with your audience.

From Boost Media’s creative testing data, we’ve compiled these 3 testing tips for you to test your way to better ads with more conversions:

Prioritize Tests Based on High Volume Ad Groups

As paid search campaigns grow, it becomes increasingly challenging to implement and manage creative tests across all groups within an account. To optimize creative efficiently, marketers should prioritize tests to focus on groups with the most potential to shift overall account performance. These groups are characterized by a high share of impressions, clicks or conversions within an account. Prioritizing creative tests for high volume groups has the greatest potential for incremental improvements in overall account performance.

Experiment with Unconventional Calls To Action

With so many advertisers competing for consumers’ attention, the importance of a clear call-to-action that prompts a consumer to purchase cannot be understated. The key is to tightly connect the messaging from the ad copy to the landing page to reinforce that the consumer has landed in the right place.

Crafting the ideal CTA can be challenging given the character limitations and the few seconds available to capture a consumer’s attention. To differentiate your ads from the competition, test different CTAs to see what messaging resonates most with your audience. Here are a few tips to consider when crafting CTAs:

  • Highlight testimonials (“Read our rave reviews!”)
  • Be specific about cost savings (“Lower your costs by…”)
  • Appeal to emotion (“Look and feel great!)

Tailor your CTA based on device and test to see what messaging works. A consumer on a mobile device will likely have a different search intent than a consumer browsing on a desktop.

Reach Statistical Significance and Stop

Determining a winning creative through statistical significance can be a challenging step in testing. Online marketers often end creative tests too early or let them run for too long. Marketers need to understand if the performance difference being registered between two ads is due to chance or is actually significant. To calculate this, many creative testing tools utilize a Student’s T-Test with a user-defined confidence level, which is typically 80-90%.

This test determines the likelihood that the two samples are different, which corresponds to the confidence level. Keep in mind that low-volume groups make it harder to reach higher significance levels, thus it may be beneficial to utilize lower confidence thresholds to take action more quickly.


In paid search, no detail is inconsequential. Testing ad copy is an excellent way to continually refine and improve the quality and relevance of your ads. Click here to view our infographic with additional testing tips.

About the Author


Sarah heads up Content Marketing at Boost Media and leads a team of marketing professionals to drive revenue through complex B2B marketing campaigns in the ad tech industry. Prior to joining Boost, Sarah developed marketing and sales strategy at BNY Mellon, a top 10 private wealth management firm. In a former life, Sarah worked in journalism writing for magazines including Boston magazine, The Improper Bostonian and Luxury Travel. When she’s not writing engaging content, Sarah enjoys cooking, running and yoga.

About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.

Click here to schedule a free demo of the Creative Optimization platform today.

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