Ad Copy For PPC Champions: Analysis & Best Practices

2339793It’s the beginning of 2016 and what better way to kick off the year than with cleaning up your PPC ads! Occasionally, especially at the year-end, things slip up and suddenly your ads are in a tangled mess. Below are a few of my favorite ways to analyze and conduct ad copy tests. I hope they help you as we head into February!

Best Practices for Ad Copy Testing

Have A Plan

Having a plan and knowing the goals for your account will save you a lot of headache down the road. Clearly choose and outline your test to improve the goal you’re targeting. For more on planning your copy tests and a few other tips on ad tests, check out this post on improving your campaigns with ad copy testing. If you’re a visual person like me and need a great way to set up your tests, try using an ad testing matrix.


Separate Campaign Types

If you’re using types of campaigns other than traditional Search, it may behoove you to adjust your test based on those targeting types: display vs call only vs DSA, etc. Some of your ads might be the same or similar to what you’re running in your Search campaigns, but others might need a tweak or two. Do yourself a favor and make some clear distinctions in the labels between these different campaign types since they all will most likely perform differently.

Campaign Settings Are Important

If you’re trying to successfully test your variations, it’s important to make sure AdWords is set to “Rotate Indefinitely” so your ads are delivered evenly. Despite Google’s suggestion that this is not recommended for most advertisers, I still consider this to be an important step. If you aren’t sure what would be best for your account, or if you need a refresher, check out what Google has to say about each of its ad rotation settings.

Rotate Indef

Reminders for A/B Test Review & Refreshing Copy

Set up reminders for yourself in your calendar or task management system so you can regularly review and update your tests when you’ve determined a winner.

Analyzing Your Ads

Proper ad testing set up is only half the battle. The other half is analyzing your tests. There are numerous ways to analyze your PPC ads, but the list below shows a few of my favorites. If your analysis strategies are on point, you’ll save time, money, and be more efficient with continual ad testing.

Dimensions Tab: Ad Group Details Report

This report can show you how many active ads are in each ad group. If you’re aiming for a straightforward A/B test and you have 3 active ads in your ad groups, that’s a problem.Capture



Long story short: use them. They make your life easier, especially when it comes to ad management. Check out the Labels – Ad report on the Dimensions tab to see how your ads are performing by campaign and ad group level.

Pivot Tables

If your ads are a mess, try throwing them in a pivot table to see things in a different fashion than AdWords and Bing’s reporting features. If you haven’t tried pivot tables, or need a refresher, check out this visual guide to using pivot tables in PPC.


Automated Reports

If you find yourself wasting a lot of time pulling down reports in the interfaces, why not schedule some automated reports that can be sent right to your inbox? It’ll take one step out of your ad upkeep so you can get everything done faster. Better yet, set the automated reports up based on your ad labels and you’ll have knocked out two birds with one stone.

Using Segments in AdWords

Use the Segments dropdown in AdWords to see the complete picture of your ads. You can break down the traffic your ads are seeing by click type, device, keyword and more. You’re also able to see if a sitelink drove the traffic, instead of the ad itself. Don’t overlook this feature when it’s time to review your A/B tests. For more on Segments, check this post out.


We’d love to hear your favorite ad copy practice and ad copy analysis tips in the comments!