Ad testing: Why it matters and how to successfully perform it

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Published Date:  27 Sep, 2022 | Updated Date:  08 Nov, 2022

I was doing an internal training with our manager of operations, senior ad buyer and a team member as part of ongoing education at The Digital Navigator when an important question came up…

Should I test ad images or the ad write-up first when ad testing?

ad testing

Why is this important?

  • The size of your budget limits the number of simultaneous tests you can do
  • The ad you display impacts your cost per lead
  • One of these variables has a greater impact on your cost per lead

If you get this wrong, it could increase your customer acquisition cost by 50% to 200%+.

Not good!

The answer is…

When ad testing, test your ad images first.

Obviously you need to have a decent ad description which is relevant to your target audience, meaning you address one of their top three challenges, share benefits of your offer and let them know what to do next.

Images are most important as it cuts through the clutter by grabbing the attention of your audience. If your image is not good, people will never read your ad description.

When running ad campaigns I like to select anywhere between 5 to 12 images to test. The number of images depends on the advertising period and budget.

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How to run your ad tests.

Have your copywriter prepare 2 ad write-ups to use as your starting test. Then select 4 to 5 of your best images and test them for each write-up. This will give you a total of roughly 8 to 10 ads as an initial test.

Once you see data on cost per lead, eliminate the images that aren’t working and add the remaining images you want to test with your best write-up (the one that gives you the lowest cost per lead).

Once you know the images that are winners, you can test out a third ad write-up with only the best images.

Finally disable all the ad variants that are not meeting your benchmark and business metrics. Be careful of disabling too many ads when looking for ad testing solutions, as it is important to have at least a few variants because not every ad resonates with everyone. You’ll want to keep a bare minimum of 3 ad variations enabled.

Your next step is to work on optimizing your landing page, meaning the page to where you are driving your ad traffic.

You can grab our High Converting Landing Page Checklist to improve the conversion rate of the landing page you are using in your ads during ad testing, and beyond.


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