What to Test in Your Adwords Ads? 10 Tips

So now you know what you need before you start testing Adwords ads. Let’s move from how to what. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

Keep the winner, ditch the loser
My tip is you only test two ads at the same time. But instead of testing two different ads completely, I suggest you keep the winner and ditch the loser.


I like to pause my losing ads instead of deleting them. This way you can see the changes over time. Also you can go back to a close-winning ad and try to iterate that ad.

Now, here are 10 tips for testing your ads.

#1 Test your titles

The title of your ad is your attention-grabber. Make sure you use the ad title to it’s full potential.

There are a number of things you can test. But when you do test, I suggest you test no more than two ads at the same time. And if you test your titles, I suggest you test your titles only.

If you test a different title and visible url at the same time, you won’t know what caused a change in performance. You might also no change in performance, because the title might work better and the visible url might be worse than the original.

Here’s a few things you can test in your titles:

  • Try variations with question marks and exclamation points.
  • Try different lengths of your title. Sometimes short titles do work better.
  • Try Capitalizing All Your Words.
  • Try different positions of your main keyword. Put it in the front and back and see what works.
  • Try adding your brand in the title.
  • If you can, try adding the price in the title. While this might generate fewer clicks, this also might improve conversion rate.
  • Experiment with Keyword Insertion.

#2 Test ad line 1 & 2

You’ve got a few options here. You can state a benefit, ask a question, quote a price or state a call-to-action here. Try switching it up. Here’s what I could test for this blog.


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#3 Test the visible link

So you’ve got two links to enter. One will be the visible link. The other is the link of the landing page you’re linking to. Important to know: the main URL of your landing page has to be the same as your visible URL.

This means if your site is donkergeel.com, you can’t have a visible link to a site called donkerpaars.com.

What you can change is what comes after that. A benefit of shorters URL’s here is that you’ll have more room for custom words.

Here’s a few tips you can test:

  • State an offer in the URL
  • Insert main keyword sfrom your ad group
  • Use capitals for every word
  • Make the visible URL a call-to-action
  • Name the price of your product

#4 Test your landing page

You could test exactly the same ad using different landing pages. You also could direct one ad to the homepage and one to your product page.



When testing this, you want to be looking at the bounce rate and conversion rate per ad. Also you could look at the time on site, navigation path and other user behavior.

#5 Question marks or no?

Question marks grab attention. Of coarse you are advertising in Google, where most people are looking for answers. So try to mirror the question your target user might have.

#6 Capitals or no capitals?

There’s a lot of talk about using capitals in ads. While some advertisers swear by them, others don’t see that much difference in performance. My advice: start testing.

Minimal caps

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More caps

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Better Adwords ads: DONKERGEEL.com

Not allowed caps

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There’s got to be boundaries, right? Here’s the Google page for editorial standards writing Adwords ads.

#7 Price or no price?

Naming your price in the ad might keep possible customers away from your site. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The people that do click already know your price. This probably means they are somewhat more interested.

Make sure your landing page does more then highlight your price. Reflect on yourself for a moment. You’re a consumer. You’re looking for a radiocontrolled helicopter (who isn’t, right?). You see this ad:

Black RC Helicopter?
Great battery life, fast and strong
This week’s price: €100

You already know the price. What will you be looking for on the landing page? Right. Anything that will convince you to pay the €100. This means: shipping time, durability, video reviews, contents of the box, warranty et cetera.

Now have a look at your site. And your landing page. If you state your price, are you convincing the visitor to buy your product with everything but the price? Good, go test with putting the price in your Adwords ads.

If you’re not convinced of your proposition, work on that first.

#8 Test your Ad extensions

Black RC Helicopter?
Great battery life, fast and strong
This week’s price: €100

White RC Helicopter
Awesome RC chopper
This week’s price: €100

RC Heli Pars
Need spare parts?
We’ve got them.

In Adwords you can create ad extensions at campaign and ad group level. Ad extensions will give you more exposure and can improve your CTR and quality score. They also shoud be part of your optimization strategy.

Experiment with copy and different landing pages for your ad extensions.

#9 Short and sweet or use every character?

Should you keep your copy short? Or should you use up the whole ad space? Well, you already know the answer. Test it.

Personally, I’ve seen different results using both options. Sometimes a short title that exactly matches the main keyword wins. Sometimes a question that uses all characters winst. There is no one-size fits all in this.

#10 To-the-point or interesting copy?

Here’s the last one for this article. Try testing to-the-point copy versus interesting copy. Here’s an example:


Black RC Helicopter?
Great battery life, fast and strong
This week’s price: €100

Interesting copy

Awesome RC Chopper
Impress all the kids on the block
With this Donkergeel RC Chopper

Now it’s your turn. What are you testing at the moment? Any thoughts to share?