Best Practices and Text Ad Testing

The Best Practices feature in ClickEquations can help you to find and fix a wide range of common problems in your accounts.

One of my favorites is ‘Text Ad CTR Low’ which identifies text ads running in your ad groups which have a CTR that is some percentage lower (30% by default) than the other text ads in the same ad group. This has the potential to make huge improvements in your quality scores and overall results.

In this post we’ll look at how to setup and best use this best practice.


To begin you need to configure and start the best practice. In the Best Practices Manager, create a new ‘Text Ad CTR Low’ best practice, modify the options if necessary, and assign it to run on some or all of your campaigns.

The right option settings depend on the behavior and performance of your account. The default CTR Difference of 30% is a good starting point if you have 50 clicks or more per text ad in the defined lookback period. If you don’t have that many clicks in the desired timeframe, raise the CTR Difference to 100% and you can get statistically significant results with only 12-15 clicks.

See ‘Adding and Editing Best Practices’ in the ClickEquations help system for more detailed information and instructions.

Save your new best practice and it will run that evening. Go get a good night sleep.

Reviewing Best Practice Alerts

The ‘Ad Alerts’ section of the ClickEquations dashboard will now tell you if any your ad groups are in violation of your defined best practices. Click on the red alert counter and you can see how the under-performing ads are spread across the various search engines.

To see the problem ads on Google, click the number next to Google. The ClickEquations Manager will open to the Text Ads tab with all the problem ads displayed. From here you’ll be able to review the details of the situation in each ad group, and take corrective action.

Resolving Low CTR Text Ads

The list of text ads you’ll see only includes the ones that under-performed. If you’re in a hurry you might just pause them all, or edit the ad copy to try and boost the CTR.

But a better approach would be to dive deeper into the specifics for each ad group.

Here’s the steps you might take:

  • Click on the ad group name next to the first text ad in the list. This will open tab for that ad group so you filter down to only the ads in that ad group.
  • Click back to the Text ad tab to see the under-performing text ad and the ads it is competing against.
  • If there are paused or deleted ads on the list, use the Edit Filter.. command to display only items with the status of Enabled, On, or Active.
  • TIP: Name as save this filter as ‘Show Only Active/Enabled/On’ for future use.
  • Compare the performance of the text ads to see if you really want to pause or rewrite the under-performing ad.
  • Use the Verster significance checker to make sure you can be statistically confident in the results. If not, use the calendar to bring in more data from a longer time frame.
  • When you have confidence in the data, take action on any under-performing ads – pause or rewrite.
  • Check the box next to the under-performing ad (if you didn’t delete it) and clear the alert.
  • If there are more under-performing ads, Click on the remaining number next to the Text Ad CTR Low alert in the Alerts palette, and repeat this process for the next under-performing ad.

Economic and QS Benefit

The process of eliminating poorly performing text ads from within your ad groups should have huge benefits to your account. Every under-performing ad that is eliminated will increase your CTR, which should drive up keyword quality score. And as we know, better quality score results in more impressions, higher positions, and lower CTRs.

Wrapping this process around a thoughtful effort to write and test better ad copy, and keep an eye on not only CTR but also conversion rate, can further the positive effects.

When you run lots of text ad tests – as you should – keeping track of them and waiting for sufficient data to hit some level of confidence in the results is a management challenge. Using the ClickEquations best practices to automate the management of under-performers is a dramatic improvement to the process.

Acquisio Admin

Acquisio Admin

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