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Ad Copy Optimization: Knowing When to Pause

December 02, 2014
3 Min Read
Ad Copy Optimization: Knowing When to Pause

Successful AdWords and BingAds campaigns rely on a variety of factors — ad copy being one important piece. Ad copy should be ever evolving through constant testing. While monitoring your ads, you may notice an ad that is not performing as well as the rest. Don’t let this one ad ruin the fun for the entire ad group. Once you get the ad copy party started, when is it time to tell bad ad copy to “go home”? Keep reading to find out how to successfully test ad copy and know when it’s time to pause underperforming ads.

Ad Test Prep (Party Planning)

One of the first steps in throwing a successful party is planning, so before you start planning your ad copy, be sure your campaigns are set up to allow for great ad testing.

In each ad group within a campaign, you should aim to have three or four clear and concise active ads. Each of these ads should directly relate to the keywords located in that ad group. The ads should also include a call to action, like “Shop Now!” or “Sign Up Today!” Ad rotation settings should be set to “rotate evenly” or “rotate indefinitely.” Selecting these options in the ad rotation settings will allow for data to accrue more evenly. If the ad rotation setting is set to “Optimize for Clicks” or “Conversions,” the search engines will decide which ads to show to a majority of users. With data accruing at a more even rate, decisions can be made about ad performance more quickly.

Running the Ad Test (It’s Time to Party!)

Now that your campaign is all prepared with proper ads and settings, let’s get this party started! Here are a few things to keep in mind for your ad copy party:

  • Mix and mingle

Give your ads enough time to interact and have some fun. Each of the ads in your ad test should have many impressions and clicks before you make a decision to pause any.

  • Go with the Flow

There is no specific length of time that needs to pass before a decision can be made on your ad test. Rather than having a set end time for this ad copy party, it is best to let the data collect and decide when it is time to pause an ad.

  • Making New Friends

An ad’s success should not be determined solely on the number of people it interacts with (impressions and clicks), but also the amount of people with which it is able to make a valuable connection (conversions). For this reason, both click-through rate and conversion rate should be taken into consideration when determining which ad to pause. Using the equation below, see how ad performance compares (the higher the number, the better the ad is performing).

Ad copy equation

  • Location, Location, Location

Performance expectations should be shifted depending on the location of the ad test. Just like you would expect different things from party at a frat house and a party at a low-key jazz club, you can expect different performance depending on the location of your ad test. Performance (CTR and CVR) should be compared within ad groups, not against other ad groups as they may differ greatly between ad groups and campaigns. For example, you can expect ads in campaigns containing brand keywords will have much higher CTRs and CVRs.

Pausing Ads (Last Call!)

Now that your ads have had enough time to mingle with the right people, you can start making decisions on which ads to pause.

Here are a few things to look for to make your decision easier:

  • The Weakest Link

If there is enough data to use the ad success equation, the ad with the lowest number should be paused. Don’t let one “Debbie Downer” ad ruin the party for everyone. Tell her to head home!

  • Loners

If an ad has a lot of impressions and clicks but no conversions, this ad should be paused. If that guy’s just going to sit in the corner and glare at people, he might as well leave the party.

  • Freeloaders

If an ad is spending a lot of money with lower conversion rates than other ads, it should be sent home. Tell that dude that’s drinking all the punch and eating all the chips it’s time to leave.

  • Singing Out of Tune and Trying to Dance

If an ad refers to a sale, holiday, or specific time of year, it should be watched closely. While you can gather data during the test for that period of time, be sure to pause when in makes sense (end of holiday, etc.). Before things get any weirder, tell the girl that’s singing out of tune and trying to dance to go home.


Once you’ve told ad copy to go home (paused it), it’s important to create new ads to keep the party going and continue to optimize.

To see the most success in your AdWords and BingAds campaigns, be sure to test ad copy.

Keep these points in mind while testing:

  • Set up your campaigns for ad copy success
  • Monitor the data
  • Make decisions to pause ads based on data
  • Create new ads and repeat!

Need some help mingling your ads? Contact us today and let Groove be your party planner! We’ll make sure your ad copy party is a huge success.

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Founder & CEO of Groove Commerce https://ethangiffin.com

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