Testing, Testing — Facebook Ad Tests You *Should* Be Running

Platypus Media - TestingTesting - Facebook Ad Tests You Should Be Running - Facebook Ads Agency, Gateshead

Always be testing. It’s an absolute no-brainer as experimenting is the easiest way to get the best results out of your Facebook Ads. The simplest of tests can give you massive increases to your Return on Ad Spend or cost per conversion, and most importantly, you’ll get learnings that will stick with you and help you improve campaigns today, tomorrow and in ten years’ time.

Testing not your forte? These principles will keep you right.

🔹 If you can change it, you can test it. There are loads of different settings across Facebook and every time you get a choice, that’s an opportunity to test and make sure you’re getting the best performance possible. No test is too small!

🔹 If you don’t succeed at the first, second or even third go, keep at it. Refining an ad to improve performance is an involved process; you won’t get it right every time, but as long as you’re learning, you’re winning.Record everything.

🔹 To run super successful ad campaigns, you want to keep a record of all your changes (especially the ones that sadly don’t work out). There’s so much to learn from testing the heck out of everything, and having it all written down somewhere will make it easier for you to look back over what you’ve already tried, steering you in the right direction for future tests. It’ll also be a commentary goldmine for reporting week, iykyk.

Not sure where to begin? Here are some of our go-to Facebook Ads tests to start with…

Test 1: Ad Copy Variations 

Aim: work out which copy resonates best with your target audience

🔹 Create two or more variations of ad copy for your Facebook ad, using the same creative format across each ad (eg. image, video etc.). Make sure to give each ad a different name to help with reporting on performance later. We use VAR1, VAR2 and so on as part of the ad name—that way you can use Facebook’s filters to easily check performance in Ads Manager, or filter your data in Google Sheets/Excel using the ad name.

Copy variations don’t need to be drastically different. It could be a case of reordering the words in a sentence (50% off vs £20 off) or trying some longer vs shorter copy.

🔹 Run your copy variations simultaneously, keeping the other variables the same across the ads to see which copy performs better. 

🔹 Once you’ve gathered results, make a decision on which ad copy variation performed better. Which had the best click-through rate, cost per click or highest Return on Ad Spend? Ultimately, you want to measure the success of your test against your account goals. It’s no good having an amazing click-through rate and ridiculously low cost per click if no-one converts.

Platypus Media Ad Copy Test - Facebook Ads Agency

With tweaks to the copy, one ad focusing on materials the other focusing on mediums, in this ad copy test we found a 79% higher ROI and a 54% stronger conversion rate difference between the two. Who doesn’t love that kind of increase to revenue!?

Test 2: Format Creative Testing

Aim: to determine which ad format best resonates with your audience (formats include images, carousel, video, GIF and dynamic catalog ads)

🔹 Use the same copy for each ad, but vary the format. You’ll definitely want to create some easy to recognise labels for your ads to help with filtering the data to measure performance later. The ones we use for creative include:

Facebook Ad Creative Format Labels

🔹 Run your different formats at the same time, keeping all other variables the same across the ads to see which performs best. With your different variations running at the same time there’s less chance of outside factors (competitor activity, payday influences, etc) affecting the outcome as both ads should’ve been exposed to these.

🔹 Once you’ve got a decent number of conversions and have found the creative with the best performance, it’s time to start again and test something new!

Here’s an example of a Black Friday we ran testing whether an image or carousel would drive more sales. The copy remained the same and the style of creative also stayed the same with the image used as the intro card.

Facebook Ads Ad Copy Test

Test 3: Other Tests (Call to action, Headlines and Price)

Testing calls to action, headlines and whether you include the price or not are super easy tests to run, and can often have awesome results.

Call to action

Facebook has a number of different call-to-action options and it can be super easy to stick to the classic ‘Shop now’ for e-com.

Facebook Ads Call To Action Options

Try testing different calls to action on the same ad or if none of the others are quite right try a test with no call to action (button vs. no button). If you haven’t already spotted the label theme yet – definitely get your ads labeled up so you can measure performance easily!


Whilst there’s a limited amount of real estate for a headline (you’ll only get a handful of words in) it’s still a great option for testing. Try highlighting a discount or free delivery, tapping into the ads’ emotional message, using the header from the landing page, or simply calling out the main benefit for your targeted audience.


Another simple but super effective test is pricing. Test the same ad with the price shown and one without, or if you have an offer on try different variations of £/$ amount off vs % discount vs was £ now £.

With so many options for testing you’ll never be short of things to try, but sometimes not knowing where to start can be a blocker. The other place where things go wrong is getting super excited and starting a bunch of tests but forgetting to follow up on them. To combat this we can’t recommend enough having a structured testing plan. It doesn’t have to be mega detailed but a regular rotation of what’s being tested will help keep you on track.

Feel free to use our template PPC Plan as a starting point >

Happy testing! ✌️

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