What is A/B or split testing in Facebook ads?

A/B testing, also called split testing, is a tactic by which you test variables in your ad campaign such as ad headlines, body copy, images, call-to-actions, or a combination of these to discover what works best for your target audience. Further variables for spilt testing are your Facebook and Instagram audiences and ad placements to identify your best performing audience and which placements they can best be reached with.

We recommend you test these features:

  1. A/B test your Facebook audiences
  2. A/B test your Facebook ad types
  3. Split test your Facebook ads images
  4. Split test stock photos vs.custom illustrations
  5. Split test images vs. videos
  6. A/B test your Facebook ads’ value proposition
  7. A/B test your Facebook ads headline
  8. A/B test your Facebook ads copy
  9. Experiment with different bidding methods
  10. Split test your Facebook ads landing pages
  11. Split test different campaign objectives
  12. Split test your Facebook ad placement

Why do A/B or split testing in Facebook ads?

Unless you’ve already created a lot of Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns for your product, it’ll be pretty hard for you to predict what kind of ad design will work better or which demographic audience will be more likely to buy your product. This is where A/B testing comes in handy. You can quickly test multiple ad designs and target audiences to uncover the most effective ones.

How to do A/B or split testing in Facebook ads?

For a split test to be reliable, every ad you are testing will need to generate a resonable amount of data (conversions, clicks, likes … you name it) to give you sound results for making decisions on your designs, messaging and targeting.

When testing multiple elements, things can quickly get out of hand. Just consider that testing 5 pictures, 5 titles and 5 demographic targets would result in the creation of 125 (5*5*5) different ads!

It’s very important to prioritize so that you’ll have reliable results to optimize upon quickly.

Facebook analyzed millions of dollars in ad split tests and here are the elements that provided the biggest gains:

Ads Design:

  • Image
  • Post Text
  • Placement (where your ads are displayed)
  • Landing Page
  • Headline


Ads Targeting:

  • Country
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Age
  • Custom Audiences
  • Relationship Status
  • Purchase Behaviors
  • Education Level


Others:

  • Ad Type
  • Bidding (Lowest Cost with or without cap)
  • Optimization (Clicks, Conversions, Engagement)


Of course, not all of them may apply to your business, or you may already have an answer for some of them. Start making a short list of the experiments you want to start with. We suggest you pick no more than 4.

Once you’ve defined the categories for your split tests it’s time to start. Begin with broad experiments and once you’ve got some data you can refine them, allowing you to optimize your ads much faster.

More Reading:
Beginner’s Guide to A/B Testing Facebook Ads