The No Waste Approach to Facebook Ads

How to Split Test Facebook Ads {Guidelines to Follow}


Split testing for Facebook ads is your new superpower. Well, it will be after you read our comprehensive how-to guide! We’ll tell you everything you need to know to learn and to ace split testing on Facebook. 

So, what is split testing exactly? 

The phrase “split test” sounds simple enough, but it can also be a bit vague. It can conjure up images of scientists in white lab coats, beakers, and goggles, or it can make you think of those commercials with side-by-side comparisons. Then, you’re left wondering what, exactly, any of that has to do with Facebook advertising. 

No one has time for vagueness, so here’s the basic explanation: Facebook allows you to create various versions of your ad so that you can see which one performs better. 

Now, you may be thinking of two versions of a Facebook ad each with a different image, and you would be right–to an extent. An image, however, is only one of the many variables you can change and test. 

Let’s take a look at the variables you can alter. Along the way, we’ll explain how to do split testing, and lastly, we’ll give you a list of the best practices you can use to make the most of your ads. 

Facebook will test only one of these variables at a time so you can see what’s really working. This means having nearly identical ads with only the image, ad copy, audience, OR delivery optimization changed. 

1. Images 

As mentioned above, images can–and should–be split tested. Images are the first thing that your Facebook ad audience sees. If you have a new product for sale, does the yellow or red background convert more sales? 

Does the picture of you in your office or does one of you next to your Lamborghini make more sales for your online entrepreneur course? 

If you’re new to split testing or to advertising on Facebook, this is where you would need to begin. 

This principle goes for videos as well. 

On your Facebook feed, you may have seen a fitness guru’s ads. You have watched one sales video, but the next day, you see a slightly different one. This video is a shot from a different angle or rephrases the sales pitch and/or has a new customer testimony that converts you, too, into a customer. 

Both videos have the same fitness guru talking about the same product. What changed? 

First of all, the video looked different than the one you saw the day before and that slight change is what got your attention. Second, the ad copy (more on this coming up) or the ad content was a tiny bit altered. If enough people repeat your pattern, the fitness guru would know which video converts and the ad that deserves the full ad budget. 

2. Ad Copy 

Ad copy is what you say or type for an ad. Short, punchy text or phrases will always be preferable over long, wordy prose. No one has time for wordiness either. Get to the point. 

Split testing your ad copy is crucial to your ad campaign’s success. Brainstorm different callouts, questions, or shocking facts; basically, have an arsenal of catchy ad headlines and test them. 

You also want to have various sales pitches (ad copy). After you tested your images and found the winner, why stop there? Take the winning image and split test your best sales pitches. See how this is snowballing? Let’s keep this winning-at-split-testing avalanche going! 

3. Audiences 

Now that you have the winning image and the winning sales pitch, get them in front of the right people! 

You can label the Facebook ad audiences that you create. Creating and testing Facebook audiences lets you know if busy moms or if college students deserve more of your ad budget. Test their interests, life events, marital status, etc. Get down to your perfect niche. Once you have found them, you can start from here for the next ad campaign’s split test. 

Split testing really helps you give the people (your people) what they want! 

4. Delivery Optimizations 

Aha! Here, we have one of the variables that wouldn’t come to mind right away but could help you tremendously. You can select and test the different delivery optimizations. 

For example, you can optimize one ad for conversions and the other for landing page views. See which optimization performs best; add this as the cherry on top of your perfect ad campaign. 

The 4 Ways to Create a Split Test on Facebook: 

1. Duplication.

If you have an existing campaign, select this option and add a new ad to test them against each other.

2. Quick Creation.

You own the show here. Select this option if you want to finalize things later and if you want to create your own structure.

3. Guided Creation.

Facebook will hold your hand on this option. If you are new to the whole Facebook advertising show, this one’s for you.

4. upRive.

We created The Campaign Maker to make split testing (and everything else) for Facebook ads so easy. There is no simpler way to create, test, or manage Facebook ads than this! Try it FREE for 14 Days! 

And now for the BEST PRACTICES for split testing… 

As mentioned, test only ONE variable at a time.

Don’t get crazy here! This is a cardinal rule. 

Have a goal in mind.

Before you begin a split test, think about what results you want. Do you want more page views, post engagements, or sales? Do you want to find your perfect audience for your product or service? 

Once you find that ideal audience, use it again and again.

Don’t use this sacred group of people for another campaign. 

Set a timer.

You don’t want to be running a split test forever. A split test is just that, a test. Do you want to be in an exam forever, or do you want to get your result and graduate (make more sales)? 

Set a reasonable split test budget.

This one goes back to the last point. Set a timer and set a budget for this test. After it is done, you can set a bigger budget for your winning ad.

About the author

Samy Zabarah

Samy Zabarah is the creator of upRive. He also founded FUBSZ LLC, a Facebook ad management service based in Florida, USA, where he managed ad accounts for over 350 clients worldwide.

He started using Facebook ads in 2011, and since then, he has been using Facebook ads as his sole source of marketing.

By Samy Zabarah
The No Waste Approach to Facebook Ads