Split-Testing: What to Test in a Native Ad

As a marketer, whether you are working directly under a company, or you are an affiliate promoting offers, you know the value of split testing your campaigns. Split testing helps you find the best combination of ads and landing pages that will yield the best results for your campaigns.

Split-Testing: What to Test in a Native Ad

However, in reality, these are but two very broad parts. There are several other elements that you may be overlooking, and there’s no telling whether a small change such as the font size will make a difference unless you test it out.

So if you’re a beginner wondering about what to test, here are some things you can try (even pros can catch a thing or two from this list), so let’s dive in.


Testing the Native Ad Itself

This is one of the most common things to test. The parts of the native ad that you can test are as follows:

The Headline

There are multiple ways to adjust your headlines. Most people would just add or remove a call to action, but you can take it a step further by doing any of the following:

Add or remove the brand name and try different types of sentences:

  • Declarative - this is the simple sentence (ie. Top 10 highest earning celebrities last year);
  • Imperative - give a command (ie. Click to find out the top 10 highest earning celebrities last year);
  • Interrogative - ask a question (ie. Who are the top 10 highest earning celebrities last year?);
  • Exclamatory - a sentence that usually ends with an exclamation point to excite viewers (ie. These top 10 celebrities earned billions last year!)


The Image

When we say create image variations, that doesn’t mean just choose a different image for every ad. It may also mean you can change some parts of the image itself. For instance, you can:

  • Change the background color of the image
  • Adjust the overall color scheme (if your image looks like a banner)
  • Add or remove a border
  • Add or remove some text (if your image has them)
  • Change the font or size of the text.


To maximize your time, it would be best to create multiple combinations of different variations at the same time. Here at Brax, this task is made simpler since our ad creative setup allows you to create 25 ad combinations in a minute.

It’s pretty simple; all you have to do is go to your ad creative dashboard and do the following:

  • Choose a traffic source;
  • Upload five images;
  • Write down five headlines (one headline each line).

Once done with these steps, wait for a few seconds to see a preview of the ad combinations, and voila! You’re done. You can use these 25 ad creatives in as many campaigns as you want.


Testing the Landing Page

Any level-headed marketer would tell you that your native ad should always - and I mean, always - match your landing page. Why? The moment the user realizes he or she has been duped by a clickbait-y ad, he will immediately leave the page. Not only will this be a lost possible conversion, but it will also drive your ad quality low and may prompt your traffic source to turn your ads off. In this industry, quality is very important.

Aside from the obvious ways of testing landing pages with different content, you should also create variations of a landing page with the same content. Here are some of the things you can adjust:

The Font

You can try to match the font of the website where you’re getting traffic from (if you can choose the website source). Alternatively, you can make the font obviously different. However, don’t be too quirky that the page would look spammy.

The Font Size

If you are targeting the older generation, be generous with the font size. If you are targeting younger ones, the standard size is enough.

Buttons and Call to Actions

Split-test between using buttons and hyperlinked text.

Try different images

Some marketers advise that at least one of the images on your landing page must match that of the image used in your native ad. But of course, it all depends on the results of your test.
Also, split-test between professional and amateur-looking photos. Based on many marketers’ tests, amateur-looking ones work great for advertorials that simulate real people’s experiences. This helps convince the audience that the story being presented happened in real-life.


Success in Native Ads is in the Follow-Through

In other words, be consistent. If your native ad is professional-looking, make sure this theme is carried to your landing page. If your ad is promising to reveal a secret, make sure to reveal that secret in your landing page. There are only a precious few seconds by which marketers can capture and hold a user’s attention. The moment you disappoint your audience is the moment you lose them. But even with all this advice, nothing is more trustworthy than the results of your tests.

Test, weed through the data and find your winning ad combinations. Rinse and repeat until you find your golden ticket to success!

When you are ready to scale your Native campaigns, check out Brax.io. It will take your advertising to the next level. Automation, optimization and more!