Facebook AB Testing Simplified 101

Osheen Jain • Last Modified: December 29th, 2022

Facebook AB Testing

Whether you have a small or a large budget to run Facebook ads, keeping your conversions high at a low cost is what the game is all about. But, how do you figure out the elements that are causing your ads to underperform? Facebook AB testing offers you a way to make your ads better by validating your ad elements. You can run multiple variations of your sets to find out what works with your audience. 

If you want to improve your ad sets, read on and learn more about Facebook AB testing, how to set up an AB test, and how it can benefit your brand. 

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What is AB Testing?

AB Testing
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Split testing, also known as AB Testing, is a randomized experiment where two or more versions of a variable are shown to different segments of website visitors at the same time to determine a version that leaves the maximum impact and engagement. Essentially A/B Testing eliminates the guesswork from marketing and website optimization. It enables marketers to make data-backed decisions. 

In A/B testing, A refers to control or the original variable, whereas B is the new version or variation of the original testing variable (A). The variation that drives your business metric in the positive direction is the winner. Marketing teams can implement changes on their landing page or tested elements to optimize the website and increase ROI. 

Why is Facebook AB Testing Important?

Split test on Facebook Ads is a marketing strategy that allows you to test two different marketing campaign elements to find out which ads resonate the most with your target audience. You can carry out the Facebook AB Testing procedure on nearly all areas of Facebook Ads.

Some common split test types are: 

  • Creative: testing different fonts, copy, ad images, calls to action, etc.
  • Audience: targeting diverse audiences and demographics.
  • Placements: automatic vs. specific.
  • Custom variables: testing any ad element within your campaign.

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Benefits of Facebook AB Testing

Here is a list of the most prominent benefits you can get from Facebook AB Testing.

Get Better ROI from Existing Traffic

The cost of acquiring new quality traffic is considerably expensive. A/B testing allows you to make minor modifications to your ad elements and improve conversions from existing traffic without spending additional dollars. Even the minutest changes can result in a significant increase in ROI and overall business conversions. 

Reduced Bounce Rates

One of the most common tracked metrics by marketers for judging your website performance is the bounce rate. There can be multiple reasons leading to a high bounce rate, such as expectations mismatch, technical jargon, confusing navigation, numerous options to choose from, and so on. Since different brands cater to different audience segments and serve varied goals, running an A/B test can prove beneficial. 

It allows you to run multiple variations of elements on your website and ads until you find the best possible version that resonates with your target audience. It also helps find a visitor’s pain points and features causing friction in the conversion process.

Improved User Engagement

Every element of your marketing strategies like headings, subject lines, imagery, call-to-action, layouts, colors, fonts, and others can be A/B tested. However, you must test one variable at a time to understand if it changes your user’s behavior. 

Increased Conversion Rates

It is the best and most effective means to determine if your current strategy and content lead to signups and purchases. Facebook AB Testing helps you understand what works best among your audience that leads to better conversion rates. 

Higher Conversion Values

Whenever you come to a result from Facebook AB Testing, such as a font or color that resonates well with the audience, you can apply it to additional experiences on your website. You can use these results and apply them to future launches. 

Ease of Analysis

Determining the effective version of ads is very straightforward with the Facebook AB Testing procedure. You do not have to interpret large data files with split testing as the result is in the form of a winning and losing ad set. The results of the AB split tests can be seen in the reporting table. You can also find detailed information such as confidence level and cost per result for each ad set by clicking ‘View charts’ on the reporting panel.  

Reduced Risks

Before committing your resources and marketing budgets to costly and time-intensive changes, split testing can help you rule out elements that don’t resonate with your audience. You can also avoid any ad element like font, headline, image that has proven to be ineffective in previous tests as well. 

Make Low-Risk Modifications

Rather than designing your entire landing page or a Facebook ad, you can make minor changes that reduce the risk of jeopardizing your current success rate. Facebook AB Testing allows you to make incremental changes that will maximize output and result in increased ROI. When you plan to update your ad or website, you can perform a split test to see how visitors react to the changes. It allows you to analyze reactions and see if the new changes resonate with them. 

What Components to Look for in Facebook AB Testing?

There are many variables that you can test while creating Facebook ads. Here is a closer look at variables that you can test:

Campaign Objectives

Facebook AB Testing Components: Campaign Objectives
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Currently, you can choose from 11 campaign objectives in Facebook ads. For example, you can select between lead generation and traffic campaign objectives. It’s great for clients that want to acquire new subscribers or want to increase sales leads. Both campaign objectives offer different results. Lead generation campaigns are great for driving higher lead volumes, but they tend to have lower-quality leads. On the flip side, traffic campaigns are great for sending the audience to a landing page, generating fewer but high-quality leads.  

Another example of a split testing campaign objective is to see if you can drive more conversions through conversion campaigns or website traffic campaigns. Both versions can help you achieve your conversion goal, but one might do the same at a lower cost. 


Even if you have an ideal buyer persona, you can test various custom audiences for Facebook ads and keep improving it from the results. You can test audiences based on different demographics like location, age group, gender, behavior, and interest for any campaign and marketing objective. 

Ad Level Elements

1. Headlines

The first thing that a Facebook user notices about your ad is the headline or title. It also defines whether they will go ahead and engage with the ad. You can make two variations of your ad copy and test with the same audience. Both ad copies must be able to convey your desired message in the first instance. You can also use it in different fonts and writing styles to analyze if they play a role in catching your visitor’s attention. 

2. Body

If you’re creating an image ad, the body of your ad must be able to state what a visitor will get or what’s in store for them. While drafting your ad copy, ensure that you use a consistent and easy-to-grasp writing style and formatting. 

3. Design and Layout

Businesses constantly struggle to decide which elements to keep in the ads. With Facebook AB Testing, you can test videos’ designs and the layout of your ads within the same target audience to see how they are reacting to it. You can easily optimize your ads depending on the results about images and videos most liked by your target audience. 

4. CTA

The call to action of your ad decides whether visitors will take the intended action. Make sure that you always test various CTA copies through split testing along with their placement, color scheme, and size on the ad. These experiments will allow you to understand which CTA variation has the most potential to convert your target audience. 

5. Social Proof

You can always add social proof in your ads like media mentions, awards, certificates, testimonials from customers/celebrities, etc. The presence of social proof will validate the claim that your ad is making. You can use split testing to determine whether the social proof is a good idea for your ad. When creating the final copy, run two variations to see if social proof is helping your customers to convert. 

How to Create a Split Test on Facebook?

There are several ways to create a split test on Facebook that depends on where you start designing your test and the variables you are trying to test. 

  • Ads manager toolbar: This uses an existing ad campaign as a template for your split test. 
  • Experiments tool: Under Experiments in Facebook, you can add the duplicate ad or create ad sets to determine the winning strategy. This store is useful for marketers that want to fine-tune their ad before starting the test or when you want to use several existing campaigns for the test. 
  • Creating a new ad campaign: Whenever you create a new ad campaign in the Facebook ads manager, you can choose to do a Facebook AB Testing procedure. It allows you to test variables for a new campaign. 
  • Duplicating an ad set: In Facebook ads manager, you can duplicate an existing ad set or campaign, make changes to the new set, and compare performance. 

In this blog, we will show you how to create a Facebook AB Testing process in the Ads Manager. Follow these steps to start your first split test:

  • Step 1: Go to Ads Manager to see all ad campaigns and select a campaign objective.
Step 1 of Split Testing
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  • Step 2: Next, turn on the “Create Split Test” button.
Step 2 of Split Testing
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  • Step 3: Select a variable you want to test from Creative, Audience, Delivery Optimization, and Placement. 
Step 3 of Split Testing
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  • Step 4: The next step is to choose your audience. You can either use a saved audience or create a new one. 
Step 4 of Split Testing
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  • Step 5: Select between automatic or manual placement. You can choose platforms and placement locations under the manual option.  
  • Step 6: The next step is to customize the schedule and budget. You can select between lifetime and daily budget. 
Step 6 of Split Testing
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Best practices of Facebook AB Testing

Test One Variable at a Time

You might be tempted to start testing multiple variables at once, but you will get quicker and relevant results only if you test fewer ad variables at a time. Tracking a single variable per ad variation will make it easier for you to evaluate the results. 

Use the Right Facebook Campaign Structure

Facebook gives two options: single ad sets and multiple single variation ad sets. All your ad variations are within a single set in the first option, whereas you can place each variation in a separate ad set in the second option. You must opt for the second structure to get relevant results. Choosing the second option will also stop Facebook from auto-optimizing your ads. 

Set a Sufficient Budget

You must have enough budget to produce results to determine a winning strategy. Facebook provides a suggested budget that you can work on while starting split testing. 

You must have at least 100 conversions per ad variation to have valid results. If your CPC is $2.5 and you want to test 3 ad variations, your budget should be $750. If one ad set outperforms others, you can conclude the experiment at 50 conversions for each variation. 

Split your Audience

You should start by splitting your audience before deciding which element to test. The first step to getting better results is to ensure that your brand is targeting the right audience. The goal should be to find the right audience for your product and ads and get rid of the wrong audiences. 

Determine your Goal

Before starting with Facebook split testing, you must set a goal and then test variations to accomplish said goal. For example, to drive more traffic to your website at a reduced cost, you must optimize for link clicks in one set and landing page views in another variation to see which gets you a lower cost per click.

Use an Ideal Time Frame

You can schedule the time frame for Facebook AB Testing. You can run the test for 30 days or even a minimum of seven days to deliver accurate results. Facebook recommends a 7-day test for reliable results. It also suggests that your ads must not run longer than 30 days because it might not be an efficient use of your budget. If you have an idea of how long your typical customer takes to convert after seeing your ad, you can run the test for a shorter or longer period than seven days. 


Even when you have a set goal before running a Facebook AB Testing procedure, results can surprise you. Split testing allows you to understand your target audience along with their behavior and interests. The more you learn about which ad elements resonate better with what audience, you will increase your ROI and optimize ad spending. Each split test gives you more actionable information and insights so you can execute better ads on Facebook. 

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