At the core of successful digital ad campaigns in the modern era is QA. But not so many businesses are using it in their ad campaigns despite the lack of quality assurance costing businesses thousands of dollars in wasted ad spend.
So, what can you do about it? Firstly, you need to start investing in your digital ad campaign QA process and tooling. Secondly, you need a proper QA checklist to ensure you never launch a broken ad campaign again.
What Is an Ad QA Process?
Quality assurance is a way to ensure your digital marketing is working as it should be and tracking to the correct metrics. You have to ensure that the concepts behind your work align and support your strategic needs and that the different parts of the campaign are at par with the brand and that there are no technical issues.
Most of this work is time-consuming and highly tedious unless you use automation tools like Ad Reform. You have to verify that the digital ad campaign’s design, content elements, and functionality are properly setup. You can do some of this with free tools like previewads.com.
When you have a solid QA process, your ad campaigns and creatives go live without “errors.” Thus, you prevent wasting thousands of dollars of ad spend on rectifying trivial errors and are guaranteed a higher ROI from your campaign.
Creating an Ad QA Process
Good ad QA follows a well-defined process. Otherwise, your ad QA process may fail to discover the errors, brand misalignments, attribution issues and poor customer experience your ad campaign might create.
A quality workbook (QWB) is a commonly preferred method for creating a QA process. A quality workbook consists of documentation and checklists for your QA. It creates standardization of the entire process and ensures you don’t drop the ball.
You can create multiple QWBs, but it’s always advised to have a master QWB from which other QWBs are drafted.
For instance, you can have a master quality workbook for key areas of your digital ad campaigns, such as:
- File size testing
- Content testing
- Landing page testing
- Tracker testing
- Initial Load
- Host-initiated Subload
- Network Requests
- CPU Usage
- Load Speed
- Ad Dimensions
- Has Animation
- Memory Usage
- Iframe Count
- Plays Video
- Mobile Friendly
With a QWB, anyone within the company can run an ad QA process for one of your campaigns without missing a step.
The Most Important Items in Your Ad QA Checklist
There are critical elements to most ad campaigns that should never be left out of your ad QA checklist. These are:
Content should always pass through ad QA before handing it over to be trafficked. Someone should proofread the content from the content team and clear it for use in your landing page or ad copy.
The goal is to find misspelled words, missing periods, ensure the text version is correct, and weed out any terms that might misrepresent the brand.
Links are the heart and soul of digital marketing. Broken click-through links can severely damage your SEO and digital ad campaign. That’s why checking whether every link works is a crucial the ad QA process.
Make sure every link works and directs to the relevant landing page (See how Ad Reform automates this).
Images and Design
An ad campaign with good images and design garners 94% more views. The ROI from such a campaign goes through the roof as a result.
Your images QA checklist should confirm that images are loading fast and in high quality for a more positive user experience. Moreover, the images and design should intuitively convey the intended meaning of your campaign.
Your ad campaign should fulfill its intended purpose. That means you have to look for the critical components that define its functionality and ensure that they’ve been well-curated.
- Does the ad have the correct trackers
- Does it have the correct impression tracker
- Does it have the correct landing page
- Does it have the correct attribution via query parameters
- Is the ad too large or take too long to load
- Does the ad pass the IAB performance specs
A day after the ad goes live, you can use further QA to ensure the ad is displayed as intended on the selected platforms. You can use ad screenshots to verify such information.
Drawbacks of Too Many Processes in QA
Proper QA has magical returns for your business and ad campaigns. But having a massive checklist won’t make for better returns. Instead, you can collapse the entire campaign before it even gets to the customer.
Ideally, you’d only want two reviewers to go through the checklist. Two eyes are enough to catch the most notorious mistakes that one party might mistakenly let slide.
Having multiple reviewers only increases the time for communication, reviews, and approval which slows down the businesses’ marketing process.
Also, instead of starting with a huge checklist, tick the most important boxes first, then review how well your QA process has performed. If some mistakes go unnoticed, try to define the processes better or add a few more items to the checklist to ensure the errors don’t happen again.
That way, you end up with a manageable checklist that guarantees the entire team that everything has been thoroughly checked and is running smoothly.
Consider Ad QA Automation
Automation can significantly help speed up your QA process for your ad campaigns. For instance, using Ad Reform’s ad qa technology, you can quickly assess whether the running ad campaigns fulfill the team's set standards of content, size, load time and function.
This way, you can catch errors that slipped past your pre-campaign checklist before they significantly hurt your campaign and cost the business thousands of dollars and give end users a degraded user experience.