Creating Best-Selling Book Titles: Using Google Adwords to Test

So, you’ve written the manuscript of your book.  Now you need a good title.  You have some ideas for your title but you’re not sure which one is best.  Or maybe you titled it before you wrote it and you don’t want to waiver from that title because, well, you like it.   Or maybe you don’t have a clue what to title this masterful creation, but just like a baby (it is your baby, after all), you have to name it.  


Just like when your wrote the manuscript, you had to keep your target audience at the forefront of your mind. When you are selecting the appropriate book title, you have to keep your target audience at the forefront of your mind.  You can have the best manuscript but if you label it poorly, it may never be picked up to be read.  Always, with any and every element of your book, target your audience.


An excellent online tool to help you is Google Adwords.  You can gain instant consumer feedback.  It’s an immediate and successful way to use a test market to get the results you need.  These are the steps to follow when using this tool:

  • Log on to and sign up for a free account.
  • Create two separate ads for your book.  It is extremely important that the ads be absolutely identical, except for the book titles.   This is called split testing.  Ad #1 will contain your first title.  Ad #2 will contain your second title.   You may want to offer your book as an Ebook or offer the first chapter of your book.  You have the choice of offering for free or for a fee.
  • Choose the appropriate keywords that are relevant to your book.  Choose the maximum PPC (Pay-per-Click) amount you wish and make the ads live.  You should receive feedback within 24-48 hours.  The feedback will show you which book title your target audience prefers.  With those results, you choose your title by making the decision based on:
    • The number of clicks each title received
    • The actual click through rate (the number of clicks that actually purchased the ebook or downloaded the free chapter)
  • Once you have completed the third step, return to the second step with your next title.  You will put the winning title of the first test against the new title you are testing.  Keep repeating the tests until you have a crystal clear winner.


Authors can’t just choose their titles based on personal preferences.  Here’s the truth that those authors need to know:  It does not only matter what you, the author, think your book title should be.  It matters what your audience thinks, what your audience will respond to.

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