OK, I’ll admit: clarity without relevance isn’t going to get you anywhere with your PPC Ads.


Ultimately, your ads and their essential offerings have to match the motivations of the searcher in order for her to bother reading and clicking on your ad. But if the searcher can’t understand what your offering, she’ll ignore your ad altogether.


So your ad has to be clear and relevant — AND at least credible enough in its claims to make it worthwhile to click for more information.


So is it any wonder why this contest resulted in such a huge win? See for yourself how the winning ad more than doubled CTR — boosting it by 135%:


Think of it this way, if you’re planning a trip to Chicago with your kids and one of the places you want to take the kiddos is the Shedd Aquarium, which ad is going to make more sense and seem the most relevant? We’ll let’s start with the headline:


  • “Visit the Shedd Aquarium” or
  • “Shedd Aquarium & More”


Well, they start out almost as a kind of a tie, really. The winning ad more directly fits my motivations, but the losing ad pushes the key phrase to the beginning of the headline, which is important and generally considered a best practice.


Where things tip in the favor of the winning ad is the “& More” of the losing ad’s headline. See, if I’m searching on Shedd Aquarium, I’m looking just for that, at least initially, so the “& More” makes me feel like I’m getting set up to be pitched something I’m not interested in.


But really, those differences are relatively minor. Where the big difference comes in is the ultimate clarity of the offer. The winning ad makes it clear that I can save 55% off of the entrance fees for Chicago attractions and activities by buying some kind of multi-pass that would allow me to see the Shedd Aquarium plus 24 additional attractions.


I may or may not end up wanting that deal, but at least I can clearly understand it in order to make that decision. That’s where CLARITY comes in and why it’s so


And really, how can I know if I want the deal until I learn what the other 24 attractions are and how much the multipass costs, right? So even if I’m not quite sure whether I want this deal, the offer is at least sufficiently credible to be worth the click — I still want to CLICK ON THE AD. That’s where the dash of curiosity helps to spike the CTR scores.


Compare that to the losing ad: if you read the body copy, are you at all clear on what they’re offering?


  • Does the Shedd Aquarium offer tours and museums and cruises?
  • Or are these tours museums and cruises offered by someone or someplace else?
  • And why would I want to buy all that when I’m just researching a trip to the aquarium?
  • What’s in it for me?


Mediocre and amateur PPC copywriters worry about squeezing in as many appeals and buzzwords/keywords as possible. But they almost never worry about being clear about their offer and what’s in it for the searcher.


Professionals START with clarity as a must-have baseline, and then work on “boosting up” an ad from there. So take a tip from the boosters and do the same.