Word choice matters. Always. But word choice especially matters for PPC Ads; the fewer words you have to work with, the more importan each individual word becomes.

Plus, the faster the decision-making process, the more “gut feel” enters into the equation, which means the more emotional affinity becomes a deciding factor. Ads that are emotionally in-tune with the searcher win out over ads promising the same essential offers, features, and benefits, but doing so through less-resonant words.

So how do you ensure you’ve chosen the right words?

The best way is to dig into the searcher’s mindset and psychology. Picture them in front of you, as if you were close friends and confidants. Now, if they were to describe what they were REALLY looking for when they typed in that search query, what would they say?

Got her answer? Good. But don’t stop there — now go one to figure out:

  • What words she used?
  • Where they direct, frank words or polite euphemisms?
  • If they were euphemisms, why did she feel the need to be indirect? What was the sensitivity there?
  • What would she say if she wasn’t worried about being judged?
  • How does her self-image color her word choice?
  • What do her word choices convey about her priorities and concerns

So, with that process in mind, which of these two ads do you feel more fully captures the word-choice and sensibilities of the searcher:

Which PPC Ad Outperformed the Other in this Split Test?

So which headline sounds like how a 40+ woman would describe what she was looking for when searching for online dating? Ad A’s convoluted headline featuring some rather snarky quotes? Or Ad B’s much more straightforward, casual approach?

Ad B, right? You betcha!

Not only does “Dating for Women (40+)” sound more like how a woman might describe what she was looking for, it also works well by de-emphasizing age, as something parenthetical to the main offering, and also seems to promise a dating experienced specifically tailored FOR women. Nice wordsmithing!

Next question: would the searcher in question refer to the kind of men she’s dating as “Affluent” and “Older” or as “Established”?

Well, since most women don’t see themselves as out-and-out gold diggers, they’d be far more likely to use the word “Established.” Also, how many 40+ women actually desire to date “older” men. Older than who? They may wish for men who are roughly the same age as them, but they probably don’t think of themselves as “older,” nor would they be likely in search of men “older” than them.

Moreover, Ad B’s pairing “Established” with “Passionate” is a perfect choice or words, as the passionate would imply successful, as people who are passionate about their jobs tend to be more successful, while also making “Established” seem a bit more healthy and youthful than it otherwise might. Think of it as the opposite of Ad A’s egregiously off-key use of the word “Older.”

Finally, would a 40+ women want to be reassured that the men on a potential dating site are “serious” and screened”? Or would she prefer to know that the site offers a service that is “Secure” and “Discreet”?

Just ask yourself: “serious” about what? “Screened” for what? The sense I get out of this is that they are men who are serious about finding a “mail order playmate” and have been screened for “affluence.” Hmmm. Not a very attractive mental image, right?”

Whereas “Secure and Discreet” gives me an image of a service that puts me in control and actively protects my privacy. Now that’s much more reassuring!

Bottom Line: Ad B wins on all counts, from headline to the last line of copy, and that domination led to a whopping 528% increase in click-through rate.

So ask yourself: how would your prospective searchers describe what they are looking for?