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Posts Tagged ‘Guess’

Take It The Next Level

Thursday, June 27th, 2013


As usual, let’s start with the contest — guess the winner, please:

OK, here’s a hint: I almost titled this Win of The Week column “Up, Up, and Away” because the basic premise is that once you find a piece of ad copy that boosts Click-Through, you should continue to test moving that copy higher and higher within the ad (from 2nd line of copy to 1st line and from 1st line to headline). You can also test moving the copy towards the left; at the start of a line or headline rather than at the end.

In the case of this weeks winner, the persuasive bit of copy was $80/hr, and the winning ad moved that from the 1st line of copy to the headline.

And while there are some additional factors in Ad B’s overall success (not bringing up negative possibilities or indicating that the searcher will have to “join” anything), moving the key persuasive copy into the headline was probably THE major factor in its record-breaking results. Because Ad B boosted Click-Through Rates by a truly astonishing 691%!

That’s almost 7 times the CTR as the old ad. Up, up and away, indeed. And that’s why this contest represents our Win of the Week.


Do You See What I’m Saying?

Friday, April 5th, 2013


PPC ads are more than just keywords and information. They’re also mini-sales pitches intent on selling the searcher on the company’s ability satisfy the sought-after goal.

That means that appeals to imagination and emotion are just as important as facts and figures and deal sweeteners. In other words, drawing a vivid and appealing picture is more important than packing in added facts.

So with that in mind, take a look at these two ads and guess which garnered more than double the response of the other:

OK, if you guessed Ad B, you got it right. Here’s why:

  • “See The Top Sights & Save 55%” creates an attractive image in the mind’s eye
  • “45+ San Diego Attractions 55% Off” is just raw information.
  • “Get An All-Inclusive GoSanDiegoCard!” is an easy to imagine action
  • The only part of “Buy Online, Save, & Skip the Lines!” that’s vivid or imaginable is the “Skip the Lines” part.

Both ads had the same info and keyword usage, but the winning ad was vividly imaginable. You could SEE what it was saying, and it was an agreeable image/offer. And that’ll win every time against raw data, which is why this contest is a Win of the Week.


Be Wary of Substitutions

Monday, April 1st, 2013


What’s the difference between “Designer” furniture and “Luxury” furniture?

Well, it’d be easy enough for me to wax poetic about the perceived differences, but here’s the thing: whatever explanation I handed you would be peculiar and particular to me, and not necessarily applicable to prospective searchers, in general.

And that’s the big reason why word substitutions can be dangerous — YOU may think the substitute word is perectly synonymous with the search term, but the searcher may not. Want an example, take a look at this recent contest:

If someone is searching on “Luxury Furniture,” what they want to see in your headline is exactly that term. Sure, you might think “Designer Furniture” is just as good, but there’s no guarantee the searcher will. In other words beware of substitutions.

And on a similar “best practices” wavelength, move the CTR-boosting information up and to the left. So if the main selling point for your store is the discount, let’s move that up to the headline rather than leaving it in the first line of body copy.

Two good (and easy) tips from the boosters that added up to a 59% increase in Click-Through Rates for this contest, and that often add up to significantly more than that. Test them out yourself and see what you get!


It’s Not As Obvious As You Think!

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013


In their blockbuster book, Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath tell the tale of Tappers and Listeners. A PhD Psychology student at Stanford divided a test subjects into two groups, tappers and listeners. Here’s how they tell it:

Tappers received a list of 25 well known songs, such as “Happy Birthday to You” and “The Star Spangled Banner.” Each Tapper was asked to pick out a song and tap out the rhythm to a Listener (by knocking on a table). The Listener’s job was to guess the song, based on the rhythm being tapped.

During the experiment 120 songs were tapped out. So guess how many of them were correctly guessed by the listeners? Seriously, go ahead and take a guess on what percentage of those songs the listeners managed to identify.

Answer: only three songs were guessed correctly. That’s 3 out of 120, or 2.5%!

So what’s the point?

The tappers all thought that the listeners would probably guess at least half the songs they tapped. Why? Because the tappers were hearing the song in their head as they tapped. But the listeners don’t have that tune playing in their head. They just hear a disconnected bunch of taps.

And that same Tapper-Listener disconnect — called “The Curse of Knowledge” — occurs all the time between PPC Ad Writers and Searchers, especially if the ad writer works for the business.

When you’re knowledge of the business vastly exceeds the customers, you almost begin to assume that everyone else knows what you know. That it’s obvious. And that’s one way you can unwittingly sabotage your PPC Ad Results. This contest is a perfect example of that:

The losing ad thought it was obvious that Turquoise Jewelry crafted by Southwest Indian Tribes would be the traditional silver and turquoise designs that the employees in that company are doubtlessly familiar with — jewelry they probably thought that EVERYBODY would be familiar with.

But there are lots of styles of turquoise jewelry, and not everyone is familiar with the kind crafted by the Indian Tribes listed. That’s why specifying “Steling Silver Turquoise Jewelry,” as the winning ad does, helps boost performance — it fills the listener in on the tune the advertiser is singing, rather than assuming they can fill it in on their own.

So take a tip from the Boosters and don’t assume it’s obvious.

Ask yourself what you already ARE assuming the searcher knows that maybe she doesn’t. Then test ads that make that information more explicit, and see what kind of results you get. In this case it got a CTR boost of 38%


The Basics Aren’t So Basic At Scale

Thursday, March 7th, 2013


First some context: this PPC contest is for the ad group labeled “Down Comforter.” So, which ad do you think won:

If you’ve been paying attention at all, or even if you just know the first thing about PPC Ads, it’s pretty easy to guess the winning ad — it’s the one that actually uses the keyword term IN the ad.

The other ad fails this very basic step. So it’s no wonder that the winning ad boosted Click-Through Rates by 348%! But the losing ads failure isn’t quite as inexplicable as it might seem.

What you have to understand is that this client has an incredible number of keywords and SKUs that they are advertising on. So they use ad templates to cover similar keyword terms. If you look at the losing ad, it’s pretty clear that it could be used for almost any ad group targeting bedding, sheets, and so on. It’ll work for all of them — just not very well.

And that’s the compromise you make when you move to templates. Yes, Dynamic Keyword Insertion can help, but not as much as you might think.

So what’s the answer?

Outsourced PPC Ad writing and Ad Testing.

Because good enough no longer seems good enough when you realize you could be doing 350% better!