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Posts Tagged ‘Inclusion’

Don’t Ignore Best Practices

Monday, July 1st, 2013


Best practices have been identified and labelled as such for a reason — because they’ve been found to boost Click-Through Rates often enough to make them a good rule-of-thumb for inclusion in your ad writing habits and to make testing them a go-to part of your optimization process.

That doesn’t mean they’re fool proof, or that you shouldn’t test alternatives to them, just that their worth remembering, worth testing, and, when possible, worth combining and stacking for maximum effect. This recent contest is a great example of “stacked” best practices, successfully tested as part of an optimization campaign:

Use of Registered and Trademark Symbols and/or “Official Site”

This one is interesting because it pits the winning ad’s use of the copyright symbol for the hotel name against the “Official Site” language in the losing ad’s first line of copy. But what’s better, to establish credibility with one character/symbol in the headline or to do it with 14 characters in the first line of body copy?

The winning ad takes the credibility factor and elevates it up to the headline (which itself is a best-practice for optimization testing) and manages to accomplish the same task with less than 1/10th of the characters.

Promoting Key Persuasive Information “Up”

This PPC Ad is trading on matching keyword terms for “Gulf Shores Hotels” with a powerful appeal to price. So the headline deals with keyword match-up and then the body copy deals with price. So where do YOU think price should go: at the bottom of the ad or as close to the top as possible?

The BoostCTR ad writer understood that persuasive information should be pushed higher up in the ad, and further to the left, when possible, so he raised the “$69 per Night” info to the first line of copy (and made room for it by using the Registered symbol in the headline rather than “Official Site” in the first line of copy.

Promise Immediacy and Instant Gratification Whenever Possible

The losing ad closes with a CTA to “Book Rooms Starting at $69/night!” but this makes no explicit claims as to how quickly or immediately the searcher can check availability and book the rooms. But the winning ad foregrounds the immediate nature of the Call-to-Action by closing with “Book or Reserve a Room Online Now.” In this case the “or Reserve” and the “Online Now” phrases are key to promising immediacy.

Stacking 3 Best Practices = 89% increase in Click-Through Rate

The sub-head says it all, by combining these three best practices, the author of the winning ad scored an impressive win in a tight and competitive keyword bracket, falling just a bit short of doubling CTR. So take a tip from the boosters and see if you can’t apply some or all of these best practices to your own ad optimization efforts.


Win of the Week – 176% Increase in CTR for Insulation Blowers

Friday, December 7th, 2012


Take a look at the two ads below. If you were looking to buy an insulation blower, which ad do you think you’d click on?


PPC Ad #1

Ad #1 Insulation Blowers
PPC Ad #2

Ad #2 Insulation Blowers


These ads are completely different. Yet one of them performed far better than the other.


But which one? And why?


The winning ad is (more…)


It’s Harder Than It Looks

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012


OK, without any other pre-amble, pick the winner of this contest:

Got it? Good. Now pick the winner of this contest:

So you’re probably wondering, “why the double contest?”

Because the feature that many experienced ad writers would most likely see as a winning edge — the inclusion of 2012 in the title — simply isn’t. Or at least, it’s not a winning edge all the time.

In the first contest, Ad A is the winner, beating out Ad B with an impressive 174%. So in this case, it seems as if using 2012 in the title to clearly communicate that this is the currency of the anti-virus software is a winning change.

But in the second context, Ad B is the winner, beating out Ad A by an even more impressive 213% increase in CTR.

So what gives?

3 Take Aways

Frist, you have to look to searcher psychology. Mac users want stuff specifically designed for their Macs and not a bastardized piece of software that’s been “ported-over” from its Windows version. So the ad that best emphasizes “designed specifically for the mac” or “Protection for your Mac” is going to be the winner. Those are the ads that best match the searcher’s psychology.

Second, you just never know. While it’s great to have rules of thumb that more-or-less consistently produce better performing ads, sometimes the results will surprise you. You gotta test, because as I said last week: testing rules and opinion drools

Third, ongoing optimization of your ad words isn’t formulaic and it isn’t easy. It takes a lot of testing of a lot of different ad writing approaches. But it IS worth it, as the kind of more-than-doubling CTR results prove.