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Posts Tagged ‘People’

What Do They Expect?

Monday, June 24th, 2013

 

Let’s face it, we expect our personal trainers to look and act one way, and we expect our lawyers to look and act a completely differently. If your lawyer showed up dressed like and acting like a physical trainer, you’d probably opt to choose a different lawyer, and vice versa.


In rhetorical terms, the dynamic I’m describing is called decorum: looking and acting like someone’s idea of what a ______ is supposed to look and act like. And decorum is important to PPC Ad copy as well. Take a look at this example:




If you’re ordering a custom-fit wedding dress that’s also available at a discount price, what do you expect that service to look like? Do you expect it to be a local seamstress? Do you expect it to be a local formal wear store that offers custom fitting as an added service?


Or do you expect the seemingly impossible combo of “custom-made” and “discount” to be offered through the brave new world of online commerce?


If you’re like most people, you expect the company offering custom-made, discount wedding dresses to be a dot-com business. So which headline better matches this expectation? The one that features just the name of the company, or the one that ads in the “.com” at the end?


And if a company is custom making or custom-fitting a dress to you, don’t you expect that there would be a lead time involved? So which ad meets and addresses this expectation? Right: the one that mentions a 30-day guarantee.


So take a tip from the boosters, and ask yourself, “what does the searcher expect me to sound like? What does she expect me to say? What concerns are she expecting me to address? Then make sure you match those expectations to get more clicks. Or, heck, test strategically breaking those expectations to grab moer attention. Either way, though, it’s well worth testing.


 



How to Win With The Warm and Fuzzies

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

 

If you take a look at the following contest, you’ll probably realize that the losing ad actually offers more specific and believable claims while also providing a satisfaction guarantee (aka a risk reversal), while the losing ad doesn’t do any of these things.



So from a logical perspective, the losing ad SHOULD have won. And yet not only did it not win, but it got sledged down by the actual winning ad by a stomping 294% increase in Click-Through Rates.


And the answer to why lies in the ability of the winning ad to give the searcher the warm and fuzzies around doing business with them. In other words, the winning ad focuses on an emotional appeal. Here’s how:


  • The headline, “Need a Great Developer,” has more emotional punch than “Hire Better Developers.” Most people prefer “Great” to “Better.”
  • If “Top of the Line Developer Want to Join Your Team,” that pretty much means you’re awesome.
  • When you’re able to hire developers “From An Elite Talent Pool Of The Top 1%,” that means you’re about to hire a free-lance Developer from a job board. Not nearly as warm and fuzzy as having those Top Developers WANTING to join your team, right?
  • Finally, the losing ad’s “Pay Only if Satisfied” copy might logically offer a risk reversal, but emotionally, it raises the idea that you might NOT be satisfied and/or that there is an additional fee involved perhaps over and above the developers pay. Both are emotionally-negative warning flags.


So today’s Tip from the Boosters is to think past the logical aspect of your PPC Ad Copy and to look at the emotional message, too. Does your copy subtly flatter your prospects? Does it give them the warm and fuzzies? If not, try testing out some copy that does. You might be surprise at just how much of a boost it can give to your Click-Through Rates.


 



An Outside Perspective Helps

Monday, May 20th, 2013

 

The curse of knowledge, as made famous by Dan & Chip Heath’s book, Made to Stick, says that once you learn something, it’s hard to remember what it was like NOT to know it. Without realizing it, you tend to assume that “everyone knows that.”


This is important for PPC copywriting because in-house copywriters — i.e., copywriters working for the company they are writing ads for — get a hefty dose of The Curse of Knowledge. They know stuff about the company through simple immersion that most people don’t know. Yet because they’ve known it for so long and because all their co-workers know the same stuff, it becomes really easy to accidentally project that knowledge onto the searcher.


This contest is a perfect example of The Curse of Knowledge at work:




When you work for a company that specializes in creating customized and personalized products, you start to assume that EVERYONE knows that — to the point where it’s not even emphasizing in the copy. Heck the 20% off sale is news. Free shipping is an important draw. The customized thing, well, that’s just par for the course.


But to the searcher, the fact that you’re advertising a customized phone case ISN’T obvious or secondary — it’s the lead (or lede) for the story and putting that fact in the body copy is essentially “burying the lede”! It’s the 20% off bit that’s secondary.


And that’s why the winning ad grabbed 192% higher Click-Through Rates than the losing ad.


So how can you avoid The Curse of Knowledge? Easy — just hire some outside copywriters once in a while. Get an outside perspective from people who don’t know what you know about your own company. That’s how the company in the example contest did it. And that’s a tip from the Boosters you can take to the bank.


 



The Clean Bathroom Approach to PPC Ad Copy

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

 

We naturally believe in the principle of internal consistency. It may not make sense in every situation, but we believe it anyway.


If you walk into a restaurant’s bathroom and it’s filthy, you wonder how clean — or disgusting — the kitchen is, even though it’s unlikely that the same people who clean the bathroom also work in kitchen. Or at least one hopes that it’s unlikely!


Well, the same principle of internal consistency applies to PPC Ad copy. Take a look at the following contest, and with that principe in mind, see if you can’t pick out which ad outperformed the other:





So, assuming that the search Keyword was “Turquoise Earrings” the ads are fairly similar, with Ad A offering more specifics to strengthen the “save” claim and Ad B strengthening the free shipping claim with “on all orders.” But frankly, neither of those is the deciding factor here


The deciding factor that put Ad B ahead on Click-Through Rates was the internal consistency between the headline offer of “Turquoise Earrings” and the body copy describing them as “Beautiful & Authentic.” Because when you’re talking about natural stone — especially a natural stone that’s often over-dyed and imitated — a claim of “authentic” is naturally what you’d expect to hear. It’s internally consistent with the offer, thereby making the whole ad more persuasive and believable.


And that’s why Ad B won the contest AND a spot in today’s WIn of the Week column.


 



Are Your PPC Ads a Joke?

Monday, May 6th, 2013

 

When you’re telling a joke, you’ve got to hold the punchline until the end. It’s the surprise punchline that gets the laughs. Works great for comedy, but it’s lousy for PPC Ads.

When people scan search results, they’re looking for immediate confirmation of relevance — will this result take me to what I want? — that can be effortless confirmed as they sweep their eyes over the results for, oh, just slightly longer than a nano-second, I suppose.


And that means the keywords and trigger words need to be as high up and far to the left of the ad copy as possible. At the front of the headline, at the front of the first line of body copy. That sort of thing. A PPC Ad isn’t a joke — don’t save your keyword “punchline” until the end!


With that principle in mind, the rather confusing results from this test start to make a lot more sense:




If the keyword is cookware, you’d think ad copy that focuses exclusively on “Cast Iron Pots, Pans, and Dutch Oven Sets” would alienate a lot of people who are in the market for stainless steel, copper, non-stick, and most other kinds of cookware. In other words, you’d think that the cast-iron exclusivity would sink the winning ads performance. But oddly enough, it didn’t.


So what happened?


The winning ad used “cookware” earlier in the headline, and in the first line of copy, AND used the confirming add-on words of “Pots, Pans, and Dutch Oven Sets.” When searchers glance at that ad, they instantly know that it’s relevant to their search, and may even overlook the “Cast Iron” part.


Compare this to the losing ad, which delays the use of the keyword to the end of the headline, doesn’t use cookware at all on the first line of copy and uses no other trigger words or confirming language. This ad is sort of a joke, in that it saves the trigger words until the end, making it harder to scan for relevance.

And how much difference does this really make? Well, for this test, it was a 49% increase in Click-Through Rates — which is no small difference!


So take a tip from the boosters: don’t save those keywords and trigger words for the end — put them high and to the left in your copy and use them generously throughout your copy. Because your PPC ad copy is no laughing matter.