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Posts Tagged ‘Searcher’

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.


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.


Psychological Triggers & PPC Ads

Friday, June 21st, 2013


Our friends over at Pardot have produced a pretty cool video (and free e-book) that gives a quick and dirty overview of 5 psychological triggers that can increase conversions. And we thought it would be worthwhile to look at each trigger in terms of PPC Ads:

1. Social Proof

There are few ways to use social proof in your PPC ads. The most literal method is to connect your ad to your company’s Google+ account and allow people to endorse or “+1″ your ad/company and have that show up in the PPC Ad.

But you can also reference social proof within the ad copy. This contest is a pretty good example of that:

Notice how the ad that referenced the fact that the t-shirts were user designed and user-selected boosted clicks. Similar “social proof” language examples include references to:

  • “Highest reviewed” or “5-Star Reviewed
  • “Best-selling” or “Customer favorites”
  • “Made w/ Customer Input” or by “Popular Demand”

2. Loss Aversion

You PPC Ad copy can leverage the power of loss aversion by indicating what’s at stake if the searcher doesn’t solve her problem, and by using scarcity or limited-time offers. This varies by industry to industry but it’s always worth testing gain vs. loss variations on wording. We’ve seen cases where loss-based wording such as “Don’t pay too much for your Rental Car” boosted CTR far above savings-based wording.

3. Anchoring

What’s the reference point for comparison and decision making? The psychological reference point is the anchor, and smart marketers make sure to choose an anchor that works in their favor. Is a Hyundai Genesis more money than a Toyota Avalon, or is it “just as nice as a Lexus at (almost) half the cost?” The anchor you choose has a huge impact on how you think about the car and it’s price.

PPC Ad copy has to make these same choices. What psychological anchor are you using? What other anchors could you use or test?

4. Foot In the Door

The Foot In the Door principle is a mainstay of PPC Ad copy and it boils down to this: GTC — Get The Click. Don’t worry if you can’t substantiate all your claims within the PPC Ad, make the claims and substantiate them post-click. Because if you don’t “get your foot in the door” and get that click, you’re sunk. And if you don’t make a claim because you can’t fully substantiate it, you won’t get that click.

This principle also comes into play when PPC Ads offer free quotes or free reports. They’re offering something up for free to get their foot in the door, hoping to convert after you click-through to get your free offer.

5. Authority

In PPC Ad copy, authority comes from Trade Mark symbols and “Official Site,” or “Authorized Dealer” type phrases. Through these you are drawing attention to the fact that the advertiser has authority in a given field or to stock certain brands. And these things work great, in fact including them is considered a “best practice” for optimizing Web Copy. It’s not fool proof and it does need to be tested, but it proves a CTR booster often enough to have become a good rule of thumb amongst professional PPC Ad Writers.

And there you have it folks: 5 Psychological Triggers and how to use them in your PPC copy. For more information on how to improve post-click conversions using these triggers, make sure to watch Pardo’s video and to download their free e-book.


Put Them In The Picture

Thursday, June 13th, 2013


First, and as usual, pick the winning ad:

OK, so this week Ad B won. And here’s why:

Copy that engages the searcher’s imagination works better than copy that merely describes the product. And the better the copy causes the searcher to imagine using the product, the better the results. So when you compare the two ads on this basis you see that:

  • “Fix Mislabeled Songs” is a lot easier to picture than “Fix Mislabeled Music”
  • “Adding Album Art” to songs that are missing them is exactly how you’d picture doing it, whereas
  • “Filling In Missing Album Art” seems more abstract
  • And the whole process sounds easier and automated when you’re told that you’ll do it “in Seconds”

In other words, Ad B makes it easier to imagine using the software, and makes the software seen easy to use. So it wins, boosting CTR by a substantial 58% from a few very slight words tweaks


A Detailed Breakdown of a Recent Win

Friday, June 7th, 2013


Sometimes a given contest demands a second look. And this is one of those times. So take another look at this recent win from Monday’s Tips From The Boosters column:

If you’ll recall, the winning ad boosted CTR by 294% — quite a significant increase! So let’s go line by line to see how it managed it

The Headline

There are three main points of differentiation here:

  1. “Great” Developers are more attractive than simply “Better” Developers, and
  2. Questions tend to grab attention better than statements, and
  3. Need a… speaks more directly to the felt need than “Hire Better…”

1st Line of Body Copy

The main differentiator here is that the winning ad’s copy focuses on what the searcher is actually searching for: “Top of the Line Developers,” while the losing ad never mentions developers again, but talks about hiring “From An Elite Talent Pool.” Frankly, the searchers probably aren’t thrilled with the process of hiring anybody, but they do “need” a “top of the line developer.” See the difference?

2nd Line of Body Copy

Both ads start their 2nd line of body copy by finishing a thought started on the first line. The winning ad says that those “top of the line developers” want to “Join Your Team,” which is a pleasant, flattering thought. By contrast, the losing ad finished the thought of hiring “from an elite talent pool” made up of “The Top 1%” which sounds… EXPENSIVE. Not such a pleasant thought.

Then both ads finish their 2nd line with startlingly different last mental images. The winning ad has a rousing call to action of “Start Hiring” (all those top of the line developers who want to join your team). Whereas the losing ad brings up the rather negative possibility that you might not be satisfied with these Top 1% Elite Developers, because hey, if you’re not satisfied, you don’t have to pay. Not such a shiny, happy image is it, even if it’s couched in more positive terms of “Pay Only If Satisfied.”

A Bunch of Small Differences Can Add Up to a Big Performance Improvement

In Tips From The Boosters columns, we like to point out one, big difference between the winning and losing ads that illustrates a nice take-away tip for your use. And we think there’s a lot of value in that for our readers. But the truth is that it’s often not just one difference that makes the difference. It’s often a lot of improvements to (almost) every part of the ad. And sometimes it helps to showcase that in these Win of The Week columns.