Which of these two PPC ads do you think had a higher CTR? Read both ads, make your decision, then scroll down to discover the answer.


PPC Ad #1

PPC Ad #1 - Tax Deed Sale
PPC Ad #2

PPC Ad #2 - Tax Deed Sale


First, a little background. If you’re unfamiliar with tax deeds, they’re notes sold by local governments to private citizens to cover unpaid real estate taxes. The rate of return is guaranteed by the government, and in rare cases where the homeowner defaults, you may end up acquiring ownership of the home.


The problem with most tax deed sales is that they’re conducted locally… and… the tax deeds are sold at auction. Which means you have to travel to wherever the auction is happening in order to buy the tax deeds. As you can imagine, this is a big hassle for potential investors.


With that background, which ad do you think won?


In this case, the winner was the first ad. The ad was written by the BoostCTR writer who goes by “chewiness,” and it won by 115% — a significant margin. So why did this new ad perform so well? Let’s take a look…


1. The winning ad uses better title text: “Tax Deed Sales Near You” is the perfect message-to-market match. If I’m looking for tax deed sales, I don’t want to travel. I want to find the sales that are happening near me. The winning ad promises just that.


2. The losing ad, on the other hand, uses the title text “Tax Deeds With No Bidding.” It’s the phrase “with no bidding” that is confusing. As a searcher, I have to think too hard. “Wait a second, it’s an auction without bidding? How does that work??” Furthermore, searchers are probably not looking for tax deed auctions without bidding; it doesn’t match their frame of mind.


3. The losing ad’s body copy is just as confusing as the title text. “How You Can Get $200 Property” sounds like I’d be getting really bad property. What they really meant to say is, “How to get a $100,000 property for just $200″ — but that’s not what the ad communicates. The second line of body copy calls this the “Tax Deed Sale Loophole.” The copy is too clever, therefore it is not clear and searchers are likely to move on — without clicking.


4. The winning ad uses clear, punchy body copy. “No Auctions!” is a great way to start the body of the ad because it implies the tax deeds can be bought outright at any time. “Browse Local Tax Deed Properties Now” is clear and direct and it’s probably in line with what searchers are looking for. They want to see tax deed properties without having to travel or drive around. “Free 5-Day Course” implies I can learn how to invest in tax deed properties — yet another benefit.


5. The winning ad uses punctuation better, while the losing ad uses none. The exclamation mark and the two periods help break up the winning ad into easy-to-read and easy-to-understand bits of information. The losing ad uses no punctuation at all, making it more difficult to read and digest.


6. The winning ad uses /Free in the URL instead of /TaxDeed. Based on all the points covered above, I doubt the URL played much of a role in influencing the CTR. It could be that /TaxDeed is actually better for CTR, but we would not be able to determine the impact of this element without a URL-only split-test.


The bottom line: The winning ad wins because it uses clear, easy-to-understand copy and, more importantly, it promises exactly what searchers are looking for.


If you haven’t yet tested the power of BoostCTR on your own PPC campaigns, don’t you think it’s time you did? Click here to learn how BoostCTR can improve your pay-per-click ads on both Google and Facebook.


ryan-healy About the Author: Ryan Healy is a direct response copywriter and BoostCTR writer. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Alex Mandossian, Terry Dean, and Pulte Homes. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, and is the creator of Paid On Time, the World’s First Affiliate Trust Seal.