Which of the two ads below got a higher CTR? Make your decision and scroll down to discover the answer.


PPC Ad #1

Vertigo Remedy - Ad #1
PPC Ad #2

Vertigo Remedy - Ad #2


The difference in CTR is smaller than what I normally feature in the Win of the Week column, so it may be a little bit harder to pick the winner this time.


But if you’ve been reading the Win of the Week for the last couple months, you may be able to spot the changes that made the difference.


In this case, the winner was ad number two. I wrote the ad, and it increased CTR by a modest 20%.


Why am I featuring this contest instead of another contest with a larger difference in CTR? Mainly because I can share my thought process as I wrote the ad — and the specific things I did to win.


With that in mind, let’s dissect these ads…


As I reviewed the contest history, I noticed that the current control had not been beaten. After a few attempts, there was not a new winning ad yet. So I realized that the ad I was trying to beat was good. My main question became, “What small changes can I make that I know have been proven to increase CTR?”


That was my starting point.


Two things I noticed right away:


1. The ad I was trying to beat uses what’s called “imperative voice” in the title, which is a fancy way of saying it gives a command. This is sometimes the most effective approach, but I thought I could do better.


2. The body copy of the original ad is split unevenly between the two lines. The first word of the second sentence is left “hanging” up on line one. So I wanted to make sure I had two separate sentences, each confined to its own line. More importantly, I had to make sure I used punctuation at the end of the first line of body copy to benefit from Google’s longer title structure. That was my goal.


With this as background, you now understand my thinking as I began to write the new ad. Now let’s get more specific…


3. If a person is suffering from vertigo, what is she looking for? Is she looking for a way to “Treat Your Vertigo”? Or is she looking for “Fast Relief”? I believe she is looking for fast relief, so that is what I put in the title: “Fast Relief from Vertigo”.


4. To accomplish my goals with the ad, I knew I was not going to have space to mention more than two symptoms of vertigo. I reasoned that “vomiting” would be a pretty rare symptom, but that dizziness and nausea would be quite common. So in the first line I omitted “Vomiting” and said, “Stops Nausea & Dizziness Fast.”


Notice I chose to say “stops” instead of “stop.” It’s only a one-letter change, but a huge difference in meaning. The word “stops” implies that something else is doing the stopping; the word “stop” implies that I have to do the stopping by doing someting. See the difference?


5. Realizing that my claim in line one would raise skepticism, I used line two to support the claim by saying, “This Vertigo Remedy Really Works!” Notice, too, that I made sure to include the keyword “vertigo remedy” for greater visibility.


The end result was that my ad increased CTR by 20%.


Now, keep in mind the ad that I beat was not a poor ad. In fact, both ads promise the same basic thing: A vertigo remedy that works fast. But the difference here is not in the claim… it’s in the words and the word order. And so the winning ad wins because of word choice and ad structure.


What’s your takeaway from this contest? How will you apply what you learned to the next PPC ad you write? Leave a comment and let me know.


By the way…


BoostCTR writers are chomping at the bit to improve your pay-per-click ads on both Google and Facebook. It’s what they do. Sign up today and put them to work.


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, and is the creator of the world’s first trust seal for affiliate programs.