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PPC Ad Text Win of the Week – 52% Improvement for BoostCTR

August 8th, 2011 by

Today, I’m featuring another contest from the ongoing optimization of the BoostCTR campaign running on AdWords. I’m doing this for two reasons:

 

Reason #1. It’s important that you know “we eat our own dog food.” Which is to say, we follow the same ad optimization process that we recommend to our clients.

 

Reason #2. We have now completed a few BoostCTR contests. So I can show you how the ads have evolved over the last couple months.

 

With that in mind, let’s take a quick look-back at the very first contest we ran in this campaign

 


PPC Ad #1

BoostCTR Content Ad #1
PPC Ad #2

BoostCTR Content Ad #2

 

In this first contest, the long copy destroyed the short copy. Ad #2 was written by “chewiness,” and it increased CTR by a stunning 326% — more than triple the original CTR.

 

We then ran a second contest, which produced a new winner. And now we have run a third contest that has produced yet another new winner. This third contest is featured below. It’s your job to see if you can pick the winner.

 

So: Which of the two ads below got a higher CTR? Make your decision and scroll down to discover the answer. (By the way, these ads ran on Google’s Content Network — not search.)

 

PPC Ad #1

BoostCTR - Ad #1
PPC Ad #2

BoostCTR - Ad #2

 

As you can see, the ads use a similar approach in the title. The question is, Which approach worked best? The question or the statement?

 

In this case, the winner was ad number one. It was written by “wordisborn,” and it increased CTR by 52%.

 

So what made the difference between these two ads? Let’s take a look…

 

1. The winning ad takes a more direct approach in the title. Rather than asking a question, it very bluntly states, “Your CTR Sucks.” Many people who advertise are insecure about the results they’re getting, so this title capitalizes on that insecurity. This change alone is probably the single biggest factor in the higher CTR.

 

2. The first line of body copy in the winning ad flows naturally out of the title copy. If you agreed with the title copy, then you’ll quickly agree to the next statement: “Time to try something new.” Well, of course! If your CTR sucks, it is time to try something new.

 

3. The winning ad closes out the body copy with a specific claim… that this “new” thing boosts CTR and conversions by 30%. At this point, the potential client is intrigued enough to click. If he has agreed to the first two statements, he’ll want to find out HOW he can get 30% higher CTR and conversions.

 

4. As a point of contrast, the losing ad mentions only CTR — and does not say anything about increased conversions. This omission may reduce the appeal of the ad. Advertisers are generally most interested in improving their conversions.

 

5. The losing ad ends with a good call to action, but it’s not enough to overcome the momentum that’s built in the winning ad. Again, we see an exception to a good ad writing principle: The ad with the call to action loses to the ad that doesn’t have one.

 

The bottom line: The new ad wins because it uses a more arresting headline, builds momentum quickly, and promises a specific benefit that all PPC advertisers want (higher CTR and increased conversions).

 

What’s your takeaway from this contest — and the contest that preceded it? How will you apply what you learned to the next PPC ad you write? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

 

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.

 

Note: This article was produced by BoostCTR and originally appeared on Wordstream as a guest post.

 

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.

 

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5 Responses to “PPC Ad Text Win of the Week – 52% Improvement for BoostCTR”

  1. I have no idea if this stuff will work better for general advertising – but for targeting the industry, always helps using terms and performance goals.

  2. Mohan Arun says:

    Actually the second ad appealed to me and I would’ve clicked on it because it specifically (a) doesnt make a claim, (I am wary of claims these days) (b) tells us what is the offering clearly and upfront (“an ad writer network”)

  3. Danny A says:

    If Ad #2 has more than one variable that’s different from Ad #1 then how do you really know which variable is responsible for the improvement in CTR? Would it be better to use the same body copy and just test two different headlines, then find a winner and test two different versions of body copy with the winning headline?

  4. ryanhealy says:

    It depends. That is a valid approach. In the past, I’ve tested two ads that only had a single word that was different. But sometimes the best approach is to test something that is totally different, in which case it usually involves changing up the whole ad.

    Also, if you run two ads that have different body copy, then how do you know which words in the body copy made the difference? There is still some level of analysis that has to occur.

    When it comes to analyzing why one ad wins and another loses, we’re making educated guesses. After analyzing dozens of PPC ads, it becomes easier to spot the deciding factors because they seem to repeat often in the winning ads.

  5. [...] A/B Testing Question: Only Test One Variable at a Time? August 11th, 2011 by Ryan Healy In a recent Win of the Week, Danny A. asks a good question: [...]