There is a bit of writing advice that says to never use two words when one will do. Valuable advice, but it rests on knowing when only one word will do, and when more are needed, because sometimes more ARE needed.

And when it comes to PPC Ad Writing, two words are often better than one when used for emphasis and for creating greater believability and credibility. Why? Well, the best explanation is an example, so take a look at this split test and tell me which ad effectively used two words instead of one, and which one didn’t:

So which ad outperformed the other? In this case, Ad B handily defeated Ad A, creating a 40% lift in CTR.

And Ad B garnered it’s victory by:

  • Enforcing “Black Pearls” with the word “Real”
  • Specifying different types of black pearls — “Akoya, Tahitian, Freshwater”
  • And redundantly using “Guaranteed” and “90-Day Returns!”

In all of those cases, one word could have been used instead of two, but from the results, one word didn’t do nearly as well as two.

So take some time to figure out for your own ads, when you might want to gain greater credibility and emphasis with intelligent enforcement through synonyms, specificity, and even redundancy. Then test it out. Because sometimes the traditional wisdom holds, and sometimes it doesn’t, but as they say in the world of Optimization: testing rules and opinion drools.