When you’re telling a joke, you’ve got to hold the punchline until the end. It’s the surprise punchline that gets the laughs. Works great for comedy, but it’s lousy for PPC Ads.

When people scan search results, they’re looking for immediate confirmation of relevance — will this result take me to what I want? — that can be effortless confirmed as they sweep their eyes over the results for, oh, just slightly longer than a nano-second, I suppose.

And that means the keywords and trigger words need to be as high up and far to the left of the ad copy as possible. At the front of the headline, at the front of the first line of body copy. That sort of thing. A PPC Ad isn’t a joke — don’t save your keyword “punchline” until the end!

With that principle in mind, the rather confusing results from this test start to make a lot more sense:

If the keyword is cookware, you’d think ad copy that focuses exclusively on “Cast Iron Pots, Pans, and Dutch Oven Sets” would alienate a lot of people who are in the market for stainless steel, copper, non-stick, and most other kinds of cookware. In other words, you’d think that the cast-iron exclusivity would sink the winning ads performance. But oddly enough, it didn’t.

So what happened?

The winning ad used “cookware” earlier in the headline, and in the first line of copy, AND used the confirming add-on words of “Pots, Pans, and Dutch Oven Sets.” When searchers glance at that ad, they instantly know that it’s relevant to their search, and may even overlook the “Cast Iron” part.

Compare this to the losing ad, which delays the use of the keyword to the end of the headline, doesn’t use cookware at all on the first line of copy and uses no other trigger words or confirming language. This ad is sort of a joke, in that it saves the trigger words until the end, making it harder to scan for relevance.

And how much difference does this really make? Well, for this test, it was a 49% increase in Click-Through Rates — which is no small difference!

So take a tip from the boosters: don’t save those keywords and trigger words for the end — put them high and to the left in your copy and use them generously throughout your copy. Because your PPC ad copy is no laughing matter.