For the very last Win of the Week for 2012, I thought I’d do something a bit different.
Instead of selecting one of the bigger wins with an impressively large boost in CTR, I thought I’d pick out a contest that offered the most opportunities for analysis and commentary, and then strip the two ads down, line by line. So here goes:
Good. The real winner is Ad B, which boosted CTR by 34%. Not a huge improvement, but very solidly respectable. Like sports, the big wins, the Hail Mary passes, and the grand slams feel good, but it’s the consistent solid base hits and short action passes/runs that actually win the game.
Now let’s get down to the analysis:
First, realize that the primary keyword for this campaign is “Caveman Diet.” And for those of you not familiar with such a diet or term, it’s a more popular description of what practitioners typically call a “Paleo Diet” that, in theory, replicates the presumed diet of our paleolithic ancestors. In other words, lots of clean meats and unprocessed veggies and fruits with no grains, sugars, processed foods & starches, and usually no diary, either.
But the important part of this, in terms of the two headlines is that someone searching on “Caveman Diet” probably isn’t familiar with the term “Paleo” — otherwise they would be searching for “Paleo Diet” instead! So if you look at the two headlines, you can see that:
- The winning ad highlights the key term by including nothing but that term in the headline
- The losing ad pushes the key term to the end of the headline and potentially confuses searches by pushing in the unfamiliar term “Paleo” in front of the searched on term.
So the balance definitely tips in favor of the winning from the very beginning of the headline.
1st Line of Body Copy:
The primary difference between the winning ad and the losing ad is grammatical:
- The winning ad’s copy is verb-oriented, starting the phrase with an imperative verb, and making the action easy for the searcher to visualize and imagine
- The losing ad’s copy is noun-oriented, and actually contains no verb. This makes the phrase less vivid and harder to visualize
Also, the winning ad includes the modifier “Any,” which is one of those little things that make a difference, as there is a big emotional difference between “without hunger” and “without any hunger”
Again, the advantage tips to the winning ad in the first line of copy
2nd Line of Body Copy
Both ads feature copy that’s verb-oriented and imaginable in the second line of copy, but the winning ad’s copy has superior connotations and an extra use of the key search term, “Caveman Diet.”
The improved connotation comes down to the difference between “eat all the foods you want,” which is easily misread as “Eat all the food you want,” and even more easily visualized as being allowed to eat all the salad and celery you want, and “Eat what you want” which conjures up images of eating the steak dinners and egg breakfasts you want.
The URLs are exactly the same in both ads
The winning ad improved on the losing ad in every ad element except the URL. And while the unexperienced ad writer would think every element was small, or not that important, they added up to significant increase in response rate. And it’s these consistent improvements that add up to a big overall difference in company or enterprise-wide PPC Performance.