Sometimes picking out the winner is easy — just like it is in this Win of the Week contest:

So… if you didn’t pick Ad B, you should probably give-up your PPC ad writing to pursue something else. I mean, of course the ad that mentions the $7,500 tax credit is going to work better than one just promising “Free Quotes Today!” How could you think otherwise?

But when the performance boosting element of the ad is that obvious and that easy to pick out, the puzzle switches from “which ad won?” to “why didn’t the previous writer use that element?” I mean, USE what you got, right? Or, as I might say, smoke ’em if ya got ’em.

The Answer usually boils down to lack of effort or lack of knowledge or both. In order to use this factoid, one would either have to know it, or take the 2 minutes to look it up on the website. In other words, when your ad is written as someone’s collateral duty, they crank out the ads as quickly as possible, and then those ads never get optimized. Leading to the kind of ads that lost this contest — ads that fail to take advantage of easy, obvious performance boosters.

And as self-serving as it might be to say, it’s still the truth: the answer is to use professional ad writers and to optimize/test their ads at the same time. That way you don’t end up leaving a 167% boost in CTR — and Heaven knows how many sales and dollars — sitting on the table.