Sometimes repeating a keyword or keyphase within the body copy works to boost response.  And sometimes it’s an annoying repetitive waste of ad copy.


The simple — and effective — response to this is simply to test it both ways.  The more reflective response is to wonder when and why repeated keyword usage works or does not work: are there patterns we can learn from?


Well, at BoostCTR, I’ve noticed that many of our top writers seem to follow (whether consciously or not) a few broad principles that might help you prioritize your testing.  So let’s start with when keyword repetition is probably not such a good idea:

NO = When the keywords belong to a clearly defined label or category.


If your keyword is CRM, you probably don’t have to repeat that acronym a bunch of times in your ads.  People searching for CRM solutions or services know what CRM is and have very little doubt that the search results they bring up will be relevant to their search.


So after your headline assures them that you do, in fact, provide CRM, it’s probably best to move onto your unique selling proposition and differentiators rather than hammer home the fact, that, yes, you’re in the CRM business…



YES = When terms are qualitative or service is less well established


Compare that to situations where the search term is more qualitative or judgement-based, or where the term describes a less-well established service, and you can see how repetition can help reassure searchers that they have indeed found what they were looking for, or that you’re understanding of the key search terms is the same as theirs.


In this example, renting textbooks is a newer service and not as well defined as CRM.




Moreover, so repeating the keyphrase in the description (along with the services primary benefit) is a good thing.


The same thing holds true when the term might include a qualifier like “elegant” as in “Elegant Wedding Dresses.”  You’re more likely to improve response by a repeated use of the keyword in this instance.

YES = When there is a lot of anxiety around the purchase


If you need a fast cash loan, you’ve got some stress in your life and there’s undoubtedly more than a little anxiety around getting that loan. So repeating they keyword phrase “Fast Cash Loans” is a good thing as it reassures the searcher that you do indeed have the kind of loan they are looking for.




Yes = When the Term helps you appear specialized for the searcher’s needs


If I’m looking to “sell my cell phone,” I’m going to feel better going through a service that specializes in selling used cell phones rather than one that’s a more general pawnshop type service. So repeating “cell phone” in the ad can help convey that impression of specialization, which is exactly the pursuasive tactic that improved CTR for the winner of this competition:




You can see the same thing with this ad for “Sell your DSLR”



Yes = When the keyword reflects Tribal Identity


We run a fair amount of ads for CafePress and many of their keywords are centered around themes, in the sense of t-shirts for _____, where the blank can be filled in with almost anything: sports, sports team fans, religions, nationalities, ethnicities, hobbies, professions, etc.  So these keywords are more than just keywords — they are also tribal identifiers, which makes them well worth repeating within the body copy: