Can you guess which ad won?



So, before revealing which ad won, let me just point out the ways in which they are similar, simply because the similarities are compelling for those that subscribe to a “Keywords & Deals” mentality:

  • Both items have the same, keyword-rich headline
  • Both repeat the keyword phrase “John Deer Party Supplies” once within the body copy
  • Neither ad offers up any “deal sweeteners” such as free shipping or discounts


What you will find as the key differentiator is the use of psychologically meaningful terms within the body copy and URL of the winning ad.


So who is the winner this week? If you guessed Ad B, you’re right. Ad B that increased CTR by 189%.  Let’s look at those psychologically meaningful terms.


Comparing The 1st Line of Body Copy


In comparison to the losing ad, you’ll notice that the winning ad places the keyword phrase in the first line of body copy, rather than the second. It front-loads the part of greatest relevance to the reader, and that’s important.

But even when you compare the winning ad’s first line of body copy to the losing ad’s second line of body copy — even when you compare keyword-stuffed copy to keyword-stuffed copy, you can see that the wining ad also adds in the claim of “unique.” And while “unique” is unsubstantiated, it at least beckons the searcher to click through and see just how “unique” these John Deer party supplies are, which is more than the losing ad does.


Comparing The 2nd Line of Body Copy


This line is best compared with the losing ads first line of copy, so that we can directly compare non-keyword copy to non-keyword copy. So what we have is “Throw a Fun Tractor Birthday Party” versus “Celebrate in Style with Exclusive.”


What you immediately notice from this comparison is that the losing ads line is totally generic. That line of copy could be combined with ANY type of themed birthday party gift. Whereas the winning ad’s copy truly is unique to John Deer because it references “Tractors.” Tractors may not be a keyword, but it is psychologically associated with the keyword. When you think “John Deer” you think “John Deer Tractors.”


Moreover, the phrase “Throw a Fun Tractor Birthday Party” offers up a Benefit for the user. Why would anyone search for “John Deer Party Supplies” unless they were hoping to make their child’s birthday party an extra-special success? So the winning ad’s second line of copy really speaks to the heart of the prospective customer about what ultimately matters to her, which is always good copywriting practice.


Comparing Display URLs


What you’ll notice about the two ads’ displayed URLs is that the losing ad doesn’t modify the base URL at all, while the winning ad tacks on the “/Tractor-Party” in order to indicate that the ad is linked right to the advertised items. But the detail is important here, too, because “tractor-party” ties in with the second line of copy and the psychological motivations of the searcher. Nicely done.


The Takeaways


1. Yes, keywords are important. And, yes, deal sweeteners can also have a big impact, but searcher psychology is often-times more important than either factor. In fact, it’s not an overstatement to say that both keywords and deal sweeteners are only important to the extent that the positively intersect with and impact buyer psychology. Buyer psychology matters. 


2. Generic language will always sound generic, pretty much by definition. If you could do dynamic keyword insertion around your body copy, you’ve got some generic copy in your ad, and chances are that copy is underperforming. Never waste characters on generic copy. 


3. Google allows you to alter the display URL for a reason. If you don’t do so, you’re passing up an opportunity to help reassure and persuade your prospective customer, and chances are that that non-customized URL is underperforming. Always tailor the URL to the search term and/or the buyer motivation. 


And th-th-th-that’s all for this week folks!


About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.

The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.