As per Win of the Week, standard operating procedure, make your (educated) guess as to which ad won:


So which ad really won?


Ad B improved Click-Through Rates by 375%! And to understand why you have to understand a bit of visual psychology, as explained by Molly Bang in her brilliant book, Picture This: How Pictures Work. So let’s start by looking at two images from her book:


Now, here’s an excerpt from the text accompanying these to pictures:


“”Space Implies Time


[The picture on the left] feels frightening to me, but part of me also wonders whether these two figures aren’t just having a jolly old chat.


A threat doesn’t feel so scary when it is right next to the victim, because there is no time for the victim to move before it gets devoured — and no time for us to be scared. The deed is a done thing…


…When the attacker and the victim are spaced far apart, I as the victim have more time to be scared. There are at least two seconds now before I’ll be attacked, rather than the finest split second that I had before. We might be cornered in this picture, but there is more possibility of escape with the larger amount of space-time between the victim and the attacker.”


Applying this dynamic to the PPC ads, which sentence leaves room for action, and which feels as if “the deed is a done thing”:

  • “Fall Classes Begin Now!” Or
  • “Fall Classes Begin Soon.”

You guessed it, “Fall Classes Begin Soon” leaves time for the searcher to ACT on any information she may find; there’s still time left to enroll because classes haven’t started yet.


Another factor that helps Ad B are its more inclusive and less threatening Call-to-Action, which offers both Local and Online CNA courses and only offers to help the searcher “Find them,” rather than demanding that she “Apply Today.”


This is important because the typical school of thought for Calls-to-Action involves creating urgency: “DO IT NOW!” And there are certainly cases where urgency is good. But in your desire to create urgency, it’s important to leave time and space and opportunity for the prospect to act on that urgency. After all, the goal of a Call-to-Action is to get people to take action