A few week’s back, I wrote about a contest between two ads, one for “The Caveman Diet,” and the other for “The Paleo Caveman Diet.”

The Caveman Diet won, mostly because the major search term was “caveman diet” and if you’re calling it a caveman diet, that’s usually because you’re not yet familiar with the term “Paleo Diet” and therefore the hybridized term “Paleo Caveman Diet” could come off as confusing.

Well, what happens when you change the search terms?

I think the following contest answers that question rather well, a contest for an ad featuring the same diet for those who are searching on “the paleo diet” this time:

  • Notice that the hybridized term still doesn’t work. It either comes off as weird or condescending.
  • Notice also that the ad with the closer/exact match of search terms, as well as additional use of the terms, does better.
  • And finally, the ad that features the imperative verbs and more clearly understood call to action still wins out over the more statically worded ad.

So search terms matter. And you knew that. But search terms also indicate INTENT. Someone searching on the caveman diet might be earlier in his researching and buying process than someone searching on Paleo Diet, who probably already knows a little bit about the diet. That means that an ad for the Paleo Diet search term should speek to the intent to move past preliminary research to actual experimentation, hence the winning ad’s improved CTA: “Discover the paleo diet with us.”

In other words, don’t just vary your ads use of terms to reflect the search, vary the ads psychology to speak to the changing motivations behind those changing terms.