Which of these two PPC ads do you think had a higher CTR? Read both ads, make your decision, then scroll down to discover the answer.
In my opinion, this is probably one of the most challenging contests to guess the correct winner. Both ads read well. Both ads use strong copy. But one of these ads absolutely clobbered the other ad — an upset if there ever was one.
Made your best guess? Okay…
In this case, the winning ad is the first one. It was written by “cartmetrix,” and it won by a whopping 123% — more than double the CTR of the original ad. Here’s why I think it performed so much better…
1. Adding Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) to the title probably gave the winning ad a small advantage over the control. I don’t know all the keywords that are in the ad group, but I imagine there are some variations on “oak dining furniture.” Mirroring back a searcher’s exact search often raises CTR.
2. The winning ad emphasizes that the furniture is “Handmade in the UK.” I don’t know how the average Brit thinks, but I know their country is suffering an economic recession very similar to what we’re experiencing in the U.S. As such, they may be more motivated to support local businesses instead of off-shore factories.
3. The winning ad describes the furniture in four different ways: “quality,” “handmade,” “rustic,” and “stylish.” The losing ad describes the furniture in only two ways: “beautiful” and “rustic.”
4. The winning ad goes further by saying that this particular oak dining furniture will work “for any home decor.” This is an unexpected twist since most people associate “rustic” with “log cabin in the mountains.” To say the furniture will work with any decor is not only a strong benefit… it also raises the searcher’s curiosity as to what this furniture looks like.
5. The second line of the body copy in the losing ad is slightly awkward. “In Top 10 Best Furniture UK Stores” should have probably been re-ordered like so: “In Top 10 Best UK Furniture Stores.”
6. As I look at the losing ad’s second line of copy, I still wonder, Why does this matter? Why only the top 10 best furniture stores in the UK? How do we define “best” anyway? Unprovable superlatives like the word “best” are rarely a good choice for a PPC ad. There is no way to prove “best,” especially in such a small space.
7. Last but not least, the winning ad capitalizes the “D” in “Dining” that is used in the URL. I can’t say for sure whether this impacted the outcome of the contest or not, but the capitalization makes the word stand out just a little bit more.
The bottom line: The new ad wins because it packs more than twice as many benefits into the same amount of space. Plus, it adds an element of curiosity that encourages the searcher to click through to see the furniture designs. End result? A 123% improvement in CTR.
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About the Author: Ryan Healy is a direct response copywriter and BoostCTR writer. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Alex Mandossian, Terry Dean, and Pulte Homes. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, and is the creator of Paid On Time, the World’s First Affiliate Trust Seal.