Which of the two ads below got a higher CTR? Make your decision and scroll down to discover the answer.


PPC Ad #1

Memory Games - Ad #1
PPC Ad #2

Memory Games - Ad #2

As we’ve seen so many times during the last 6 months, small differences in word choice can lead to massive differences in Click Thru Rate (CTR). This week’s contest is no exception…


In this case, the winner was ad number two. It was written by “wordisborn,” and it increased CTR by 180% — more than double the original CTR.

Let’s look at the reasons why Ad #2 performed so much better…

1. Both ads use DKI in the title field. But there are three differences with the alternate text that is used. The losing ad capitalizes only the first word; the winning ad capitalizes all three words. This may cause a slight difference in CTR. The losing ad says “Stop forgetting things“; the winning ad says “Stop Forgetting Stuff“. This difference is fairly significant. The word “Stuff” seems more appropriate as it includes both physical things and intangible things — like birthdays.

2. Last but not least, the losing ad ends the title text with a period (full stop); the winning ad does not. While all three differences influence CTR, I expect the period in the title makes the biggest difference. It visually “stops” the reader from going further.

3. By starting the body copy with the word “Significantly,” the losing ad may lose readers. It’s a “puff word” that adds no value. A better phrasing would have been to simply say, “Improve your memory”. Maybe even “Improve your memory fast”.

4. The winning ad gets to the point faster by saying, “Scientific memory games”. Furthermore, the ad follows a logical structure of What – Who – Why. What is it? Scientific memory games. Who is it for? Adults. Why? Because it improves your brain.

5. The losing ad chooses to use the phrase “brain games” instead of “memory games.” I would argue that more people are familiar with the idea of “memory games,” and more inclined to click to learn more.

6. The winning ad uses an appropriate Call To Action while the losing ad does not. Again, small difference; big impact on CTR. If the losing ad had deleted the word “Significantly,” it would have had plenty of space for a call to action. This would have been a much better use of space.

As we saw two weeks ago when we looked at two ads promoting gold investing, flagging down your specific audience (e.g., “for adults” / “First-Time Gold Buyer”) can increase CTR by quite a bit. If you have room for it, it’s worth testing.

The bottom line: The new ad wins because it uses better title text, better ad structure/flow, better word choice… and… uses a strong call to action.

What’s your takeaway from this contest? How will you apply what you learned to the next PPC ad you write? Leave a comment and let me know.

By the way…

BoostCTR writers are chomping at the bit to improve your pay-per-click ads on both Google and Facebook. It’s what they do. Sign up today and put them to work.

ryan-healy 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, and is the creator of the world’s first trust seal for affiliate programs.