If you’ve been following the Win of the Week feature here on the BoostCTR blog, then you’ve probably noticed that our team of writers is able to generate big wins in a variety of markets.


In the past three weeks, our writers have beaten control ads promoting digital cameras, themed t-shirts, and even handicapped parking signs. And this week we turn to yet another product: stretch mark creams.


Check out this week’s big win written by “cashcow”:


BoostCTR Win of the Week - January 11, 2011

Why the Challenger Won


If you examine the two ads, you’ll notice many differences. The old control ad:


  • Uses the headline to ask a rhetorical question, which is not compelling. It also does not use the full keyword phrase (“stretch mark creams”).
  • Employs ALL CAPS for three different words on a single line. I’m not sure how Google allowed this in the ad, but ALL CAPS are often perceived as yelling or an overt attempt to sell. Therefore, they tend to reduce the click-thru rate.
  • Draws unwarranted attention to the word “buy.” I’m assuming this phrasing and capitalization was chosen as an embedded command. Unfortunately, it obscures the primary appeal of the ad: to compare top-rated creams.


Now, let’s examine the winning ad:


  • The headline of the winning ad also asks a question, but it’s a question that generates curiosity because it’s not rhetorical. Furthermore, the title includes the complete search phrase so it will be bolded in the ad when that phrase is searched.
  • The primary command in the winning ad is to compare. The losing ad says to “see” top-rated creams (a much weaker word than “compare”), but this command is obscured by the capitalization of “BUY” immediately prior. A passing glance would assume the ad is commanding you to “buy top rated creams.” Which would you rather do: buy or compare?
  • Because the winning ad uses Initial Caps consistently, I would argue that it is easier to read, and therefore attracts and keeps attention better than the losing ad.

Proof that Small Changes Create Big Wins


It’s easy to believe that small ad text changes in PPC ads won’t make much difference. This is sometimes true. But about 30% of the time, we find that small changes actually make huge differences in CTR.


This “Win of the Week” is a perfect example. The overall structure of the ad changed very little, and yet the words that were changed led to a 175% improvement in CTR — an unusually large improvement.


When you become a BoostCTR client, you get the benefit of an experienced team of writers who will compete to beat your control ads. The best part? We guarantee we can beat your ads, drive more traffic to your site, and reduce your CPC — or your money back.



ryan-healy About the Author: Ryan Healy is direct response copywriter and BoostCTR’s Director of Writer Development. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Alex Mandossian, Terry Dean, and Pulte Homes. Get more web copywriting tips at his Copywriting Code membership website.