Win of the Week: 156% Increase in CTR from Following the Rules

September 28, 2011 Posted In: Copywriting Comments: 2

Which of the two ads below do you think got a higher click-through rate (CTR)? Make your decision, then scroll down to discover the answer.


PPC Ad #1
Ad #1 - Vinyl Banners
PPC Ad #2
Ad #2 - Vinyl Banners


To help make your decision, suppose for a moment that you are a business owner who wants to promote your business at a major convention. And suppose you're looking for a place to print up some promotional banners for your booth. Which ad would earn your click -- and potentially your business?

In this case, ad number two is the winner. It was written by "SuperchargeYourAds," and it increased CTR by 156%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 2.56 clicks.

I find this week's contest interesting because it validates many ad writing principles I've covered in my Win of the Week column. Here are a few reasons why the new ad won...

1. It all starts with the title. The losing ad promotes the process (banner printing) whereas the winning ad promotes the result (promotional banners). This is a significant difference. I don't know what keywords are driving the campaign, but I expect most searchers are more interested in getting promotional banners than they are in hiring a printing service.

2. Read the body copy of both ads aloud to yourself. Do you notice how the losing ad lacks rhythm? And how the winning ad seems to flow smoothly? While both ads use some of the same words and phrases, the original ad is more awkwardly constructed, which causes the searcher’s eyes to "skip" like a scratched record. The new ad, on the other hand, has a smooth rhythm that makes it easy to read and understand.

3. The losing ad wastes space with redundant words. The phrase "any size/length" means the same thing as "custom size/length." Why say "any custom size/length"? It's a waste of 4 characters at best, 7 characters at worst.

4. The new ad ends the first line of body copy with an exclamation point. This gives the ad some punch... and... takes advantage of Google's extended title format. Generally speaking, ads that include an exclamation point in the body copy do better.

The bottom line: The new ad wins because it is constructed better, uses space more efficiently, conveys more enthusiasm, and focuses on the end result (what the searcher really wants).

What's your takeaway from this contest? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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 growth.

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Wednesday September 28, 2011

My Favorite Bedding (not verified) Said:

It is amazing how what seems to be the "little things" really matter in an ad.  This will make me go through my ads again, to see if I am "wasting characters".  Thanks for the good insight!

Wednesday September 28, 2011

Howard Lee Harkness (not verified) Said:

When I first saw the title of this post, I was hoping it was on the topic of how to get more people to click on my AdSense ads. My experience with buying PPC ads has been pretty dismal, so I have pretty much given up on that, and trying to get other people to pay *me* for PPC ads.

I would definitely enjoy seeing an article on how to maximize AdSense revenue.

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