Copywriting

Win of the Week: Simple Tweaks Boost CTR by Triple Digits

November 30, 2011 Posted In: Copywriting Comments: 0

Take a look at the two ads below. Imagine your once-fast PC has become painfully slow. You keep getting warnings that say your virtual memory is low. So you go to Google and type in "increase virtual memory." Which ad do you click on?

 

PPC Ad #1
Ad #1 - Virtual Memory
PPC Ad #2
Ad #2 - Virtual Memory

 

Notice that the ads have much in common. The only differences are in the title text and the first line of body copy. Yet one of these ads outperformed the other by a large margin. Which ad do you think generated more than twice as many clicks?

Made your decision?

The winning ad is ad number two. It was written by BoostCTR writer "wordisborn," and it increased CTR by 150%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 2.5 clicks, more than DOUBLE the original ad's performance.

So why did the new ad win? And why did it win by so much? I have a theory about that ...

1. The title of the losing ad fails to connect with the searcher. By saying "Virtual Memory Repair," it has already missed the mark. The searcher is not thinking he needs a "repair." After all, cars need to be repaired; computers need to be fixed. Big difference.

2. The winning ad uses the words the searcher is thinking and using. Since PCs will tell you that your virtual memory is low, most people automatically think, "Okay. I guess I need to increase my virtual memory ... whatever the heck that means." Then they go do a search. They're looking for an ad that matches the thought in their head.

3. Ads that are specific often have an advantage over ads that are general or vague. Such is the case here. While the losing ad offers to "Increase Virtual Memory Instantly!" ... the winning ad makes the language more specific: "Increase Windows Virtual Memory." When the searcher sees "Windows," they identify with it and are inclined to click. Never mind that almost every single PC runs on Windows; this detail still causes searchers to click.

The bottom line: The new ad wins because it mirrors the language that's already in the searcher's mind ... and ... flags down potential "clickers" by mentioning a specific detail the searcher will instantly identify with.

Can such small changes in ad copy make such a big difference in CTR? The answer is clearly yes.

ryan-healy About the Author: Ryan Healy is a direct response marketer 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, business growth, and lifestyle design.

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