Win of the Week: Focus on What Searchers Really Want


Imagine for a moment that you are a business owner who is hiring a new secretary. You want to make sure you've got a good secretary before you hire him (or her).

What kind of information would you like to know? Which ad would get your attention and earn your click? Make your decision, then scroll down to discover the answer.


PPC Ad #1
Ad #1 - Secretary Test
PPC Ad #2
Ad #2 - Secretary Test


In this case, ad number two is the winner. It was written by "jeffbaum71," and it increased CTR by 162%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 2.62 clicks.

I find this week's contest interesting because it highlights a key principle of good ad writing. Here are a few reasons why the new ad won...

1. The title of the winning ad is more descriptive. A "Secretary Skills Test" is much more precise and descriptive than a "Secretary Test," which is vague and open-ended.

2. "Our" is a wasted word. In most cases, you should focus on "you," the person you are writing to. The winning ad does this: "Verify Your Applicants Have The Skills You Need." Likewise, it is often best to avoid words that refer to yourself. These include the words I, me, we, and our. These are wasted words that often work against you in your effort to earn clicks and sales. (There are a few notable exceptions, including the Rich Jerk ads, which began: "I'm Rich, You're Not.")

3. The winning ad promises what employers really want. Employers don't really care what job applicants know. They only care whether the applicant has

the skills needed for the job. Hence, the winning ad focuses on verifying skills required for the job instead of knowledge.

4. The word "verify" is the perfect word to lead with. "Verify" comes from "veritas," which means "truth." That's what employers want ... they want the truth about job applicants' qualifications. It's easy to lie on a resume, and many people do. So a "secretary skills test" that verifies an applicant's skills is going to resonate with employers.

5. The winning ad uses a stronger call to action. The phrase "Learn More Here..." naturally leads prospects to click the URL and visit the site.

The bottom line: The new ad wins because it speaks more directly to what employers are looking for and uses language that resonates with them. The new ad also saves space by avoiding possessive adjectives like "my" and "our" -- and includes a strong call to action.

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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Richard Kraneis
Oct 05, 2011

I'm getting closer to using Google PPC to market my Excel ebook to the world (yes, people in 40 countries have purchased it on the Internet).
Seven years ago I wrote my own Google PPC ads with abysmal CTRs and still made a profit.
In using your service, must I already write a Google PPC ad so you have a baseline to test against (and to celebrate against when you win)?  Or can I just ask your company to write Google PPC ads and then I can go with the best CTR.
Thanks.  My Excel ebook is almost finished.

Ryan Healy
Nov 09, 2011

Hey Richard,Sorry I missed this comment...To use BoostCTR's service, you need to have at least one ad running. BoostCTR's writers then compete to beat your ad.Please let me know if you have any other questions I can answer for you. Thanks!Ryan

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