3 Persuasive Ad Hacks To Drastically Increase Your CTRs

Don’t set­tle for aver­age PPC: use these three tips to rise above your paid search com­pe­ti­tion.

Margot Da Cunha By Margot Da Cunha from WordStream. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Do your paid ads suf­fer from low click-through rate syn­drome? It’s a tough dis­ease to stom­ach, but there are sev­er­al things you can do to intrigue peo­ple to click on your ads, vis­it your web­site, and con­vert into sales. By using a bit of psy­cho­log­i­cal intel­li­gence and data-proven tac­tics you can dras­ti­cal­ly increase your CTR’s, stop blend­ing in with the oth­er busi­ness­es try­ing to steal your clicks, and start grow­ing your rev­enue at a more sub­stan­tial rate.

I want to get aver­age grades, have an aver­age job, and live an aver­age life.”

To clar­i­fy, the quote above is attrib­uted to no one, ever. Why? Because we don’t strive to be aver­age; we strive to be excel­lent. This should also be the case with your PPC ad copy, but all too often we’re set­tling for aver­age click-through-rates. But, what is an aver­age click-through rate?

At Word­Stream, we set out to find out by ana­lyz­ing over $3 bil­lion in spend across 100,000 AdWords accounts. Here’s what we found:

Search Click-Through Rate

As one would expect, CTR drops as posi­tion on the page drops, but keep in mind these are aver­ages. So, how do you become above aver­age? Fol­low these three ad hacks to rise above the stan­dard CTR.

1. Appeal to Your Audience’s Emotions

Emo­tions impact what we buy. If you think back to your favorite ad cam­paign or even your most recent pur­chase, it was like­ly tied to an emo­tion.

For instance, I pur­chased a Siggi’s yogurt for break­fast this morn­ing because eat­ing break­fast makes me hap­py, and yogurt ties me back to my child­hood as it was a reg­u­lar sta­ple in my house­hold.

Why Siggi’s? Even though I’m spend­ing more than I would on Stony­field or Yoplait, Siggi’s prod­ucts are known for hav­ing far less sug­ar then the aver­age yogurt, zero arti­fi­cial addi­tives, and use milk that does not con­tain growth hor­mones. These all appeal to my emo­tion­al urge to keep my body strong and healthy.

What does this have to do with ad text? Your ads need to appeal to your user’s emo­tions to spur them to click.

Is it actu­al­ly pos­si­ble to awak­en emo­tions with strict char­ac­ter lim­its? It is, if you’re doing it right.

PPC leg­end Per­ry Mar­shall devised a hack that can work won­ders, called the “Swiss Army Knife,” which plots out dif­fer­ent enti­ties includ­ing your cus­tomer, some­thing your cus­tomer loves, some­thing they hate, their best friend, their worst ene­my, and you (the adver­tis­er): Ad elements

Once these ele­ments are deter­mined you can devise an emo­tion­al­ly fueled ad like the one below.

Who is your husband with

The above ad achieved a CTR of greater than 30 per­cent!

You can see that in just a few lines of text, a rapid suc­ces­sion of emo­tions is awak­ened. From jeal­ousy and anger to sat­is­fac­tion and con­tent­ment, the ad spurs the jeal­ous wife to click in 30 per­cent of cir­cum­stances.

Pret­ty impres­sive con­sid­er­ing that the aver­age click-through rate is no high­er than 5 per­cent.

2. Spur Clicks Through Urgency

FOMO is an abbre­vi­a­tion for the “fear of miss­ing out,” and it’s a real thing. You’ve prob­a­bly expe­ri­enced it before.

Recent­ly, I was stuck at a con­fer­ence for work when my entire fam­i­ly was at the beach cel­e­brat­ing my nephew’s first birth­day. FOMO was in full force that day.

But how can we raise this fear in our audi­ence to entice them to click through to your land­ing pages? The eas­i­est and most effec­tive way is through ad cus­tomiz­ers.

Ad cus­tomiz­ers were released in Sep­tem­ber 2014, and they’re basi­cal­ly a way to put your ads on autopi­lot while keep­ing them up-to-date with sales, pro­mo­tions, spe­cial, or recur­ring events.

Just check out the exam­ple below, which shows how these ads auto­mat­i­cal­ly update as the sale is about to expire. This is an easy way to awak­en FOMO and push your shop­pers to pur­chase before it’s too late.

LCD TV sale ads

3. Use Numbers & Sales Incentives In The Headline

Did you know that the head­line of an ad is often the first thing (and some­times the only thing) a per­son reads before click­ing? When going through an analy­sis of ads with the high­est click-through rates (I’m talk­ing insane­ly high CTRs rang­ing from 40–60 per­cent!), I noticed two com­mon­al­i­ties among head­lines:

  • Click­able head­line uti­lize num­bers.
  • Sales and pro­mo­tions in the head­lines tend to do excep­tion­al­ly well.

Take the ad below, which has a 46.5 per­cent CTR, prov­ing that show­ing 30 per­cent in the head­line was quite com­pelling for searchers:

Number in ad headline

Any­thing with num­bers works well! A per­cent­age off, a price point – it can’t just be ‘we have the best clothes,’ because everyone’s sell­ing the same thing,” said Jaclyn Jor­dan, WordStream’s senior paid search strate­gist. “I have clients sell­ing the same sham­poo and com­pet­ing with huge brands like Sepho­ra – com­pelling num­bers (for instance a low­er price point or a per­cent­age off) can help them stand out.”

Stop striv­ing for aver­age. Set you stan­dards far above, and use these hacks to get there!

Margot Da Cunha

Written by Margot Da Cunha

Content Marketing Specialist, WordStream

Margot is a Content Marketing Specialist at WordStream with a background in PPC, SEM, content and digital marketing. Margot is passionate about writing and is also a regular contributor to Search Engine Journal and Social Media Today. Margot was recently named the 25th Most Influential PPC Expert in 2015 by PPC Hero. She enjoys running, sleeping on the beach, and eating ice cream during her free time.

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