Like many people who earn their income via the Internet, I use affiliate programs to supplement my income. One of the affiliate products I promote (Proposal Kit) had been performing particularly well for me recently and I decided to help things along by creating a Google AdWords campaign based around my reviews of the product.

After one month, the campaign was going ok, I was getting a few sales here and there and certainly making a good ROI on the promotion. However, although my Click Through Rate (CTR) was pretty good (1.2%), it was starting to slide backwards and I thought I could do better. As you probably know, your ad position in Google relies heavily on your CTR compared to your competitors, so I was keen to turn things around and keep my high ad positions.

Around this time, I bought Nick Usborne's book Net Words and started to read it, taking notes as I went. I realized that according to Nick's philosophy, my AdWords ads were flat and boring. They were just not appealing enough to entice people to click on them. As Nick explains in his book, "Being blah guarantees you'll never be heard".

So I set about re-writing some of my ad text to speak more directly to my audience and ask them a question that required a response. Below is an example of an ad targeting the search query "business proposal before I changed the text:

Business Proposal Kit
Close the sale with a professional
business proposal template kit.

And here is the text I replaced it with:

Need a business proposal?
Create your own professional
proposal with our template kit.

The aim was to get my average CTR for the entire campaign up to around 2% from the existing 1.2% it was sitting at.

I logged off for the evening and went to bed, not expecting too much. The next morning, I had messages in my email in-box advising me that I had made 3 sales overnight! I was quite excited and logged into AdWords to see how things were going. Sure enough, my clicks were way up and two of the three AdGroups I had edited were showing an average 33% CTR! My overall campaign CTR had risen from 1.2% to 2.4%. I had never experienced CTR that high before. The ad I had changed used to show a 2.5% CTR and after a few days the changed ad displayed a 4.3% CTR.

Taking note of the ads that had attracted the most clicks, I created more around related keywords and phrases, using similar headlines to the ads that were performing the best. This time, I incorporated Nick's advice to use short and punchy copy.

Below is an example of an ad I was using to target the search query "seo contract" before I changed the text:

Sample SEO contract
Proposal Kit provides a perfect SEO
contract template. Read our review.

And here is the text I replaced it with:

Need an SEO contract?
Create yours.
Today.

After another week, my average CTR for the whole campaign jumped from 2.4% to 4% and I had a couple of ads showing 100% CTR! You can imagine how excited I was. Of course the high CTR builds on itself because the higher your CTR, the higher your ad position and the higher your ad position, the more clicks it is likely to attract. So my campaign had jumped from 1.3% in the first month, to 2.4% in the second month and after my fine-tuning, it's now showing a 4% CTR consistently. And the sales? Well I now average at least seven sales per week, up from two per week over the past 6 months and my affiliate commission is at an all time record.

The exercise just goes to show that a few thoughtful tweaks to your ad copy can make a HUGE difference to your bottom line. So what are you waiting for? Go tweak that copy in your own campaigns...

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.


February 3, 2006





Search Engine Marketing Columnist








Search Engine Guide > Kalena Jordan > How to Improve your Click Through Rate in Google AdWords