Most folks who professionally manage Pay-Per-Click campaigns know the fundamentals of how to achieve an optimum CTR:

1) Place the keyword(s) in the ad title.
2) If possible, place the keyword(s) again in the body of the ad.
3) Create multiple variations of each ad and rigorously test until you arrive at your optimum ad choice/choices.

But, what if you’ve done that already and your results are still less than they should be? Do you just give up and accept substandard results?

I have a mutual fund PPC client (AdWords only—Contextual Ads Enabled). I keep him at or near “top bidder” status for each of his campaigns. The CTR for keywords in his particular “niche” was excellent, but he also wanted to get PPC traffic from people doing more generalized mutual fund searches. Despite following PPC Best Practices, his more “generalized” campaign CTR was less than I believed it should be.

In our last meeting, he happened to mention that the company got a very positive write-up in Fortune Magazine. A few days later, it dawned on me that “name dropping” the Fortune Article could lead to a much higher CTR series of ads. So, I created some…

The former ads were:

“Keyword” Mutual Fund
Learn More About (Client Name’s)
“Keyword” Mutual Fund

The new ads are:

“Keyword” Mutual Fund
(Client Name) – “Keyword” Fund Featured
In February Issue of Fortune Magazine

The rise in CTR was immediate and outstanding. Two weeks after the ads launched, I formally presented the results to the client. For the client’s “International Mutual Fund” Campaign, the new ads had a CTR of 1.2% compared to .4% for the old ads. For the client’s “Global Mutual Fund Campaign”, the new ads had a CTR of .4% compared to .1% for the old ads. For the client’s “Environmental Mutual Fund” Campaign, the new ads had a CTR of 3.9% compared to .9% for the old ads. The client was extremely impressed with the exponential increase in traffic…and his CPC even went down slightly during this time period.

The lesson to be learned is this: By legitimately creating a nexus between your company and an industry “authority” (like Fortune) and writing that authority into your PPC ads, you have the potential for a very noticeable CTR increase.

If you professionally manage PPC campaigns, ask your clients about any noticeable recent PR/media attention they might have received. Perhaps, they’ve already made mention of it on their website. Not every bit of PR can turn into a high-performing PPC ad, but if the PR came from a source well known and respected by the client’s prospect base, it behooves you to test a PPC ad based upon that exposure.

If you manage your own campaign, you can establish credibility with your audience by creating ads that legitimately link your business to an industry authority. If 10 firms are trying to sell the same widgets through PPC, prospects are more likely to click on your ad if you mention that your widgets were featured in “Widget Magazine (the Widget Authority Source for the Widget Industry)”. You will distinguish yourself from your competitors and reap the benefits of doing so.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.
April 5, 2005

Todd Mintz is the Director of Internet Marketing & Information Systems for S.R. Clarke Inc., a Real Estate Development and Residential / Commercial Construction Executive Search / Recruiting Firm headquartered in Fairfax, VA with offices nationwide. He is also a Director & Founding Member of SEMpdx: Portland, Oregon's Search Engine Marketing Association.

Search Engine Guide > Todd Mintz > Give Your PPC Ad “Authority” and your CTR will skyrocket.