Best performing words identified from $60m in Ad spend

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If you were able to analyse the best performing ads across $60 million in Google Ads spend, do you think you’d find useful patterns?

recent report, released by software provider Wordstream, analysed which words were most commonly used in the best Google Ads across a total spend on USD $60 million. Funnily enough, the results reinforced what Dale Carnegie wrote in his classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People, way back in 1936.

He wrote: “People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me.  They are interested in themselves – morning, noon and after dinner.”

He taught strongly that advertising material should not start with the company as the focus, but the customer as the focus. And that is what the Wordstream study found too.

The top ten performing words, in order, were: Your; Free; Now; Get; Online; Our; Save; Best; Shipping; and You.

With “Your” and “You” both in the top ten, we can see that the copywriting age-old wisdom from Dale Carnegie still applies today. People want to quickly see how you can benefit them.

The same applies for the words “Get”, “Free”, “Save” and “Now” – these are customer focused words that dominate the list.

“Shipping” is also in the list – most commonly used in the phrase “Free Shipping”.

These words give hints at the underlying psychology of what it takes to get people to engage with your adverts and marketing. So, it pays to ask ourselves the question, is our marketing focused on our customer, or focused on ourselves?

A horrible example I saw just recently was a Google Ad with the headline “We are [brand name]”. You can’t get any more self-absorbed than that!

But this is nothing new. In the same book Dale Carnegie said: “Many salespeople spend a lifetime in selling without seeing things from the customer’s angle.”

A US-based company, Marketing Experiments, ran a split test for an ad for a forex company. The first headline read, “Why trade Forex with ForexTrading.com?”  The second headline read “Get your free, no risk, no obligation $100,000 Forex Trading Demo Account”. 

Notice that the second headline starts with three words from the top ten list: “Get your free…”

The second headline produced a 99 percent increase in conversions. That means twice as many customers for the same amount of ad spend.

The same copywriting guidelines apply to webpages. Far too often I see small business websites with the home page headline “Welcome to CompanyName”. When you see this, you know their marketing is failing to be customer-centric.

To write good headlines for ads, websites and offline marketing material, we need to think about what our customer wants. If you find yourself writing a headline starting with “Our” or “We” it’s an indicator that you’re writing a company-centric headline. Change it to have the word “Your” in the first part of the headline, and you’ll be writing a customer-centric headline.

Just like Henry Ford said: “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get (understand) the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”

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About Author

Josh Moore

Josh Moore is the managing director at digital marketing agency, Duoplus. www.duoplus.nz