Jeff Pickle

Increase Google AdWords CTR with Boldfacing techniques

Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

The ad bolding feature in Google AdWords is a feature that you should take advantage of if you would like to increase click through rates (CTR). Of course, before you go through these techniques listed below, keep in mind that an improved CTR is meaningless unless you have a corresponding improvement in conversions. Remember the mantra – always be testing. Besides the use of catchy phrasing, pay-per-click ads are visual. People recognize the shape of a word and those shapes can trigger subliminal reactions in the brain. Your pay-per-click ads need to stand out.

Using the boldface matching, you can create a distinctive shape to help your ad stand out among the others. In combination with certain call-to-action  keyphrases, you can create some killer ads.

For those not in the know, ad text appears bold whenever it matches or nearly matches a user’s search query.

The arrow technique:  Popularized by Shoemoney.

Expensive Widgets Top source for expensive widgets. Find expensive widgets quick!

If you trace the boldface headline and text with your finger, this ad boldface technique creates an “arrow” > or greater than symbol.It really is just a technique for getting a lot of boldface text into the ad. It may not matter if the boldface is in an “arrow” shape or not. It is my belief that what matters is the amount boldface text that makes the ad stands apart and trigger a reaction in search visitor.

Since visitors are often subject to information overload and are often disinterested, search visitors are very adept at mentally blocking out ads. Ads that repeat and match the search phrase will display the matched text in boldface intensifying the visitor’s selection of your targeted ad.The boldface repeated text creates a more visual impact and a small variation from the rest of the ads allowing it to stand out better and increase your CTR.

Lets take a look at some more variations. The cascading technique:

Cheap Widgets Save now cheap widgets! Your source for cheap widgets.

The reverse arrow: (keyword match for widgets strategies) New Widgets Strategies Increase widgets profits now! Discover proven widget strategies.

Inverted repeat two-word headline: (keyword matches for expensive or cheap widgets – avoid gimmicky repetition) Expensive Widgets Widgets Expensive. Buy now! Your source for Expensive Widgets.


Cheap Widgets Widgets cheap. Save now! Your source for cheap widgets.

Notice that in the above ads, you have a nice boldface keyword repetitive diagonal slant through the middle of the ad. The call to action words are set apart and stand out well in the ad too. Does using boldfacing work? YES!

Since using the techniques above, the increase in CTR convinced me to use boldfacing text techniques in all three ad text lines.It is not the ppc consulting firms that are in the majority exhibiting the innovative techniques shown above. It is the affiliate marketers that are really striving to make a buck that have the most striking ads. Sure, there are a few self-proclaimed “ad gurus” that are writing effective visual ads and I suspect that they are most likely affiliate marketers as well.What is affiliate ppc marketing? If you click on an affiliate ppc ad, you might land on another page that has a list of sponsored links. Clicking on one of these, hopefully more useful, links will consequently earn a few cents for the affiliate marketer. If you are doing pay-per-click for clients, listen and learn from the affiliate marketers. Hopefully you can expand on and test their techniques.

One Comment

  1. Posted February 28, 2009 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    Hi Jeff,

    That technique definitely works.

    Don’t forget that in your examples above the word widget in the display URL would also have been shown in bold and that adds even more power to the Ad.