Search Ads Impacted By Word Choice

Word choice matters when it comes to advertising copy, especially during the holidays with brands using phrases like "free shipping" vs "fast shipping." 

New research from NetElixir examines a variety of word choices and ad copy within search ads, analyzing more than 60,000 Google AdWords Expanded Text Ads between February and September 2017. The data measures performance across nine verticals by click-through rate (CTR) and (conversion rate) CVR. Elements such as specific word choice, branding and dynamic keyword insertion were analyzed among about the company's 100 retail clients.

The company's report examines variables in search ad copy including word choice, branding and dynamic keyword insertion, and the impact of these on performance. The study aims to provide insight to search marketers in terms of using the best copy in their search ads. It also provides insight on the nuances of consumer behavior as it relates to search.



With strict character limits in search ads, marketers carefully choose the words they use. Consumers seem to prefer the word "shop" vs "buy." The phrase "Shop now!" reached the highest CLR, with 2.55% vs "buy now!" at the CTR of 1.64%.

“Show now” also had a higher conversion rate at 4.46% vs 3.31% for “Buy Now!” NetElixir suggests that these findings demonstrate how consumers pay attention to word in online ads.

“Buy now!” also serves up as being dominant in the food category.

Consumers also like “Free shipping” vs. "fast shipping" with CTRs of 1.8% vs. 1.03%, respectively. However, "fast shipping” had a much higher conversion rate of 14.49% compared with “free shipping” at 2.6% for CVR.

“High quality” stepped up with an average CTR of 1.58% vs. “wide variety,” which averaged .71%. Conversion rates were also higher for “high quality,” averaging 3.76% while “wide variety” averaged only 2.95%.

The study also shows that “Now” was the click-through-rate winner with 1.95% vs “today,” which averaged .9%. But “today” scored higher for conversions with a CVR rate of 9.05% compared to 4.38% for “now.”

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