PPC Ads: Internal Consistency Strengthens Credibility

What do restaurant bathrooms and PPC ads have in common? Well, it’s a matter of consistency.

To paraphrase the common wisdom, a restaurant’s bathroom is a good indicator of the cleanliness of its kitchen. If they let the bathroom get dirty (what you CAN see) then how bad do they let the kitchen (what you CAN’T see) get?

And in the same manner, if the management and staff have the discipline to keep the rest of the restaurant immaculately clean, it’s probably a good bet that the kitchen is kept the same way.

In other words, we believe in internal consistency. And this extends to PPC ads as well. So with that in mind, you tell me which of these two ads nearly doubled CTR in a recent split test:

The Answer? The ad that has better internal consistency.

And that would be Ad #2. Here’s why:

What’s Inconsistent About Ad #1

  • Ad #1 moves from “fat burning” to “get lean” to “feeling full” — three different ideas or mental images that are only logically related, but are not fully consistent in the mind of the prospective customer.
  • Ad #1 compounds this inconsistency by never being explicitly clear on WHAT it’s selling. Is it advertising a type of diet, a supplement, or what? And if it’s a supplement, does that supplement merely make you feel full (thereby indirectly helping you to lose weight by eating less) or does it help you lose weight directly?

And What’s Internally Consistent About Ad #2

Ad #2 mentions a “Fat Loss Supplement” that turns your body into a “Fat Burning Furnace.” The idea of getting rid of fat remains consistent in both the headline and the body copy.

Internal consistency is paramount to creating ads that speak to potential customers. Getting to the heart of the matter and speaking to their needs is the key factor in generating qualified clicks in anticipation of converting them to sales when they get to your landing page. Maintain this consistency across all of your messaging, and the strength and quality of your ads will build trust in your customers by showing them that your house is in order. Without trust there is no sale, so maintain that internal consistency across every single one of your messaging touch points.

About Noran El-Shinnawy

Noran is the Director of Marketing at BoostCTR and an Associate Instructor of the Master Certification Conversion Optimization course at MarketMotive.

She specializes in analyzing the PPC customer Journey, creating buyer momentum and optimizing their experience from click to conversion. Her passion for understanding today's customer is a key driver to her analysis of industry trends and keeping up with the latest in PPC, Voice of Customer analytics and Conversion Optimization.

Noran also contributes to industry publications including Search Engine Watch, Visibility Magazine, SES Magazine and ClickZ. She is also a frequent speaker at the Search Engine Strategies conferences, the Internet Marketing Conference, the Online Marketing Summit and Search Marketing Expo.

When she's not online, Noran is either traveling or diving with sharks in the red sea.


  1. Arnaud says:

    can you add the LinkedIn share button?

  2. Sakis says:

    By the way, ad #1 should have been disapproved because the word “CAN” is all caps.

  3. Sakis says:

    On a similar note, why should the better performance of ad #2 be due to its “internal consistency”, and not due to some other characteristic? These two ads are totally different in their copy. Therefore, the better performance of ad #2 could be due to, say, its title, or its bigger copy, or its use of the verb “Now”, or you get my point.

  4. Thanks for the suggestion, Arnaud! I’ll bring it up with our design team. :)

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