So the ThinkCash team tested a pretty unique ad on Google this week for our PayDay One site on the terms “payday loans” and “cash advance“. The results were bitter sweet. Paid search ads are a huge channel for any online advertiser. The problem is that you can’t get very “creative” when you’re ad is limited to a handful of characters of Tahoma-font-text.
We decided to test some ad creative using “ASCII Art” (see above) that we thought was pretty unique. The ad is in no way misleading, but rather a more interesting way to try and attract the attention of a consumer that has already indicated that they have an emergency cash need based on their search query.
So I said the results were bitter sweet. The sweet portion is that we saw a 50% higher CTR on this ad versus our control. The bitter part – Google yanked our ad and said that we weren’t complying with AdWords guidelines (they specifically cited the excessive use of punctuation and capitalization).
I know Google has a tough job and managing click fraud and deceptive search marketing practices is a huge challenge for them. However, I think the time has come for the simple-text search ad to evolve . . . I’m OK with baby steps forward, but let’s just keep moving forward.