Advanced Linguistic Analysis: Introducing Roar N-Grams

Roar’s new n-gram language analysis tool is an innovation in pay-per-click ad management, allowing for data-driven language changes to ads as an account evolves. These changes are designed to boost the click-through-rate on client ads, and ultimately increase client return on investment by using language which resonates most with their target market.

N-grams in this context are a computational linguistics and probability tool which break the ad text into manageable pieces for analysis. The “N” in n-grams is a stand in for any number, so a 1-gram would be a single word, a 2-gram would be a sequence of 2 words, etc. We analyse ad text by first removing the keywords of the search, to remove any bias from intent. We then remove common words which, while grammatically necessary, we do not need to consider in the analysis, such as “the”, “and”, “of”, etc. What we are left with are the emotive keywords and phrases which differentiate one ad from another, and motivate the reader to engage.

This trimmed ad text is split into all unique n-grams (which, unsurprisingly, is a lot of data). Then, for each n-gram, we consider the set of ads which contain the n-gram in a test against all ads in the account, comparing click-through rate, conversion rate, and average position. From this, we determine the correlation (or lack thereof) between the usage of the n-gram in adverts and their effectiveness. By interpreting this result in the context of the account and controlling for other factors, causation can be inferred.

This is a powerful analysis tool which allows the constant improvement of our client’s accounts to be done with an objective grasp of the language which resonates with our client’s target market. We can also take lessons learned from existing accounts to make new account builds more effective from day one. The data consistently shows that ads which favours short words, punchy verbs, relevant jargon, and talk in terms of direct benefit to the reader are most effective. While this might be expected from an advertising psychologist, this tool provides direct evidence of specific verbs, specific sentence structure, and specific vocabulary which will take client account performance to the next level.