Increase Your CTR on Google AdWords

Increasing Results

AdWords isn’t a particularly straightforward job if you’re uncertain about how it works or if you’ve never used PPC before. Increasing your click through rate (CTR) is something that’s high on most people’s priority list as it can of course lead to more conversions, better Quality Scores and increased traffic.

So what can you do to increase CTR? There are a few tactics to help increase it, but it’s worth bearing in mind before you begin that it doesn’t always mean more conversions and your attempts could potentially have a detrimental effect.

Let’s have a look at some simple ways that you can increase those CTRs without damaging the quality of your ad.

Use Ad Extensions

Ad extensions can improve CTR and increase conversions as well as boost your Quality Score and should be added to your account as a matter of course. Last year, Google updated its AdWords Ad Rank algorithms in order to accommodate new features. One of these, and the most important, was ad extensions. These can now affect the positioning of your ads substantially and if you don’t use them, then it’s likely that your Quality Score, and CTR will remain relatively low.

Ad extensions include:

  • Apps
  • Calls
  • Ratings (UK, US and Canada only)
  • Location
  • Social
  • Review
  • Sitelinks

So, location extensions add an address to your ad, whilst the phone extension adds a call button.

extensions 1

extensions 2

(Source: Google AdWords Support)

One of the most important extensions to add, and one that will improve your CTR, is the sitelinks extension. This is an additional line of text which displays when your ad reaches the top two positions. You can create as many as you like in your AdWords account, but only four will be displayed and these are decided by Google, so you can’t particularly pick and choose. Add sitelink descriptions of up to two lines to further improve CTR and ensure that your ads really stand out.


Use Space Wisely

It’s not always easy creating an ad that stands out and encourages clicks, so make sure that you use the limited space that you have available to you. One area within the ad that can be optimised to improve CTRs and quality scores is the display URL.

Adding a descriptive keyword to the end of the display URL can improve CTRs, but should always be tested to ensure that they perform. According to Moz, it’s not a great idea to alter the start of a display URL as this can have a detrimental effect on branding. However, you can get together some keywords to place after the root domain.

Ensure that display URLs are an accurate reflection of the site/page content or it’s highly likely that your ad won’t be displayed by Google.

When it comes to the space you have available with the ad, make every word count and test your ads before you run them.

Remove Pricing

Adding prices, even discounts, to your ad copy can be a negative thing even if you’re prices are better than everyone else in the industry. This is because it tends to remind people that they are looking to spend money and sometimes, people are also put off by low prices and they automatically assume that it could very well also be low quality.

Saying that, leaving out prices but including a discount such as ‘$10 off with this code” can also improve CTR, it’s all about getting into the mind of the potential buyer. Of course, if you are offering any kind of free gift, this should be included – everyone loves a freebie.

Don’t Go Overboard with Keywords

It’s tempting to add in lots of keywords into each Ad Group but this can also cause an issue if they’re not closely related to your ad text. Try to keep keywords to below twenty and always try to include high quality keywords at least twice in your copy.

You want to aim for having keyword groups that are relatively small and all highly relevant to both the ad and each other. Ideally, you want the user to come about your ad because the keyword they are using in search appears in your ad. This will boost your Quality Score and CTRs.

Capitalise Your First Letters

Using capitalisation on the first letters of the top line copy can increase CTRs just basically because it looks better than lower case. This conveys a sense of professionalism and in turn, gives the user a sense that you offer quality. After all, if you can’t be bothered to craft your ad copy well, why should anyone think that your products are going to be any better?

Take care too of course to ensure that you use correct spellings and grammar as a matter of course. It’s a good idea to get someone else to proof read your ad copy before sending it out, sometimes a fresh eye can pick up on the things that you’re missing.

Getting it Right

AdWords in general can be a little confusing to the uninitiated. However, it’s worth constant reading and tinkering if you want to get it right. Don’t ever sit back and let it run itself as this is lightly to end up costing you a lot more than it should.

Keep an eye on how both your ads and your keywords are performing and ensure that you carry out tasks such as adding negative keywords in order to really maximise your spend and ensure you don’t waste money.

This entry was posted in SEM and tagged .
Kerry Butters

A prolific technology writer, Kerry was an authority in her field and produced content for a variety of high profile sites in her niche. Also a published author, she adored the written word and all things tech and internet related. Sadly she passed away in February 2016 after a valiant battle with cancer.

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