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7 Tips to Boost Your AdWords CTR

Thursday, August 15th, 2013 by Lorna O'Brien

MoneyImproving your click through rate will not only boost traffic to your website, but it also benefits your Quality Score – the metric responsible for the cost of your clicks and your ad position in the search engine results.

Click through rate (CTR) is one of the biggest contributing factors of Quality Score.  So, naturally, it’s one of the most important and reviewed elements of a PPC campaign.

Various figures are thrown around as to what Google deems as being a good click through rate, but the answer is simple…a good click through rate is one that’s constantly improving!

There are some simple steps that you can take to begin improving your CTR;

1. Structure your campaigns

Don’t dump all of your keywords in one ad group. Instead, use products/services to begin segmenting your keywords into relevant ad groups because having keyword sets with a dedicated ad will give your keywords the best chance of performing well.

If you have a load of keywords stuffed into one ad group, you can’t possibly target users with your ad copy sufficiently.

2. Refine your keywords with match types

So you have your keyword sets – now it’s time to measure the way that they perform.

Exact Match and Phrase Match keywords allow you to have greater control over your ad positions, as well as a greater chance of being clicked because they will match the search query more closely.

Be careful when using Broad Match keywords. Although Broad Match offers greater reach, they can drive a lot of irrelevant impressions/clicks, as Google will match your ad to ‘related’ terms – which is an effective way of wasting your budget!

Be vigilant with the implementation of negative keywords as these can prevent your advert being triggered by excluded terms.

3. Increase Your Keyword Bids

Although you’ll be paying more for a click, increased bids mean higher average positions. If these keywords direct high quality traffic, then more clicks equals more leads.

4. Write compelling ad copy

It is important to include your keywords to the advert text you are writing. Adverts are more clickable when the ad copy matches the search query.

Additionally, Google “bolds” the keywords in the ad copy. When searching for “Paris weekend breaks”, the below advert is displayed with the headline keyword in bold. Also, the URL has made the words “Paris” and “breaks” bold, as well as in the description.

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5. Ad extensions

Ad extensions work to increase your advertising space and relevant links to service/product pages on your site.

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You can extend your ad with sitelinks, call, offer, location, review and image (Beta) extensions, providing more options to encourage users to click on your ad, thus improving your CTR.

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Note: Image extensions are currently only available in Beta.

6. Target by device

With Enhanced Campaigns it is even easier to target different devices with your message. So, create mobile specific ads with specific extensions that are more likely to be useful to smartphone users than they would to somebody sat at their desktop computer.

In the example below, I have used the same search query and the company noted above has returned an ad – but notice the sitelinks are different?

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People searching on mobile devices are more likely to be searching for a hotel in the short term, so booking.com has adapted the ad extensions to be specific for mobile users to encourage clicks.

7. Measure and Refine!

Following these steps will help to improve the CTR of your campaign and hopefully work toward lowering your AdWords spend. Don’t forget to analyse and refine to keep improving your CTR!

With Google rolling out bigger and better ways for us to attract visitors we are constantly finding more reasons to bid for the top positions on the results pages – improving metrics like CTR is one action we can take to both compete and minimise costs.

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About the author

Lorna O'Brien