As a PPC marketer, you know that before you can start optimizing your campaigns for conversions, you’ve got to get those clicks rolling in. In this article, we are going to discuss the top 5 ways to improve your AdWords CTR.
What is AdWords CTR?
Average CTR (or average click-through rate) is the ratio of ad clicks to impressions in your AdWords campaigns. While basic CTR measures the rate of clicks on each ad, average CTR calculates the number of clicks vs. impressions across your campaign, or for each individual keyword.
The average click-through rate on AdWords paid search ads is about 2%. Accordingly, anything over 2% can be considered an above average CTR.
However, it’s important to note that average CTR, as well as other key metrics, like conversion rate, can vary widely by industry because some industries are more competitive than others. The best way to know – whether your CTR is higher or lower than the average is to look at industry-specific benchmarks. Below, you’ll find benchmarks for average CTR for 20 common industries:
Why is AdWords CTR Important?
Click Through Rate is important for a number of reasons.
- Google rewards you with a good CTR if they see your ads as relevant and you are getting a good level of clicks per impressions. You will typically find your average cost per click will go down and you will appear in higher ad positions.
- On the other hand, a bad CTR works in the opposite way to a good CTR percentage. If you have a low Click Through Rate you will typically find your ads appear lower and you will pay more for your average cost per click (CPC).
- Click Through Rate also plays an important role in the quality score (how relevant Google perceives your keyword to be) for your campaigns. If there are not many people clicking the ads, Google sees the keyword as not relevant enough, the result being your ads will appear in low positions and you will have to pay more per click.
- CTR is also a very good measurement for you to see how well you have structured your ads/keywords. If you are getting a good Click Through Rate you can prove that your ad is relevant to your selected keyword and the ad appears relevant to the customer’s search, which is the most important thing.
What is a Good CTR?
Google says a good Click Through Rate is anything above 1%, we typically aim for a minimum of 3% for a successful CTR in an AdWords campaign as we have seen campaigns with a 1% CTR being punished for the low-quality score. By raising the CTR percentage from 1% to 3% we improve the quality score and in turn, improve the success of client’s campaigns.
Benefits of a Super-High CTR
Much Higher Ad Impression Share
You get big discounts from having a high CTR. Namely, a lower cost per click, which really adds up as clicks accumulate.
This is true not just of vanilla search ads, but all Google properties, whether we’re talking about the Google Display Network or Gmail Ads.
But a remarkable CTR doesn’t just impact CPC. It also impacts your impression share – how often your ads show up in the first place.
Your Organic Search Positions Will Get A Boost
The more your pages beat the expected organic CTR for a given position, the more likely you are to appear in prominent organic positions. So if you want to move up to one spot (e.g., Position 5 to Position 4) in Google’s SERP, you need to increase your organic CTR by 3 percent. If you want to move up again (e.g., Position 4 to Position 3), you’ll need to increase your CTR by another 3 percent.
If your pages fall below the expected organic search CTR, then your pages will appear in lower organic SERP positions. Basically, if your page fails to beat the expected click-through rate for a given position, it’s unlikely your page will appear in positions 1–5.
You want your pages to get as many organic search clicks as possible, right? Attracting more clicks means more traffic to your site, which also tells Google that your page is the best answer for users – it is relevant and awesome.
Another thing we discovered was that the weighting of click-through rate is in Google’s organic search ranking algorithms is becoming more important every month this year.
Your Conversion Rates Increase
Increasing your click-through rate will also increase your conversion rates. If you can increase your CTR by 2X then your conversion rate should increase by 50 percent. That’s why click-through rate is the most important conversion metric.
Free Clicks from Social Ads
Facebook and Twitter don’t have a Quality Score. Well, they do, Facebook just calls it Relevance Score and Twitter calls it Quality Adjusted Bid.
Whatever they call their version of Quality Score, having a higher score results in a higher ad impression share for the same budget at a lower cost per engagement. A high engagement rate means your ads will be more visible and more cost effective!
One of the surprising benefits of having high engagement on Facebook and Twitter is that you’ll benefit from free clicks. How?
On Facebook, if someone shares one of your boosted posts that will show up in another person’s news feed and you won’t get charged for any of the additional engagements that happen there.
On Twitter, if you do a Promoted Tweet, when one of your followers retweets or shares it, you’ll get more totally free organic impressions.
People Will Actually See Your Emails
Now let’s talk about email marketing. How many emails do you get each day? It may be hundreds or thousands, right?
If you engage with the emails that brands and businesses regularly send to you, you’ll continue to see them. If not, it might get filed away in Outlook’s Clutter folder or it may be relegated to Gmail’s Promotions tab – or even worse, the Spam folder.
Overall the Benefits of Increasing CTR
- More ad impressions
- Better organic search rankings
- Higher conversion rates
- Free clicks from social media ads
- More people seeing, opening. and engaging with your emails
If you want to enjoy all these great benefits, you need to start optimizing your CTR.
Ways Improve Your AdWords CTR Right Now
Read on to learn some simple tips that you can use to optimize your PPC traffic that will help you to see better results almost immediately.
Use ad extensions to increase visibility
Google likes it when you get a higher CTR. When someone clicks, they get paid. It’s in their best interests for you to get as high a CTR as you possibly can. So they do what they can to help you do that. Google recommends using ad extensions to increase your CTR. Here are the different types of ad extensions you can use, as defined by Google in that same ebook.
Sitelink Ad Extensions
A sitelink extension is an extra line of text that displays when your adverts appear in the top three positions. They look similar to organic search site links that appear when you search for a company name.
Up to 4 sitelinks will display under your adverts but you can create more sitelinks than this and Google will decide which links to display.
Adding sitelink descriptions to your campaign or ad groups allows you to add two extra lines of text under each sitelink heading and is shown to improve click-through rates. By using this feature your adverts stand out and push down other adverts in the paid search results.
Similar to site links, adding call extensions to your adverts makes it easier for people to get in touch. This is ideal for businesses where customer calls are common in the sales process. The major advantage of call extensions is that people can click to call using either their mobile device or by using software such as Skype on a desktop.
If you set up a Google Phone number when creating your call extension you can record calls as a conversion in AdWords if they last longer than the call duration that you specify. Call extensions also make your adverts stand out and encourage those fingers to click.
Structured Snippet Extensions
Structured snippet extensions can be created to show product data below your advert description lines.
Snippets can be created for Amenities, Brands, Courses, Degree Programs, Featured Hotels, Insurance Coverage, Models, Neighborhoods, Service Catalog, Shows, and Types. Up to 10 values can be added per snippet type.
Callout extensions are text statements that you can add to your adverts. Four callout extensions can show per advert but you can add more callout extensions and Google will alternative the callouts depending on performance and the search query made by the user. Each callout extension must be within the 25 character limit.
Review extensions differ from star ratings which can be harder to achieve (150 reviews required within a calendar year for ecommerce sites). This extension work by allowing you to enter a snippet of a review on a verified review site.
Write Compelling Advert Copy
It sounds simple, but unless you take the time to write engaging adverts that include strong calls to action your advert performance will be average at best.
Take a look at your competitors’ ads and try to write advert copy that stands out from the competition. Think about your business’s unique selling points and experiment with split testing at least two adverts in every AdGroup.
Include Your Target Keywords in Your Adverts
It sounds obvious, but if your adverts don’t include the keywords you are bidding on within your advert copy then your CTRs will be poor and you will potentially pay more than you need to.
Include your target keyword in the headline and again within the ad copy and again in the display URL.
Use the advert display URL effectively
The display URL can be used to reinforce the keywords used in your Ad Groups. Rather than simply display your actual website address, you can create an address that might not actually exist on your website but it looks highly relevant to the search query you want your advert to display for.
You have 30 characters to use in the display URL in expanded text ads and this breaks down into two parts of 15 characters. Use the display URL to your advantage and include your ad group keyword phrases in parts 1 and 2 of the display URL.
Regularly adjust your bids
Bid too low on your keywords and your CTR’s will suffer. Make sure that you regularly review your bid prices to ensure that you are firstly bidding enough to appear on page one and secondly that your bids place you high enough on the page to get a decent click-through rate and ultimately cost-effective conversion rate.
Experiment with you bid positions and increase your bid prices incrementally rather than make bid increases. It isn’t just about bidding to appear at the top of the page as this could just use your budget and lead to expensive cost for sales or inquiries. Use Bid Adjustments during times when you know people are more likely to purchase.
Include Call to Actions and symbols in your Advert copy
Think about your unique selling points and include them in your advert copy. This will make your adverts stand out and get more clicks. If you have something to shout about such as an award or an accreditation then include it in your advert copy or add sitelink extensions.
Using exclamation marks, @ symbols and other characters can draw attention to your adverts and encourage clicks. Do be careful to stay within Google’s advertising guideline. You will generally only be able to use one symbol and exclamation mark per advert. Don’t worry if you do overdo it as Google will indicate what you have done wrong.