Paid Search (PPC)
Pete Keyworth

Pete has over 12 years experience in helping businesses to build a successful online presence.

Read our 9 practical tips that are designed to help you your improve AdWords CTR and Google AdWords campaign performance.

Simply getting your AdWords campaign up and running is relatively straightforward. Just write your adverts, add some keywords, enter you card details and watch the sales and enquiries start coming in, right? Well not exactly, as there is a little more to it than that.

If you don’t structure your AdWords account well enough or manage it effectively, the click through rates of your adverts could be low. This means that you won’t get the traffic, enquiries or sales that you expected. So how do you improve AdWords CTR or click through rates? In this post we look at 9 ways you can boost your Google Adwords traffic. Read my tips on improving your AdWords click through rates below.

1. Make Full Use of All Types of Ad Extension

There are many types of ad extensions that can make your advert stand out from the crowd. Using the full range of extensions increases the size of your ads and makes them appear more relevant, which you’ve guessed it, improves the click through rate.

There are many different types of Ad extensions and I’ve mentioned a few that I recommend below:

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 sitelinks that appear when you search for a company names.

AdWords sitelink extensions help your ads stand out and improve ctr

Highlighted examples of sitelink extensions

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.

Sitelink extensions with decriptions. Descriptions generally appear on website brand search queries

Sitelink extensions with descriptions. Descriptions generally appear on website brand search queries.

Call Extensions

Similar to sitelinks, 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 setup 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 you adverts stand out and encourage those fingers to click.

Adwords call extensions increase response rates on mobile ads

Adwords call extensions increase response rates on mobile ads

Structured Snippet Extensions

Structured snippet extensions can be created to show product data below your advert description lines.

AdWords structured snippet extensions can improve ad performance

AdWords structured snippet extensions can improve ad performance.

Snippets can be created for Amenities, Brands, Courses, Degree Programs, Featured Hotels, Insurance Coverage, Models, Neighbourhoods, Service Catalog, Shows and Types. Up to 10 values can be add per snippet type.

Callout Extensions

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.

Example of an advert with callout extensions

Example of an advert with callout extensions

Review Extensions

Review extensions differ from star ratings which can be harder to achieve (150 reviews required within a calendar year for ecommerce sites). Review extensions work by allowing you to enter a snippet of a review on a verified review site.

Creating an AdWords review extension

Creating an AdWords review extension

Other Ad Extension types

There are many other extensions types including price extensions, message extensions, location extensions and app extensions. Depending on your advertising objectives, these will all help to increase the number of people clicking on your ads.

2. 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 businesses unique selling points and experiment by split testing at least two adverts in every AdGroup

3. 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.

Increase AdWords CTR by Including keywords in all areas of your advert copy

4. Create Tightly themed Keyword groups

All the options in the Google AdWords interface are designed to encourage you to add multiple keywords into your account and into your Ad Groups. The problem with this is that having 20+ keywords in an AdGroup impacts on the relationship between advert text and keywords in each adgroup.

When people search for a keyword in your Adgroup containing 20+ keyword, the advert that appears will more likely than not, not contain the keyword they are searching for. The end result is that the click through rates and quality scores of your keywords and adverts are adversely affected.

The solution is the tightly group themes or keywords into smaller groups and make sure that the advert copy contains the keywords at least twice if possible.

5. Use Title Capitalisation in Your Adverts!

Make your adverts stand out by using title case. It is proven to increase AdWords CTR. Which advert stands out most from the selection below?

Use titlecase in your text ads. It is proven to improve CTR

Example of two ads – one with title case in the headline and one without.

6. 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.

Edit your adwords display URL to boost CTR

Customise your adwords display URL to boost CTR. You have 30 characters to include your keyword phrase on expanded text ads.

7. 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 enquiries.

Use Bid Adjustments during times when you know people are more likely to purchase.

8. 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 over do it as Google will indicate what you have done wrong.

9. Check out the competition

If you are looking for ideas when writing new adverts, then why not start by looking at what your competitors are doing? How are they advertising? Do they focus on price or mention compelling unique selling points? Are they using strong calls to action or sitelinks and call extensions or review extensions? Take inspiration from the best bits to create new adverts that stand out in the search results.

Which AdWords CTR Improvement techniques work for you?

The above suggestions to improve AdWords CTR should certainly help you to improve campaign performance. It is a good idea to experiment and see what works for your site. Once you’ve increased your traffic you need to focus on improving conversion rates. Why not let us know how you get on below or suggest any ideas that you use for improving ad performance?

One response to “9 Ways to Improve AdWords CTR (Click Through Rate)”

  1. Dustin Miller - PPC Professionals says:

    One other thing you could add (since it’s brand new) is Google’s now Callout Extensions. They are still pretty new, but so far I really like them for getting benefits displayed in the SERPs and not taking up any additional space in our ads.

    Dustin

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