6 Tips to Increase Your Click-Through Rate

Ryan Moothart

Click-through rates (or CTRs as we in the business call them) are an important indicator for both your keywords and your ads. It may not be a direct indicator of your conversion performance, but it is a direct indicator of how effectively you’re reaching your target audience. If you’re dissatisfied with the CTR levels in your account, here are six simple tips that may help you improve those numbers.

Advertise on the Search Network Only

Anytime your campaign is entered to run on the display/content network, CTRs are generally going to be lower. It makes sense; people searching for your business are more likely to click on your ad more often on a search results page than those who come across your ad on different websites across the internet. Opt out of the display/content network and your CTRs should increase.

Adjust Keyword Match Types

Let’s say you own a footwear store and you’re bidding on the keyword “snow boots.” If it’s in broad match, someone searching for “snow shoes” could trigger your ad. That user may not be looking for boots at all, yet your keyword match type caused the advertising system to think the user’s query was close enough to generate an impression. To narrow your audience to more qualified users, consider changing some keywords to phrase, exact, or modified broad (Google AdWords only) match.

Include a Call to Action

No matter how self-explanatory you think it may be, putting a clear call to action in your ad copy can work wonders for improving average CTR levels. Whether it’s “buy now,” “learn more today,” “get a discount,” or something else, including a call to action tells the customer what their next step should be.

Separate Keywords into Specific Ad Groups

If you lump all of your keywords into a single ad group, they might be too diverse to work effectively with only one group of generic ads. Take a look at your keyword list; find patterns and make a hierarchy of which keywords are more important to your business. Sort them into tightly-themed ad groups with highly relevant and specific ads.

Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Dynamically inserting a user’s query into your ad copy is a nifty trick that can help give a good first impression. Consider adding in a DKI field in some of your ads that take advantage of popular short-tail keywords – be careful of character limits and control the messaging to the best of your ability.

Use Ad Extensions (Google AdWords Only)

Ad extensions in Google AdWords add additional information about your business and what you’re selling to the standard text ad. There are five types of Google AdWords extensions: location, call, product, sitelinks, and social. Select which ones apply to you and take advantage of them.

Improving you CTR levels should be a high priority if they’re unsatisfactory. A good keyword CTR means your keyword is relevant to the ad copy you’re generating. A good ad CTR means the user found what they were looking for in your ad copy.

These tips should help you reach both of these goals. Let us know what’s worked for you in the comments below!

Ryan Moothart
PPC Architect

Ryan is a PPC Architect and has been with Portent since 2010. He has over seven years of hands-on PPC experience including large-scale e-commerce, international B2B lead gen, and everything in between. Graduating from Willamette University with a BA in Rhetoric and Media Studies, he became a published author in 2016 with the release of his book, Towards Cascadia, which is a non-fiction exploration of Pacific Northwest identity, bioregionalism, and nationhood. He and his husband, Paul, enjoy traveling and are avid followers of Sounders FC, Seattle’s Major League Soccer club.

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  1. Nice tips on increasing click thru rates.
    Heads up though, your LinkedIn sharing button is not aligning properly with the other sharing buttons. It seems to be falling directly under the tweet button. Maybe a little more margin would help… =]

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