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5 Tips To Increase AdWords CTR

5 Tips To Increase Google Ads (AdWords) CTR


Click Through Rate (CTR) is an important metric that every advertiser should monitor. It shows how effective your Ads are at appealing to your targeted audience and getting them to click through to your website.


The CTR formula is CTR = clicks divided by impressions


Basically, it’s the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown. For example, if you had 3 clicks and 100 impressions, then your CTR would be 3%.


Google requires charities that run Ad campaigns to have a 5% minimum CTR. This is a requirement for charities that are in the Ad Grant programme and receive £10,000 of free advertising each month.


So if you have an Ad Grant and have received a warning or notification to improve CTR to 5% and above, then you need to take action. Not doing so will lead to deactivation of the Ad Grant.


AdWords Click Through Rate Guide


So you’ll need to improve all AdWords campaigns to reach an average 5% CTR. Some steps you can take to achieve that include:


Remove Poor Performing Search Terms
It’s important when looking at Click Through Rate that you look at the Search Terms CTR and not just the keyword CTR. The keyword CTR is an average CTR for all the search terms for that keyword.


So being more granular and looking at the Search Terms CTR will help you to filter out the low CTR searches. And you’ll keep High CTR Search terms by leaving your keywords in tact.


You can see your search terms in the Search terms report. It’s available under the Keywords tab or Dimensions tab


Search Terms Report


Update Text Ads
Some Ads will have lower CTRs than others and they should be optimised accordingly. You can update them manually or allow the AdWords system to automatically update them based on performance.


Optimise Ads


However, a combination of the two is more helpful. Also, if you find Ads with low CTRs and conversions, you can change the headlines and description or remove them altogether.


Each ad group should have between 3-5 Ads to be able to optimise them effectively. And these will be rotated to appear for the search terms that you’re targeting with your keywords.


After a while you’ll start to see a trend across your campaign for the different ads. For example, it’s possible to find that Ads with Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) included in the headline outperform those without.


Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion
Dynamic Keyword Insertion is a syntax that you use to make your Ads more relevant to searchers. It can be used in any part of your Ad including Headline 1, Headline 2, Description and Path 1 and 2.


But using it in Headline 1 is usually the best option. That’s the most visible part of the Ad and the part that visitors will see first and click on.


This is what the syntax looks like:


{KeyWord:Default Text Goes Here}


In the “default text goes here” section above, you’ll include the default keyword that should appear in the Ad. And this is updated based on the keyword that a searcher has used to search. The default text is a placeholder and will only appear if the keyword in the Ad group used is above the 30 character limit.


This is a powerful way to make your Ads relevant and to increase CTRs. However bear in mind it’s the keyword that is added and not the search term that triggered it.


And make sure that any keyword that is added makes sense grammatically.


Add Negative Keywords
Remove keywords with low CTRs and conversions. These keywords harm your account and lower your CTR. If a keyword has a CTR below 2% and low conversions then it should be removed, especially if it has received over 100 clicks.


Remove one-word keywords
This is now a requirement for charities that use the Ad Grant funding. Google requires that all these advertisers have keywords that have two or more words in them.


And this makes sense considering that one word keywords drive high impressions but very few clicks. And CTR tends to be far below 1%. It’s rare to find one word keywords with click through rates above 1%.


They also rarely drive high conversions because they’re generic. And they eat into the budget with little return.


Many Ad Grant users have included these to increase their click volumes and therefore use up more of their free £10,000 funding. But this has created a poor user experience for searchers who find nothing relevant to what they’ve searched for.


Google’s mantra is “Ad relevance”. And one word keywords create a poor user experience for searchers and leads to low click through rates.


Use the Ad Countdown Timer
The countdown timer is a feature you use to promote an offer with an expiry date. That can include a discount or a sale that will end on a particular date and encourage people to use it before expiry.


You can also use it to promote an upcoming event. And it will countdown to the beginning of that event.


Ad Countdown Timer


So this feature counts down the days, minutes and seconds to the beginning of an event or to the close of an offer.


This is a big incentive for many visitors and helps to increase CTR. Ads with a countdown timer consistently outperform Ads without and you’ll see higher CTRs with them.


Create Tightly Themed Ad Groups
A tightly themed ad group has keywords that are closely related. It will have between 5 and 20 keywords and usually no more or less. This is an effective way to boost CTR and if you have any low CTR keywords, try to move them into separate ad groups that have closely related keywords.


This will also help with other metrics like conversion rates and bounce rate. And you’ll see an overall boost in performance.


One sign that your ad groups are not tightly themed is when you see keywords with poor quality scores. These are scores between 1/10 to 4/10. They harm your account and cost you more per click than you should be paying.


Following these 5 tips will help you achieve high CTRs above 5% and even higher than 10%. And you’ll see an overall improvement in Ad campaign performance

I'm a Certified Google Ads Expert and Marketing Author and in this blog I share my latest tips and secrets on how to promote your business successfully on the web and increase customer loyalty, retention and advocacy on Google Ads.

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