August 7, 2013

Ways to increase AdWords Click Through Rate (CTR)

AdWords and Pay Per Click advertisers are generally obsessed with lowering Cost Per Click (CPC) and increasing Click Through Rates of their ads.

Whilst increasing CTR is important to improve the overall performance of your campaigns, a high CTR is by no means going to determine something much more important – what your ad visitors do after they have clicked on your ad. In other words, the ultimate Return on your Investment.

With this in mind, lets look at some ways to increase your CTR without compromising your ad quality or return.

Use ad extensions

AdWords allows you to link different parts of your website via site links which can all become part of the same ad.

This is a very useful tool and can go a long way in increasing your CTR.  Not only does it give you many more opportunities to grab the attention of your ad viewers but also gives them a chance to dive right in to the part of your website they’re looking for.  If you’re not using ad extensions, you want to give this a try today!

Use geo-location targeting

Whilst you can increase CTR without using this, in my experience, I have found this to be one of the most useful features of AdWords. If your business offers it’s services or products to customers only across a certain region then when you combine the usefulness of geo-location along with creating campaigns with targeted headlines,  your CTR can get a significant boost.

Make your ad stand out

Some ways you can do that:

  • You shouldn’t even think about launching an ad campaign without checking what the competition is doing first. You can start thinking about standing out once you know what others are doing and unless you’re not checking other ads appearing for your target keywords, there’s no real way of doing this
  • Use symbols where possible. E.g. symbols for registered and copyright
  • Use a combination of upper, lower and sentence case
  • Try a crazy ad variation. If all your ad variations are ‘fact-based’ try one that’s completely conceptual, perhaps even funny and downright crazy!

Use negative keywords

This is another simple but very effective tool to improve your CTR as well as reduce the amount of wasteful clicks. Negative keywords are simply keywords or phrases that you don’t want your ads to appear for. This will vary depending on what it is that you sell but common examples are “job”, “free” and so on…

Use promotions, special offers and call-to-action

What do you think are the most effective types of ads in radio advertising? Time sensitive special offers. In fact, next time around, pay attention to ads you come across on the radio and there’s a pretty good chance, many of them talk about a special offer ending at a certain date or an event that’s coming up.

There’s no reason you cant try the same thing in your PPC campaigns. For example, if you’re selling Nike shoes, why not try an ad for an item that you currently have on special offer?  Mentioning the price as well as when the offer ends can seriously improve your CTR. Not only that, but you should also benefit from a lower CPC for ads like this which means that your ROI here can actually prove to be much higher than your campaign overall.

Don’t forget to supplement your ads with clear instructions on what it is that you wish for your users to do. Knowing what your conversion goals are would be useful here. For example, if you’re an accountant, then perhaps, you wish for the user to make an enquiry or an appointment in which case your ad should say so. If you’re offering a free trial, let your audience know that they can get that free trial by clicking on the ad. Whatever your conversion goals are, it’s important that these are in sync with the said ad groups.