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Colin Differ

Five Ways to Increase your Click through Rate (CTR)

15th Oct 2009 Paid Search, Google AdWords, Paid Search 3 minutes to read


In the past, this blog article has explained What is a Click through Rate (CTR) and why is it Important?, so that is not something we need to explore further here. The purpose of this post is to help understand how exactly you manage the CTR and keep it at a good level.

Below we give you five top tips to help you along your way:

1. Use Keywords within your Ad Text

Use your main keywords within your ad text, not only to attract people’s eyes, but to confirm that your ad is actually about that search term. If people are more certain that another ad is more relevant towards them, they are far more likely to click on it, resulting in the loss of a possible customer for your site.

Imagine you were looking for car insurance. Compare the two examples below and think which one you would click on:

Car Insurance Ad Text Insurance Ad Text 2

2. Choose Your Keywords Carefully

Your keywords are one of the biggest factors to keeping your CTR high, especially if they are chosen carefully.
Ask yourself this, if you were selling car insurance, would you bid on the word “Car”? The answer is, or at least should be, no; that’s because people searching for a ‘car’ are not necessarily looking for car insurance, and the same is also true of the opposite, not all those looking for ‘insurance’ actually want car insurance.

Think about your words before you bid, think “What would I type in looking for my product?” Bear in mind that since Q4 2008, the average search string has risen to four words. The searchers are becoming more refined. Has your PPC campaign kept pace?

3. Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are a Google AdWords professional’s dream. In case you have never heard of them, they are described in our SEO Glossary as “A way of ensuring that adverts are not shown in conjunction with any of the keywords in your negative keyword list”. In other words they are the opposite of your normal keywords (the name makes sense now doesn’t it).

Using the example above, if I decided that I actually did want to bid on the word “Insurance” I would add all those words that I didn’t want to appear for into my negative list:-Home, Contents, Pet, Holiday etc. That way I can bid on the word insurance without appearing for them.

4. Watch Your Bid

Whilst Google AdWords is more than just a bidding system with the highest bid jumping to the top of the page, if you bid too low, your position within their rankings will be equally low and so will your CTR. The difference in clicks for ads between positions 1-3 can be a great deal more than those at position 4 onwards. Whilst we do not advise that you crank up your Cost per Click (CPC) to uncomfortable levels, make sure that when bidding for a keyword that it is at the right price.

5. Test Your Ads

Google allows you to create more that one ad text per campaign, which is great for you as that means you can test different text in each one, see which one works best and then test other text.

Using our Car insurance examples, we have created two versions of an ad text (we added the word “Over” if you can’t see it):

Car Insurance Ad 5 Car Insurance 6

If the second ad text received a better CTR than the first, then we would take that ad and test that one with different text and then so on:

Car Insurance 6 Car Insurance Ad 7

When testing ad text, remember to give it some time before changing the ad, as with any testing the greater the time period, the more information you have.

Of course, there are more than five ways to increase your CTR, too many for one blog post, but practice the above and you should hopefully see an increase.

If you would like to talk to anyone about our Pay per Click Services, please contact us.

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Colin Differ
About the author

Colin Differ

Colin's role as a search specialist is to manage both organic and paid search to achieve a high ROI for our clients.

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