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Daria Kolowca

How To Fix A Low Click-Through Rate

24th Feb 2020 Paid Social Media Blog, PPC Blog 6 minutes to read

Click Through Rate (CTR) is an indicator showing the percentage ratio between the number of clicks on our ad and the number of impressions on our ad. Therefore, CTR shows the effectiveness of our activities. The higher the CTR, the more relevant our ad is. If we have a low CTR, we would want to look at why that is and make some changes.

What can we do with the fact that our advert is displayed to hundreds of users / potential customers if only a few of them click on it?

In this article, I will introduce several ways how to increase CTR in your Google Ads campaigns.

Create a clear campaign structure

First of all, don’t put everything in one bag. When we optimise our campaigns, we often see campaigns made up of only two or three ad groups, with one very similar, generic ad appearing for dozens of very different keywords. Organising campaigns like this is a bad idea as it confuses the user journey. For example if a user searches for Divorce Lawyers in London and the ad displays the headline “Lawyers In UK”, the ad is not completely relevant to what the user is searching. They are less likely to click on your ad.

When planning or rebuilding your Google Ads campaigns, always group similar themes into one area, e.g. a specific service or product group. Extract these terms into separate ad groups and create better-tailored ads for them that will target the most relevant landing pages as possible. In the example above, we should group Divorce Lawyers, Employment Lawyers and Financial Lawyers all in separate ad groups as this enables us to make the ad copy as relevant as possible to the search.

At this stage, you can also extract terms with a high CTR, for which you will prepare a dedicated, even better-matched ad.

Make ads relevant to the search

When the structure has been sorted (see above), we can make the ads really relevant to what the user is searching for. This will help the user identify which ad is relevant to their search and in turn help improve our CTR. To make your ad relevant, please see the tips below:

Prepare the best content

Use keywords in your ads – in the title, description and URL visible in the ad. The ad using the keywords tailored to the user’s query is a clear message for the user that clicking on the ad will appear on the page that they looking for.

Add the main advantages of your offer – if your offer has features that can be a significant advantage over the competition, e.g. shipping in 24h, free delivery, current promotion, put this information in the content of your advertisement.

Post specific information – if a specific feature may support the decision to choose your product or service, place this information in the content of the advertisement.

Use numbers – this is an element of content that catches the eye. If you can boast of any number, do it, e.g. 3,000 units sold, 100% positive feedback, 20 years on the market. This also includes price points if they are competitive.

Grab your attention with your headline – there are many ways to do this, I will tell you one – be current. For example, if you run a mail-order florist and Mother’s Day is approaching, then prepare dedicated ad text for this occasion.

Use extensions

Extensions are additional information that you can add to your ad in various forms. The more information the ad contains, the greater the chance that any of them will interest the user, and as a result will lead to a click on your ad. Google Ads gives us the following extension formats:

Call extensions – active phone number, after clicking on which the connection occurs. It can be used to promote services that generally require quick phone contact – e.g. roadside assistance.

Sitelinks – allows you to add additional description links to the ad, link other subpages that may interest the user.

Callout extensions – this is a place for additional information that you could not fit in your ad headlines or options. Google Ads callout extensions are not clickable, but are a great place to display information such as ‘Free Delivery’.

Message extension – lets potential customers send a message to your phone for more information.

Location extension – especially in campaigns where the distance between the user and your company, the customer service point is important. Often, it’s the location that decides which company to choose.

Price/promotion extension – is a function that allows you to add information about prices, promotions and sales to your ad.

Run regular search query reports

Search query reports (SQRs) allow us to see exactly what the user is searching for and which of our keywords it has triggered. If we are using a combination of match types and have a range of broad match modifier (BMM) keywords in our account, we need to keep on top of what is being searched. It could be that we are getting a lot of impressions from irrelevant searches which in turn, reduces our CTR. It is vital to the performance of an account to run these reports at least once a week to identify and negate anything that is causing detrimental performance to your account.

What else we can do?

Exclude unwanted keywords – prepare lists of unwanted keywords that are created to indicate words for which we do not want to appear with the ad. For example, if we have a coffee machine in our offer, but we don’t have it in red, we can exclude the word red. This means that our ad will not appear on the red coffee machine.

Locations – Google Ads allows us to manage the geographical area we want because our advertising campaign has appeared. Running a restaurant with delivery up to 5km, we can limit the campaign by a radius of 5 km from our take away place. When running a broad nationwide campaign, it is worth analyzing clicks from various locations – provinces and cities – and creating campaigns focused on locations with the best CTR.

Schedule – Google Ads also allows us to indicate the exact days of the week and the times at which our ad should appear. It is worth analyzing at what times and days of the week our ad records the best results and transfer the budget to them excluding hours in which it enjoys rather low interest.

Auction insights – one simple piece of advice. If your campaign has a low CTR or your CTR has started to fall recently, it is worth checking what ads your competition serves to users, analyze and create better ones. We can see competitor activity by using the auction insights report and compare if they have become more or less active on our keywords. If they are appearing more often, there is more competition on the results page and more choice for the user. Therefore we are likely to see a reduction in CTR.

The above suggestions should increase the CTR and ultimately the effectiveness of the campaign. Using multiple solutions will allow you to test which of the solutions is most useful for your business.

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Daria Kolowca

Daria’s perfect day would be flicking through LPs to find her 80s favourites, playing with her cats or watching a classic movie. Rewind 15 years though, before her move to the UK, and you’ll have found her as the face of Poland’s LGBTQ+ movement, giving interviews, appearing on posters and organising Warsaw’s LGBT Movie Festival.

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