Improve Google Ads Click Through Rate

25 November, 2018


Throwing together a haphazard Google Ads campaign will almost invariably lead to underwhelming results.

If you want high-converting campaigns, you’ll need careful keyword research, unique ad creative and an engaging landing page.

We’d be here all day if we were to take you through the entire process of creating high converting ads. For the sake of brevity (and your sanity!), we’ll focus specifically on click through rate (CTR) – one crucial element for increasing Google Ads conversions.

Click through rate is the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times the ad is shown.

Click Through Rate

We’ve selected 10 of the simplest ways to improve your Google Ads click through rate in no time at all.

#1. Include ad extensions

One of the easiest ways to increase click-through rate is to add extensions. These are extra snippets of information that give your potential customers more motivation to click on your ad. Sitelinks, callouts and call extensions are the quickest and simplest to implement.

The Delphi School of Internet Marketing created a helpful infograph about sitelinks best practice. Use it as a checklist to ensure you’re getting the most benefit from extensions.

Site Links Best Practice

Our favourite best practice tip is ‘be unique and creative.’ Extensions are the online version of a megaphone.

Consider the services you offer or the products you sell. What makes you stand out from your competitors?

Imagine you’re advertising baby products. You may include sitelinks to your most popular products and use the description lines to communicate the benefits.

Embrace your creativity!

#2. Use title case in your ad copy

Title Case Is When Each Letter In A Sentence Is Written In Upper Case. This helps your ads stand out from the organic searches.

Note, Google will disapprove your ads if you use CAPSLOCK or use a ComBiNaTion of TitlE CaSe and normal case.

#3. Use keywords in the display URL

Pick the keywords from each ad groups which have the most search volume and insert these into the display URL. People are more likely to click an ad when they see the URL is relevant to their search.

Moral of the story? A good display URL that contains the most relevant keywords can help increase click through rate, conversions and quality score.

#4. Include a call to action in the ad copy

What’s the goal of the ad? Calls, store visits, online sales? Now’s not the time to be shy. Tell your searchers exactly what you want them to do. Here are some suggestions:

Last chance to buy. Shop now

Request a free quote online

Call us to book

When it comes to split-second decision making, customers sometimes need that extra little nudge in the right direction – your call to action is that nudge.

#5. Opt out of the Google Search and Display network

When creating a new campaign, you’ll automatically be opted into Search Network and Display Network.

Search And Display Opt In

Opting in means you are allowing Google to showcase your ads on any partner or display network site. It’s often a huge money waster and will heavily reduce your Google Ads click through rate, except in certain situations and we always consult the online marketing oracle (i.e. our team of Ads Specialists) before doing so.

To check if this setting is enabled in your account: click onto a campaign → go to settings → networks and make sure the two blue boxes are unticked.

#6. Write compelling ad copy

What are your competitors saying in their ad copy?

No-one likes a copy-cat.

Here’s your chance to craft unique ad copy that speaks directly to your target audience.

When writing ad copy, consider the following:

  • Brand voice: Fun, cheeky, serious, formal, educational?
  • Your keywords: Ensure you’re including at least one of your primary keywords in the ad copy.
  • Storytelling: You have three headlines and two description lines. Can you craft up an enticing tale to pique their interest?

#7. Create tightly themed ad groups

People are more likely to click ads which contain keywords from their search query. Show the most relevant ads by creating tightly themed ad groups.

For example, you may have a campaign that targets ‘Guitars’. Each ad group may contain a different brand of guitar.

Look at your own website for inspiration about how to categorise and structure your campaigns.

#8. Split test your ads

As a general rule, each ad group should contain three ads for split testing. This allows you to determine the ad variation that best resonates with your target audience once the data comes rolling in.

Scenario time! Say you are a florist and want to sell more roses. You have already set up a dedicated Adgroup for ‘roses’.

You’re currently running three ads in the Adgroup and want to run a split test on the Headline 1 to find the best performer.

In the first ad for Headline 1, you type: Fresh Roses – Free Delivery

In the second ad for Headline 1, you use: Buy Fresh Roses Online

In the third ad for Headline 1 you say: Fresh Roses Grown In Newcastle

You then create the remaining elements of the ad.

Then replicate everything besides the headline one into ads two and three.

Now that the hard work is done, it’s time to sit back and watch the results.

Leave the ad running for a predetermined amount of time. For larger accounts this may be two weeks, for smaller accounts with less traffic, your test may run for a month. What we’ve stated is a guide only and there are other methods for split test.

When the test concludes, turn off the two ads with a lower click-through rate and choose another element of the ad to test. Continually repeat the process.

#9. Generate urgency

Creating a sense of urgency when offering a special deal or promotion helps motivate customers to get clicking. Nobody likes missing out on a bargain.

Use Google Ads countdown timers for an automated way to update your ad copy to reflect promotion dates.

Even if you’re not running a sales promotion, there are many other ways to create a sense of urgency. Here are a few ad copy suggestions:

  • Last chance. Buy now or miss out!
  • Limited stock available.
  • Act now.
  • Hurry.

Urgency shows your products or services are in demand and won’t be around forever. Many brands use urgency as a way to increase sales for a short period of time.

#10.  Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion to customise your headlines to a user’s search. This makes the ad copy relevant to a user’s search query, therefore, increasing your ads click through rate.

Use an {open bracket} for the function to open, choose ‘Keyword Insertion’- see the image below for visual steps.

A box will appear that says ‘default text,’ this text will be inserted into your ad when the searched keyword doesn’t fit the character limit.

And the second and third headline as well as the two description lines as per usual.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion

How many click through rate optimisations can you implement within an hour?

People are more likely to click ads that are relevant to their search. Improving your click through rate is an easy way to increase sales or enquiries.

Take a second to block out some time in your calendar to implement a few click through rate optimisations.

The time required to implement each optimisation will depend on the size of your Google Ads account. For Google Ads pros, use tools like AdWords Editor to speed up the process and make changes in bulk.

Once you’ve implemented changes, test!

Let the new changes run for a week or two. See whether the new changes have created a positive increase to click through rate once you have enough data to make an evaluated judgement about the results.

Use our handy Google Ads click through rate checklist to tick off each optimisation once it’s complete.

We go ape over CPCs, CTRs and CPAs. Need a hand with your Google Ads account? Contact us.

By Jessica Goerke
Since 2018 Jess has smashed client goals as a PPC specialist with her signature holistic approach to digital marketing. When she’s not driving awesome results for her clients, you’ll usually find her in the gym.
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